Your Software

Things to do when you’re slow: Planning for Success


When your schedule is a bit on the slow side, you can set your office up for future success by putting some time-savers and resources in place. In this post, we’ll share some of our favorite productivity-enhancing, efficiency-boosting tools.

Learn how to use tasks!

See our Tasks playlist for helpful videos.


At Open Dental HQ, we use tasks to help us manage calls, remind us of recurring or future to-do’s, and so much more. To date, we have created over 3,800,000 tasks! Most of us are subscribed to at least 6 task lists, helping us monitor activity in our various areas of responsibility.

We love tasks because:

  • We can notify a group of people at once about a topic or something that needs to be done.
  • Readers can comment on the task, and the same group will see the comment.
  • We can set reminders for things that need to be done once at a specific date/time, or on a recurring basis (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly).
  • We can categorize tasks using color-coding for easy visible identification – we use them for priorities (red tasks are urgent, etc). Color-coded tasks show up at the top of our task lists for even better visibility.
  • They are searchable, so we can find and reference old tasks when needed.

Set up some super-speedy charting

See our blog post, Feature Highlight: Speedy Charting for efficiency boosters that will make you smile!

Evaluate and improve what’s in your appointment views

We have added new Appointment View fields in recent versions. Review your appointment views to see if you have all the relevant information you need, or remove information you don’t need to see. Here’s a great webinar that will help show you how you can create various views for different parts of your practice so people see what’s most helpful.

Create categories or color code features

Many features in Open Dental can be customized to your needs. Much of this is done in Setup > Definitions.

Here are some examples of what you can do with definitions:

See our blog post on Using Definitions in Open Dental.

Take a look at process improvements

Use the Wiki to Document Processes and Resources

At Open Dental HQ, we have over 5,300 wiki pages. Here are some of the many ways we use the wiki:

  • Our HR and Management teams document internal processes, such as how to request time off, office policies, etc.
  • Employees share resources and recommendations, such as local dentists or favorite restaurants.
  • Our Event Coordinators share information about upcoming events. Recently we had our company picnic, and soon we’ll have our Holiday party. Event information and links to the sign-up sheets were part of the wiki.
  • We use the wiki to create training documents that are used in conjunction with the Certifications Tool.
  • The Wiki List is used to store contact information for vendors and other companies.
  • Each employee at Open Dental has their own wiki page that they can customize for their own use. For example, some employees use their wiki to track the progress of their certifications, while others detail their daily responsibilities or yearly goals. Many have links to other wiki pages or external online tools they use often.
  • Our Support Team uses the wiki to document troubleshooting tips, learning resources, and more.

The wiki is versatile and easily accessible.

  • Our team can send a task with a link to a specific wiki page.
  • Images, links to websites, links to other wiki pages, and tables can be added to provide structure and organization.
  • The wiki is searchable to quickly find information. (We use keywords at the top of our wiki pages to help in search.)
  • Changes to a wiki are tracked and can be viewed by clicking the History button to see the details of the edits made.
  • Pages can be locked so that only certain users can make edits.

Tech Note: The wiki is accessible by any Open Dental user, so it should not contain private or personal information.

Wiki See our blog post on using the Open Dental Wiki.

Optimizing your operations during slow times can really help set you up for success down the road. Our Support Team is poised and ready to help you on your road to success. Reach out when you need us.

Categories: Your Software

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