How to Nod

Nod is a document automation platform that empowers experts to help more people.

Automating document creation and review leaves more time for experts and their teams to spend more valuable time with their clients.

Below you'll find a series of articles on how to use Nod to automate document creation and review in your financial planning, legal, accounting or consulting practice.

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Create a Rule

Rules determine how you automate content in Nod. Rules are how you create efficiencies for your practice and reduce your document creation times significantly. If you run an AFSL, rules help you to centralise and standardise how your practices produce advice documents and maintain these settings over time without needing to maintain huge teams to do so or employ expensive consultants. In this post we show you just how easy it is to create a rule in Nod. You don't need to know how to write computer code, you don't need a software engineering degree. All you need is a clear understanding of what content should be in a document in the various advice scenarios that pop up in the course of your interactions with clients.

Here's how you create a rule in Nod:

1. Select a Content Asset in the Library

Navigate to the Library tab and select the content asset you'd like to apply a rule to. You can also enter the asset from the Template screen by clicking the little pencil icon next to the asset in the template which appears when you hover over it.

2. Click the 'Create New Rule' Button

Click the Create New Rule button to open the rule creation box. This box is where you name and configure a new rule to be applied to the content asset.

3. Configure the Rule

Nod automates documents by linking content assets to data entered into the form during document creation. In the rule creation box:

  1. Select the Form Field you want to link your content asset to.
  2. Select the logic to apply to that Form Field (e.g. contains, is not empty etc
  3. If required, enter the specific value/expression that needs to be entered during document creation to trigger the rule. (e.g. Client First Name contains 'Joel')

For example (and this is the example we use in the video above), you might want a cover page to only appear in a Nod document when there are two clients being advised. To automate this process, we create the rule so that the cover page only appears in the document when the Client First Name and Partner First Name fields are not empty. 'Is not empty' is the logic applied to each field and it means that if both Fields contain any value, the content will appear in the document.

There are a number of different logical expressions you can use for your rules. They include things like: contains, does not contain, greater than, less than, is empty etc. These logical expressions, coupled with the fact that you can add up to three connected fields to a document with an 'and/or' variable mean you can get highly specific, and therefore highly automated with how your document template behaves without needing to write a line of computer code.

The example rule we use in the video above is expressed like this: Include this asset if Client First Name is not empty AND Partner First Name is not empty.

Once you've submitted and applied the rule to the content asset, don't forget to click the Apply Changes button in the top right hand corner.

4. Test the Rule

It's always good practice, particularly when you're just getting started with creating rules in Nod, to test the document output to ensure the content is behaving as you expect and the rule you've created is delivering the desired result. Once you apply a rule to a content asset, and that asset is in a Template, the document will behave according to the rule you've set for each document produced using that document template.

Joel Robbie