It’s probably not much of a reach to say that data entry doesn’t top anyone’s list of most exciting work activities. However, it is a necessary to-do when using a work management solution like SmartSuite successfully. Fortunately, we can alleviate the burden of creating dozens of new Records by allowing clients or team members to enter information directly into a database using SmartSuite Forms.
In today’s video, ProcessDriven CEO Layla Pomper shows us how to create and edit Forms inside SmartSuite, reviews some key features to make work life a little easier, and offers tips to get the best possible data from clients.
If you don’t have a SmartSuite account, you can create one for free using our affiliate link here. This allows you to try out some fantastic SmartSuite features and follow along with our ProcessDriven tutorials that you can find on our YouTube channel.
Save Time on Data Entry with Sharable Forms
To follow along with Layla, we’re going to create a new Solution using a Template.
From the main SmartSuite workspace:
- Click Add New Solution > Start with Template.
- Search for the Agency Marketing Showcase Template in the Search bar.
- Select Use Template to apply it to your Solution.
- Pick the fourth App named Work Requests.
- Look for the Work Requests by Company drop-down menu in the upper left corner.
- Choose the Work Request Form listed under Public Views.
This is the example form that Layla uses in the video.
Whenever a new work request is submitted using the Form, it creates a new Record inside our Work Requests database.
Create Custom Forms from Scratch
Now, you could simply customize the existing Form by adding, removing, or editing each Field. But for practice, let’s create a new Work Request Form (timestamp 01:45).
Return to the Form Views, click the plus sign (+) next to Public Views, and select Form from the menu. This will give you a nice clean slate to work with.
The Create New Form View window will open so you can add a name and set your form permissions to Public or Private.
Click Create View, and our new default Form is ready to customize!
You can start personalizing the Form for your company brand by swapping out the SmartSuite logo for your own.
You’ll see there isn’t much to the default form besides a title and Submit button.
Based on our initial Template selection, you’ll see a list of suggested Fields on the left sidebar, which you can drag and drop in any order you choose. You can also drag these Fields around the Form page to reorganize them. Easy-peasy!
Pro Tip: If you’d like to add a Field that isn’t listed, choose Add a Field to this App and select one of the many available options.
Customize the Field titles so that the information you’re asking for is clear. You can phrase these as questions or provide help text descriptions to let them know what’s expected (or valuable) for each section.
Click the Required toggle for Fields that must be completed before submission.
Pro Tip: When using Priority Fields, it’s a good idea to establish a shared definition of what “high priority” and “low priority” means. Check out Layla’s tips for effectively using the Priority Field (timestamp 05:50).
You can also customize the Submit button if you want to make it a little more interesting, like:
“Let’s Do It!”
“Make It So, Captain!”
“Ready to Launch!”
Update the Submit Settings
Moving over to the Settings tab, we can determine what happens after our team members or clients hit Submit. We want to let them know the Form has been successfully submitted and what happens next. You can do this in two ways:
- Display a Message – create a set message that is displayed upon Form submission.
- Redirect to URL – send the client to a web page.
Test and Share Your New Form
Now that you’ve created your custom Form, it’s time to share it with your team or clients. First, let’s test it out to make sure it works!
Click Preview in New Tab (timestamp 09:25) to open the Form as if you’re a client, fill it out, and submit it.
To confirm that the new Record was created successfully, go to the App View > Work Requests by Company. When you open the new Record, you should see your submitted information. If everything looks good, it’s time to share it with the client!
To do this, you can send them a shareable link or embed the code into a web page.
Pro Tip: If you want to get a little fancier and provide clients with some options, you can add a linked Record drop-down menu (timestamp 10:30). For example, if you’re a graphic designer creating a client intake form, you might have the client select one or more project types, such as a logo, website, product packaging, etc.
One of the beautiful things about SmartSuite is that once you know the basic procedures for using and customizing Templates, you can apply them to any new Solution, App, or Form. Some forms you may want to create for your business could include:
- Customer feedback.
- Client intake.
- Informed consent.
- Custom surveys.
Are you looking for more ways to systemize your business and improve your workflows? Join us at the ProcessDriven YouTube channel for more free SmartSuite tutorials as well as work management tips and tricks. Do you have questions about using Forms in SmartSuite? Leave us a comment on the video!
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