• 06 May 2024
  • 10 minute read
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Article summary

The Slate Reader introduces an innovative approach to conceptualizing, building, and integrating workflows that align seamlessly with your institutional processes. Workflows empower admissions staff to proficiently assess, annotate, and rate applications within a unified interface while fostering enhanced collaboration among reviewers, minimizing paper usage, and leveraging data-driven insights. Reader Workflows transform the application review into an organized, transparent, and highly efficient experience.

The Workflows (Legacy) Knowledge Base article provides procedures for the legacy process. Refer to that article only for general concepts. Follow the procedures described in this article when creating new workflows. Workflows created using the legacy process cannot be managed using the Workflows tool and vice versa.

Create the Workflow

To create a new workflow:

  1. Click Database on the Slate navigation bar and select Workflows. Any existing workflows are listed on the main Workflows page.

  2. Click New Workflow. The Create Workflow popup appears.

  3. Provide the workflow configuration using these settings:

    • Status: Set to Active.

    • Name: Give the workflow a meaningful name.

    • Query Base: Select the desired query base. 

    • Short Description (optional): Enter a label to appear in the workflow icon in Reader.

    • Custom Read Permission: Select the desired read permission for the workflow.

    • Homepage Display: Use the default display (Reader Widget) or select Create New Report to design a custom report to appear on the workflow home page.

  4. Click Save. The workflow summary page appears.

Workflow Summary Page

  • To (optionally) add administrative notations about the workflow, click Edit Notes.

  • To view a listing of all changes to the workflow, click Snapshots. The feature can be used to view a timeline of previous configurations for the workflow.

  • Continue to set up the workflow by clicking the tabbed items on the workflow summary page.

Configure the Workflow Process

Once the workflow is created, edit the workflow structure using the configuration tabs on the workflow summary page.

Configuration Tabs


Bin structure involves:

  • Groupings

  • Columns, and

  • Bins

To build your bin structure, start with:


  1. Start on the workflow summary page and click the pencil icon on the upper right of the page. The Edit Groupings page appears.


  1. Click the Grouping button. The Edit Grouping popup appears.


  1. Enter a Group Name and click Save. The Edit Groupings page appears with the new grouping.

  1. Hover over the grouping to display three hidden icons:

    • Edit Name: Opens the Edit Grouping popup to rename the current Grouping.

    • Edit Bins: Opens the Edit Bins page.

    • Delete Grouping: Removes the current Grouping. Please note that if a Grouping contains at least one bin, this icon will not appear.


  1. Click the Edit Bins icon. The Edit Bins page appears.



Create columns to contain the bin structure. Generally speaking, the columns represent the procedural steps in the workflow. Any number of columns can be created.

  1. Click the Column button. The Edit Column popup appears.


  1. Enter an appropriate Column Name and click Save.



Reader bins illustrate your reading workflow in Slate. Each Reader bin contains applications that are in a distinct stage of your reading process.

Once the columns are established, create bins for the individual steps in the workflow.

  1. Click Bin. The New Bin popup appears.

New Bin

  1. Enter the configuration for the bin:

    • Status: Set as Active.

    • Name: Give the bin an appropriate name.

    • Preset: Select the default preset if no presets have been previously created.

  2. Set the desired values for the rest of the configurations in the Read Settings, Next Bin & Queue Settings, and Configurations tabs.

  3. Repeat the procedure to create additional bins for each column to define the workflow steps.

If desired, you can hover over the bin to display three options: Copy Bin, Edit Bin, and Delete Bin. Clicking Copy Bin opens the Copy Bin popup, where you can change the settings for the new (copied) bin, including the Name. Click Save as Copy.

Copy Bin

If a newly created bin appears in a column other than what you intended, you can drag the bin to the desired column.


Under Read Settings, bins can be enabled for material processing. If materials need to be frequently reclassified from the reader (such as changing the material type or record), this setting allows reader access to the material metadata, which can also include fields with the same scope as the material type. Refer to the Material Metadata article in the Knowledge Base for details regarding accessing material metadata from the reader.

Bin & Queue Automations

Automation in the workflow is accomplished through the use of rules. Rules in workflows work the same as elsewhere in Slate. Review the Rules Editor Knowledge Base article for additional information on creating rules.

Remember: bin and queue automations are created and managed in the Rules Editor in Slate, using the same procedures used in creating rules for other Slate functions. However, for the ease of creating automations, the rules are created and managed directly on the Bin & Queue Automations page.

Do-nothing rules

Workflow rules will wipe out and rebuild the workflow each time they run. If a queue assignment exists on a record and the rules run, the assignments will be removed.

If you manually assign queues, and there is no rule to put the applications back in the right queue, you must create a rule to tell Slate to skip over any records in workflows that already have queue assignments in that particular workflow—a do-nothing rule.

You'll need a rule like this for each workflow exclusivity group. The do-nothing rule stops queue assignments from being removed when they already exist.

Creating bin and queue automations

To create bin and queue automations:

  1. Click the Bin & Queue Automations tab.

  2. To add automations, click the pencil (Edit Automations) icon on the right side of the page. The Bin & Queue Automation page appears.

  3. Click New Rule to start adding automation rules.


  1. Add the configurations for the rule:

    • Name: Give the rule an appropriate name.

    • Base: This value is fixed from the Base used for the workflow

    • Type: Since this is a bin, the type is fixed as "Bin."

    • Trigger: Set the desired trigger for the rule.

    • Folder: Place the rule in the desired folder.

    • Exclusivity Group: If using a specific exclusivity group, set it here.

    • Status: When the rule is first created, the only available options are Inactive and Preview. Once the rule has been saved, the status can be changed to Active.

  1. Click Save. The Rules Editor page appears.


  1. Using the tools in the Filters and Action sections, create the rule to accomplish the desired automation for the bin.

Rules created with the Workflow Editor use the Configurable Joins - Application query base. To filter for the workflow bin in rule filters, it is simplest to join to "Workflow Record: [Workflow Name]" at the base and then select the correct bins. 

Joining to "Bin History," "Application Reader Queue," and "Current Bin" will not populate Bins, Queues, or Workflows created with the Workflow Editor because those are designed for the legacy tools only.

Reader Tabs

Reader tabs can be created and customized to display reader content in an organized manner.

  1. On the Workflow page for the desired workflow, click the Reader Tabs tab.

  2. Add a tab by clicking the pencil icon (Edit Reader Tabs) on the upper right of the page. The Reader Tabs page summary page appears.

  3. To add a Reader tab, click one of the types from the palette on the right side of the page, or drag the desired item from the palette onto the workspace. The New Reader Tab popup appears.

New Reader Tab

  1. Enter the desired configuration settings for the reader tab:

    • Type: The is automatically set as the type of tab selected.

    • Status: Set to Active.

    • Name: Provide an appropriate name for the reader tab.

    • Memo (optional): Enter additional descriptive information if desired. 

    • Custom Read Permission: Select one of the read permissions from the list.

    • Color: Select to choose the color of the reader tab.

    • New Material Highlighting: Enable or Disable.

    • In the Filters section, add the desired filters or joins to display the appropriate information on the reader tab.

  2. Click Save.

Once the tab is created, it is listed on the Reader Tabs summary page.


  1. If a Material type of tab was selected, hover over the tab name in the list and click the Edit Materials icon to configure the tab contents. The Materials Reader Stream page appears.


  1. Select or drag the material type to the page. The New Material Stream popup appears. The options that appear for this popup will be appropriate to the material stream type selected.

New Material Stream

  1. Enter the desired configurations for the material stream and click Save.

When adding filters to conditionally display tabs only for certain records, the direct filters are from the base of the current workflow (Workflow Records: [Workflow Name Here]). A base join to Application (in an application-scoped workflow), Person (in an person-scoped workflow), or Dataset Record (in a dataset-scoped workflow) is necessary to conditionally show tabs or materials based on workflow record data.

Material Tab Palette Options

Record Data

The standard configuration of record data rendered in PDF format for review, including both legacy application pages and form page auto-PDFs. 


Configure materials to display in this tab. Allows filtering for which records this material type should display.

Reader Form

Reader form submissions are rendered in PDF format, configurable by workflow and by the reader (self or all).


Form/event/scheduler registrations are rendered in PDF format, configurable by a specific form or template.

Cluster Report

Display results from a reader report. Example: a cluster report query returning all records with the same rank 1 school as the current record.


Display emails and SMS messages rendered in PDF format, whether external emails or Inbox.

Timeline Data

Display comments recorded in Activities/Interactions from the record's timeline rendered in PDF format.

Decision Letter

Display a specific decision letter or all printable decision letters. 

Review Forms

Reader review and workflow review forms capture application ratings and comments during the reading process. These forms can be associated with a specific bin, and they appear on the right side of the Reader. Once the form is submitted, it is associated with the applicant, and the form results can be displayed in the Reader. Multiple forms can be submitted on an applicant.

Review forms for the reader are defined on this tab. To set up review forms:

  1. After selecting the Review Forms tab, click the pencil (Edit Review Forms) icon. The Edit Review Forms page appears, with a list of all bins in the workflow.

  1. Click Review Form. The New Review Form Configuration popup appears.

New Review Form Configuration

  1. Enter the desired configuration on the popup.

📝 Note:

Review forms can be configured to appear on multiple reader bins. If multiple bins are selected, the review form is "linked" between the locations. While linked, a change to the form in one location will be mirrored by the linked forms in the other bins. If desired, a review form in a bin can be "unlinked" to manage a configuration independently of the other review forms.


On the Summary tab of the Edit Review Forms page, a quick query can be performed for a specific record, to check workflow logic or to see where the record is positioned in the workflow.


The Views tab enables creating shared views for users. Each view can be configured with specific exports, filters, and sorts to achieve the desired view content. Once created, a drop-down of Shared Views appears when the abacus icon is clicked on from the reader in the top right of the "Search" and "Browse" tab functions, or while accessing a particular Bin or Queue. All shared views are accessible in the Searcher tool and can be edited by any user with access to the workflow. Personal views can be created from this tool by each user with access to the Reader, and these should be built to display the more sensitive information needed in reader processes.

A configured view can be pinned to the list (maintaining its position in the list of views) or it can be set as the default view in the reader. Different default views can be set for each Bin in General settings.


Reader Lookup

When viewing a record in the reader, clicking the record name tab displays a summary lookup for that record, with a dashboard providing a variety of information by default.

The Reader Lookup tab is used to manage the information that appears in the lookup dashboard. The settings for the lookup can be managed as follows:

  1. On the Workflow summary page, click the pencil (Edit Reader Lookup) icon. The Reader Lookup Settings page appears.


  1. To edit the current (default) dashboard, click the pencil icon on the right side of the Default Dashboard banner. The Edit Dashboard popup appears.


  1. Make the desired changes using the Liquid markup options on the right side of the popup. 

  2. Click the Merge Fields tab to manage the fields that are available on the Dashboard tab.


  1. After configuring the dashboard display, click Save to return to the Reader Lookup Settings page.

  1. If desired, a new dashboard can be added by clicking the Add Dashboard icon on the upper right, just over the Default Dashboard banner.


  1. If desired, the Reader Lookup display can be configured to block certain items from the display. To define this, click Edit on the upper right of the Reader Lookup Settings page. The Edit Reader Lookup Settings popup appears.


  • Selecting an item here will remove (or disable) that item on the Reader Lookup tool. This can be set to hide or display Reader Lookup parts for all bins in the workflow, or for specific bins.

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