The first thing you will need to do to begin using HoudiniESQ is log into the system. Once you enter the URL of the DFEH HoudiniEsq server into your browser's Address bar, you will be greeted by the login screen. Enter your username and password which has been provided to you, keep in mind that both are case-sensitive.
If you have recently logged off (or have been logged out by the system) there will be a 15-second delay before you can log in again. Once you have successfully logged in, you will be greeted by the Main Menu.
The Main Menu is made up of 4 ribbons. Practice, Billing, Reports, and Settings. Based on your role in the system, some of you may not see the Reports ribbon. Each Ribbon is made up of Menu Groups. Each Menu Group is clearly labeled, Matters, Events |Task, etc.. Above the label are the Menu Items. In the image above the Matter Menu Group has three options. New, Dashboard and Intake. To add a new Matter/Case you would click New. To add a new To-do you would click New in the To-do's Menu Group.
The first thing that will pop up when you log into HoudiniESQ is the GTD view. You can access the GTD at any time by selecting “GTD” from the To-do’s section of the Practice ribbon.
This will bring up the main GTD view.
The GTD is your one-stop solution for all current events, items to review, alerts, and To-do’s. From here you can quickly and effectively access all material assigned to you. You can search by Client or Matter by entering the first few characters of matching records for either field; for more information on how to use these fields, consult the section below, (Basic Searches). You can also find items with a particular date (with range by days), and the checkbox will allow you to only view upcoming tasks.
There are 5 main views in the GTD:
1. Upcoming Events – This will give you a quick view of all upcoming events that pertain to you.
2. Items to Review – This tab will display any emails and/or documents you have been selected to be Notified on. Whenever a document or email is linked to a Matter, the option to Notify a staff member of its addition can be selected. This will determine whether the document or email appears in this tab.
3. To-do’s – This tab will switch the list view to display all To-Dos assigned to you, categorized by Matter.
4. New Leads - This tab will show any new contact leads that have been imported by the Lead Widget.
5. Upcoming Alerts - This tab will display any upcoming Alerts which have been assigned to you.
For more information on To-dos, skip to the To-Dos section.
In today’s world, the basic ability to search data for related records is fundamental to any practice management software, and HoudiniESQ gives you several different options to locate your data. Under the main menu in the Practice ribbon you will find the Search section. You can simply type in a string to search for, and hit Enter.
HoudiniEsq will return a list of related results in the Advanced Search window.
Each form that can be linked to a Matter has a Lookup field to find the Matter in the database. Type a few characters of the Matter Reference or ID, hit Enter, and HoudiniEsq will return the best matches for your search in a drop-down box below the field. Choose the best match and click on it to select that Matter.
IMPORTANT: You will not be able to simply get a drop-down result of all records associated with a Lookup field if nothing is entered; that would return too many records. You will HAVE to enter a few characters of the result you want to find. Also, remember to press Enter to get your results!
The Contact Lookup field is similar to the one for Matters with a key difference; since Contacts have a significant amount of data Fields attached to their records, you will be able to search for a contact by entering any associated data to those Fields. For example, you can search for a Contact by their Last and First Names, Phone Number, and Address. In this image, we are searching for Contacts with the “919” area code in their phone number.
Once you’ve located the Contact you’re looking for, simply click on them to select that contact.
Note: You can replace characters in a search with “%” to denote a “wildcard” search. For example, searching for “%oudini” will bring up “Houdini”. You can also add a “*” to search for Company Name when searching Contacts.
You can also create more complex filters for more specific results; we’ll explore that in detail in the Advanced Customization section.
Information in HoudiniEsq is typically displayed in a List format unless otherwise noted.
The circled icons in the bottom left hand corner will allow you to delete (-), add (+) or edit (pencil) a selected record. The icons circled in the bottom right will allow you to generate a PDF of the selected items for printing Since a List view can only display 40 records at one time, the arrow keys will allow you to shift the currently displayed records forward or backwards. Information about which records are being viewed will always be displayed next to the arrow keys.
The Refresh icon (circle with arrow) in the upper right hand corner will allow you to refresh the results of a List View. Holding down Shift while clicking the Refresh button will allow you to get a new set of results from the server by clearing your browser cache and requesting the data.
To select multiple records in a List view (or any other part of the program for that matter), hold down the Shift key and click the records you wish to select.
Columns can be changed in various ways to customize any List view to your liking. You can place the mouse cursor between two columns until the icon changes, then drag to the left or right to resize the columns.
You can also reorder the columns by clicking on the column name, dragging it over to the position you wish it to be in, and releasing. Clicking a column will sort the list in descending order based on that column; clicking the column again will sort based on descending order.
You can change the displayed columns in a List view by clicking the gear icon. For more information on filters and custom List Views, consult the Advanced Customization section.
In HoudiniESQ, the main method of entering any form of data is fields. You can hover your mouse over any field to get a pop-up Tooltip for that field; this method works for most elements of the user interface (UI) as well. Here’s an example of the Case Number tooltip in the Edit New Matter window.
In addition, any fields that are colored yellow (or outlined in red) are mandatory; you will not be able to save the record unless information is entered into those fields.
The Date field will appear in any form where date and time are relevant points of data.
The first of the circled icons in this picture will allow you to pull up a simple calendar to input the date. The second icon is the Date Calculator, which we will not use in the DFEH system.
HoudiniESQ’s graphical user interface (GUI) is, like many modern operating systems, based on the concepts of windows. In the upper right hand corner are a number of resizing options:
1. Minimize to desktop. This will minimize the current window to an icon in the right-hand bottom corner of the screen. Clicking the icon will restore it.
2. Previous size. This option will restore the window to its previous size.
3. Maximize window. This will expand the window to take up all of the available space in the HoudiniESQ GUI. Clicking Previous Size will restore it to the window size before maximization.
You can also resize any window in HoudiniEsq by clicking the circle in the bottom-right hand corner of the window and dragging it with the mouse.
One of the major advantages of HoudiniEsq is workflow. You can use workspaces in HoudiniEsq to group commonly used windows that can be selected with just a click. You can quickly access a Workspace by clicking the corresponding Workspace icon in the first box of the Menu bar.
In the bottom left-hand corner of each window, you will see icons to move a window to a particular Workspace (1, 2 or 3). Clicking these icons will move that window to the designated Workspace.
For more on how to use Workspaces, you can view our Knowledgebase here
In any form related to Events as well as Calendars, you will find the Timeline:
The Timeline is a quick and easy way to view Events at a glance. Each Event will be displayed as a dot on the Timeline. Placing the cursor over the dot will display information about the Event as well as the relevant Date and Time. For more information about Events, view the corresponding section.