When you think about building an online form, what image comes to mind?
You might picture something like this:
These tend to be the most common uses for online forms. After all, your company needs customer data—so it's only natural that you'd create online forms to collect it. Feedback surveys, registration forms, donation forms, lead generation forms, and patient intake forms all serve this purpose, as do many other types of customer-facing forms.
But have you ever used online forms to increase productivity internally? If not, you’re missing out. Online forms can open your organization to a whole new world of workplace efficiency.
At Formstack, we’ve put a lot of energy into creating form templates and add-ons that save time, automate repetitive tasks, and increase collaboration.
The following step-by-step guide explains exactly what you need to do to take advantage of them.
Choose Your Form Templates
This first step is incredibly easy. Instead of starting from scratch, simply peruse our pre-built forms to find the ones that work best for your business.
The form-building experts at Formstack have created a library of more than 280 form templates based on best practices for various departments—human resources, IT, finance, marketing, fundraising, and event planning—and across numerous industries including healthcare, higher education, small businesses, agencies, nonprofits, and even government entities.
Our collection of form templates is always expanding to cover a wide range of job responsibilities and departments. So no matter what you need to do, there's bound to be a template you can use.
Use Forms to Improve Processes
After you’ve selected your templates, the real fun begins.
When people fill out your form, they see something like this:
You, on the other hand, see this:
Behind the scenes are all kinds of tools that can be used to turn your forms into productivity machines.
Want to have form submissions routed to different employees depending on who’s completing them? No problem. Need to capture and store signatures? You can do that, too.
If you can think it, there’s almost always a way to do it.
There are also several methods you can use to increase productivity and boost efficiency—ones you probably haven’t thought of yet.
Here are two of our favorites:
By using a form builder add-on to automate workflows, you can erase many of your most repetitive manual tasks. Customer service and human resources are two great examples of areas where workflow automation can be highly beneficial.
For example, consider the employee review that typically takes days or weeks to complete. With an automated workflow, it looks more like this:
- An employee submits a self-evaluation
- The evaluation is instantly sent to the manager for review
- As soon as the manager is done, it's automatically sent to human resources
- HR approves the recommended pay raise
- Payroll is automatically updated, and the salary increase is made official
- The employee receives an automated confirmation letter and a note of congratulations
Each step is completed in seconds, and the entire process is done within a day:
And that’s just one example of the numerous ways workflow automation tools can be used to quickly complete repetitive tasks. In fact, many organizations have come to rely on automated workflows so much that they now use workspaces dedicated specifically to managing the flow of information.
The more comfortable you get with form templates and form-building features, the more likely you are to lean on forms to get things done. However, there is a catch. The more forms you have, the more data there will be to manage. And that's when things can get a bit tricky: You ask employees or customers to fill out an online form, but end up devoting hours to sending follow up emails and tracking down stragglers.
This is where Formstack Portals come in.
This special feature allows you to organize all of your forms into a central hub where you can set deadlines and reminders, once again alleviating your workload:
There are so many ways to leverage customer-facing forms—from marketing and sales to customer support and event registrations—that it can be easy to overlook the most essential uses for your internal team. But once you start using online forms to boost efficiency in the workplace, you’ll wonder how you ever survived without them.
Interested in other workplace productivity tips and best practices? Grab your copy of our Workplace Productivity Report now to discover more ways to get work done more efficiently.