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Project statuses

All about leads and jobs and how you should be using them.

Sam Gioia avatar
Written by Sam Gioia
Updated over a week ago

Updated Aug 2, 2023

Project statuses organize your projects by phases or milestones of working together. The general idea is to move each project from one status to the next as certain milestones are reached, like sending out a proposal or receiving a deposit.

Project statuses are shown across the top of the Projects page. Click on a status to see a filtered list of the projects with that particular status only.

screenshot with project statuses

Leads and jobs

screenshot of leads and jobs

Statuses are categorized into the following:

  • Leads: Projects that are still in the initial stages of inquiring and booking with you.

  • Jobs: Projects that you considered to be booked.

  • Combined: See all projects with any status.

  • Archived: Cold leads or past jobs that you no longer want in one of the other categories. Learn more about archiving projects.

It's up to you to decide when a lead becomes a job. For many businesses, this is after there is a signed contract and paid invoice or deposit. For more information, see leads vs jobs.

๐Ÿ‘‹ Here's a tip... All new accounts start with the status categories of Leads and Jobs, which is why you'll see Lead: No Status and Job: No Status as your only two options for project statuses until you create custom statuses.

Custom statuses

Your project status should reflect the steps of the process you follow for working with clients. Custom statuses can be created under the Lead and Job categories by clicking on the Customize button on the Projects page. Click here for more information on changing project statuses.

screenshot with arrow pointing to customize button

Click Add Status to add new statuses. Check the box for any status to make it the default view whenever you open the Projects page.

arrow pointing to default project status and add status button

To add emojis to a project status, right-click inside the box and click Emojis & Symbols.

screenshot of how to add emojis

What should my statuses be?

Project statuses will vary from business to business, even within the same industry. It helps to write out all the steps in your process of working with a client to identify which milestones you want to watch out for.

Here are some common examples of project statuses to get you started:

Leads (any industry)

  • New Inquiries

  • Consultation Invite Sent

  • Consultation Scheduled

  • Needs Proposal

  • Proposal + Contract Sent

  • Needs Follow Up

Jobs (event-based)

  • Contract Signed

  • Deposit Paid

  • Onboarding Email Sent

  • 6 Months Out

  • 3 Months Out

  • 1 Month Out

  • Pre-Event Meeting Scheduled

  • This Week

  • Post-Event

Jobs (coaching/consulting)

  • Onboarding

  • Active Clients

  • Up for Renewal

Jobs (design)

  • Welcome Pack Sent

  • Draft Needed

  • Awaiting Feedback

  • Design Approved

  • Awaiting Final Payment

  • Delivered

๐Ÿ‘‹ Here's a tip... you don't need a status for every single step in your process. Focus on which steps will need your attention most or involve waiting for the client.

Manually assign a project status

By default, project statuses do not change automatically. Manually assign a project status on the Projects page using the dropdown under the Status column.

arrow pointing to dropdown to manually assign a project status

Assigning a project status will not trigger any automation to occur. It will only move the project into the selected status.

Automatically assign a project status

To automatically assign a project status to a project, youโ€™ll need to use a workflow. Specifically, youโ€™ll want to use the Change project status workflow action. Click here for more information on setting up workflow actions.

๐Ÿ‘‹ Here's a tip... Building a workflow requires preparation and a thorough knowledge of Dubsado's features, so it's one of the last things you'll want to set up.


Can I use my statuses as categories instead? For example, weddings, seniors, and families for photography?

The best practice is to choose project statuses that reflect the steps of your process and to use project tags for categories instead. If you use project statuses as categories, it will be difficult to incorporate them into an automated workflow, since the project would not move from one category to another.

Can changing a project status automate another event, like sending an email?

No. Changing a project status will not trigger any automation to occur. It will only move the project into that new status. If you'd like to automate project status changes, you'll need to incorporate them into an automated workflow.

Can I assign more than one project status to a project?

No. A project can only have one project status because statuses are meant to track the milestone of your project. If you want to categorize your projects, we recommend using project tags instead.

Can I change the color of a project on the calendar depending on the project status?

When you click Calendar, projects with project dates will appear. Right now, there isnโ€™t a way to customize the colors. Projects with a lead status will be black and projects with a job status will be blue.

screenshot of calendar with jobs and leads
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