I'M NEW - What do I need to do next?

Hello Newbie. Welcome to Bristol LETS!
These notes should help you find your way through the system.

Whatever screen you are on, you will always have a Screen Menu down the left-hand side of the screen. Clicking a menu item will jump you to that bit of the system. Another useful tip is that right at the bottom of most screens you'll see Printer Friendly View. Click on this if you want to print a copy of the screen.

Have you logged in yet?
If YES then skip to YOU'RE IN! below.
If NO then you might like to start by just browsing through screens. See if you can find any listings of what people are offering. You might soon get bored because you haven't yet logged in so you are restricted from viewing any of the nitty-gritty of the system. Every time you try to get into somewhere a bit secret you will be dumped into the Login screen asking for a Member ID and a Password.

To get to a Login screen, select the [Login] item at the bottom of the Screen Menu.

  • Type your Member ID (AKA "Logon ID" or "Member No.") into the Member ID: box. The Member ID is usually a number, possibly with O's at the start to make it exactly 4 digits long.

  • Now type the password you have been sent in your Welcome Email, into the Password box.

  • Now press the [Login] button. - This should give you a screen welcoming you to Bristol Local Exchange Scheme, and it should know your name.

    YOU'RE IN!
    Now for interest's sake you can select the [What's on Offer] screen menu and see the difference. Before you could see some listings of offers, but the detail was held back. Now if you just press [Continue] you will see all the detail of the offerings on the system.

    The first things you ought to do are check your personal settings.

    Change your password
    Change your password to something you will be able to remember next time.

  • Select the [My Profile] screen menu.
  • Then select Change My Password at the top of the list.
  • Follow the instructions. Be careful, upper and lower case letters are not the same.
  • When happy press [Change Password] (or if you want to back out without saving before you've press the button you can just click on another screen).

    If ever you forget your password don't worry; if you go to the Login screen you have an option to reset your password.

    Check your Personal Details

  • Select the [My Profile]Then select Edit My Personal Information second down the list.

    Here you will see (and can change) your personal details. If you do change anything, don't forget to press the [Update] button before you leave the screen. There are some odd things to be pointed out.

    • Fields (boxes) that have an asterisk (*) by them must not be left blank.

    • Bristol-Bristol: You may see two address fields filled with "Bristol". This is because of the above rule, so that we cannot leave one of Town or City blank. Don't worry, if we ever use the data to send mail to you we will delete one of the Bristols.

    • Postcode: There is an bug in the Postcode field meaning that you have to enter it with an underscore instead of a space between the two parts (e.g. BS3_1LG) else it messes the listings.

    • Street Address: Please ensure your street address is correct and advise the administrator of any changes, for our back-up records. However, please note that this line remains invisible to other members, so when making appointments at home don't forget to give people your address.

    • Receiving email updates.... I suggest you leave this set to 'Weekly' for the time being. Emails are automatically sent out when people add new offers or wants. You may feel you get swamped if you set it to 'Daily' or you may miss an offered Event it you set it to Monthly. You can always change it in the future.

    • Confirming payments that are made to you... Why would you want to make it difficult for someone to pay you? I don't know. I'd leave it as it is.

    • About Me box. The About Me box is a space where you can say a little about yourself as general introductory background, in addition to what you would put under offers and wants. This may include something about your circumstances, and your enthusiasms, including a website - administrators will insert code to make the link live if appropriate.

    Enter your Offers and Wants by selecting the [My Profile] screen menu. Choose one of the options listed under the Offered Listings or Wanted Listings headings to add new, or to edit or delete old Offers and Wants.

    A note on Offer Charge Rates ... Ever since LETS started in Bristol the standard rate to charge per hour was set at 5 credits per hour. So 5 Ideals per hour is the Standard Rate for Bristol LETS, and many of us still stick to this rate. LETS credits are not Sterling!. But if you feel the need to charge a higher rate you are allowed, but do think about it. For help see the document 5 Ideals Standard Hourly Rate - Whats that about?. All we ask is that the rate is clearly stated and definitely agreed up front between both parties before a trade commences.

    In the Offer/Want update screens you have:

    • Title: Whatever is put in here will be highlighted at the front of the Description of your offer in an Offers /Wants Listing. To keep the listing neat, please have a Capital letter to start and the rest in lower case.

    • Category: Select which Offer Category you wish your Offer/Want to appear in. Members can choose to search for an offer they need by Category.

    • Rate: Have a look at some Offer listings if you can't make out what the instructions here are about.

    • Description:Please don't put any paragraphs or line breaks in the text here! It messes up the Listings.

    • Expires: You may set a date here for the Offer/Want to be automatically taken down.

    If you are an ex Southville or Ashley LETS member, it may help to have a listing of all the things you used to offer. I can send you this as a pdf, or email. Just ask me (.Admin).


    The rest of this document should guide you through the basic ins and outs of trading.

    Find a particular member in this list on [Members] screen. You can search in a variety of ways. Then if you click on their Member ID you will be taken directly to their profile. If they have an Email Address you can click on that to send an email, or you can see all sorts of other useful things.

    Select the [What's on Offer] screen. Here you can list all the Offers available, or using the drop-down menus you can choose to list one particular category and/or list only the more recently added offers. Or you can type something into the Keyword: box, to search for particular text. This can be any word or part word (eg cat or sweep or..). You can also type the first part of a postcode or someone's name.

    Select the [What's Wanted] screen. Here you can see all the services people are wanting. Again you can limit what's listed using the drop-down menus or you can type something into the Keyword: box, to search for particular text.

    This is the meat of the system! Select [Transactions] on the screen menu. There is lots you can do from here.

    Make a Payment or Send an Invoice
    Both Payments and Invoices are made from the same screen.
    Select Create a Payment or Invoice (Transaction) at the top of the list.

  • Transaction Type: To make a Payment leave this on 'Transfer'. To send an Invoice switch this to 'Invoice'.

  • To Member: The members are listed here in firstname order. You may search for a particular member in the box saying 'Member search' just to the right, but you can still only search from the start of the name. You are just going to have to be on first name terms!.

  • Category, # of ideals, Enter a Brief Description of the Transaction: These fields are fairly self explanatory.

  • [Submit]: Dont forget to push the submit button. If you have sent an invoice the member named will receive an email telling them of the fact and directing them to their 'Invoices and Transactions Pending' screen. If you have made a payment the payment will immediately go through (unless the member has set themselves to 'Confirm Payments' in which case they will be notified and will have to 'Accept' before the payment goes though.

    View Feedback.
    Once you have entered a payment you will normally be asked if you want to leave feedback, or if not immediately you can choose to leave it later (Leave Feedback for a Recent Transaction). This is a chance to praise or criticise. Please keep it constructive and gentle.

    View Balances and Transaction History.
    You can see your own current balance and see all your trades in View My Balance and Transaction History. Likewise you can see another member's balance and trades (View Another Member's Transaction History. The system is open and trusting. Be careful how you describe things if you feel you need to be private.

    So this is Goodbye for now. [Logout] and close down. When you want to get back in to the system type this address in your browser: www.BristolLETS.org.uk. That should take you to the front-page, which is (at the moment) a smiley, various bubbles and a slogan: "Got any Ideals? We've got loads!". Clicking on a bubble will take you to a different bit of the system. You choose!...

    Have fun trading! - Karaline
    .Admin(Bristol), 0784 6635626.

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