Using frevvo’s drag & drop Form Designer to design beautiful, usable forms is definitely intuitive. Still, it’s a powerful and extraordinarily capable product. We’ve recently put together this 26 minute Tutorial video that teaches you how to design even the most complex forms in frevvo in a step-by-step manner. Sign up for a free 30-day trial account and try the Form Designer today.
Contact us if you’d like to learn more about digitizing your own approvals with frevvo.
Schools are drowning in paper. Student work, parent communications and staff communications all involve paper, copying and scanning. For most schools, going paperless means 1:1 education, e-textbooks and electronic assignments. It’s a fantastic goal and deserves all the attention it gets. But, it’s expensive & takes time – how to pay for $500 gadgets for each student?
What about the other aspects of how schools operate? Parent & staff communications use an amazing amount of paper:
Consent forms for athletics, directory listing, emergency contact etc. (Miami-Dade County, Los Angeles USD). Typically, these require a parent/guardian to sign the form.
Travel reimbursement, field trip approval etc. (e.g. see New Haven USD, Cabrillo USD). Typically, these are routed to a supervisor for approval i.e. to sign the form.
This is low-hanging fruit ripe for automation. For most schools, frevvo already has pre-built forms and workflows that can be customized in next to no time and deployed online. They can all be signed online, routed to the proper person electronically, used on mobile devices, delivered in multiple languages, generate PDFs, work with Google Apps for Education and a whole host of advanced capabilities. Here are just a few examples and you can find many more on our web site.
The paperless school is an eco-friendly, productivity boosting goal. frevvo can help you get there in a budget-friendly way. Try it free or give us a shout for more information.
It’s that time of year yet again. We got the usual packet of paper forms from Guilford Public Schools with a bunch of stuff to fill out. Emergency Contact, Permission forms etc. etc. I have to write my kid’s name, parent name, date, signature again and again. The Emergency Contact form even has a box that says “check if there are changes” but even if there aren’t any, you have to write it all out again. One of our friends has 4 kids in the school system. It’s silly and aggravating and a waste of time.
One of the most incongruous is the Permission form for Google Apps for Education. Here we are promoting these cool, digital apps for our kids to use yet we have to resort to paper for the permission signature, trust that the kids will hand them in, and store them somewhere. So, I decided to see how quickly I could make the whole thing electronic.
Here’s the form itself or click the image. It took about 30 min to create – mostly in copying/pasting and formatting the text. (I used a different one from the web rather than our Guilford schools form since ours is physical paper and I couldn’t even copy/paste.)
You can open it on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
There are links to the appropriate Federal laws in case you want to read more.
Sign electronically and Submit.
As a parent, it’s nice to get a copy by email for my records.
Why file paper? After all you’re using Google Apps. When you submit, the PDF will be uploaded to Google Drive, where it’s safely stored, backed up, and accessible anytime.
It was trivial to do with frevvo and the whole thing is incredibly affordable – definitely costs far less than the price of paper, ink, filing and mailing. You don’t have to worry about kids not bringing the forms in or storing it somewhere. With frevvo, you can also combine multiple permission forms into a sequence so duplicate information (student name, parent name etc.) only has to be filled in once. More on that another time.
One of the most common things we have heard from our customers is the need for a data-entry Grid /Table. It’s possible to create this today using a repeat control and some fancy layouts but it’s cumbersome. We’ve been working on that and it’s close to complete.
Using it is simple: there’s a new control in the palette called Table. Drag and drop a Table into your form. By default, it has three columns. You can edit the table name, column names, drag and drop new controls from the palette, and set the widths of the columns. You can control the min/max number of rows in the table – Add/Remove icons will automatically appear to the left. You can also use business rules as usual for computed values, enabling/disabling fields, showing/hiding fields etc.
The image below shows an Expense Report created using the Table. Users pick the date and specify their expenses by category with a description. Additional rows can be easily added by clicking the + button. The form contains rules to compute the mileage expense based on the miles traveled and the Total expenses. In this example, the Table is placed in a Section which the user can digitally sign and lock so that it cannot be modified.
The Table control can also be used for static grids where the number of rows is fixed. The image below shows a time sheet with one row for each day of the week. Obviously, the user cannot add more rows or remove existing rows but simply fills in data into the grid according to the number of hours worked in a given week.
The Table control provides an easy way for customers to create data-entry grids that are common in forms. As with all frevvo controls, it is fully internationalized and supports input in all languages worldwide including right-to-left languages such as Hebrew and Arabic.
Development on the Table is almost complete and we expect to release it soon.
Customers are always prioritizing where to put scarce investment capital. Should we invest in that new CRM system or should we create a new online portal or some other project. Most CIOs and IT department personnel are swamped with work and, therefore, tend to focus on the big stuff.
But … there’s a lot of money in the small stuff. We’ve been discovering this at many of our customers. For example, a major US University bought Live Forms for automating their student admissions process. Obviously, it’s a mission-critical thing for Universities – they had better be good at admitting students – and it’s a project slated to take many months.
Within 2 weeks of deploying Live Forms, one of their Departments wanted to create monthly surveys to collect student feedback. Now, normally this would mean either a paper-based survey or a programmer putting together each survey and providing a report of the results. They suddenly realized that they now had a new option. They created an account for the Department managers on the Live Forms server and pointed them to the tutorials. Within days, they were creating their own survey forms and exporting the results to Excel. It took less than five minutes of an expensive developer’s time. Less than a month after deploying Live Forms, they were already getting positive ROI from a simple application that they hadn’t even considered before.
It’s just one example out of many where customers are rapidly finding uses for frevvo and benefiting in days rather than months. Interested? Check out http://www.frevvo.com where you will find short videos demonstrating Live Forms or Contact Us for more details.
In the previous blog post, I discussed a Leave Approval workflow that works with Google Apps. For our ImageSilo/PVE customers, it’s just as easy to connect the workflow to that document management system. Live Forms comes with easy wizards to connect forms and workflows to ImageSilo/PVE.
Our customers have been creating all kinds of interesting workflows and we’ve added new features to Live Forms to handle several of the scenarios we’ve seen. A common example is a Leave Approval (Vacation Request) workflow that goes from employee to her specific manager and then on to HR for approval. Every organization irrespective of size has to deal with Leave Approvals and, by and large, it’s a paper- or email-based process that is slow, costly and inefficient.
With Live Forms, you can easily automate this workflow. You can deploy it online, for example, in Confluence and you can save the results in your HR system, document management system or even online to Google Apps.
It’s very easy to do with Live Forms. Check out this 4 min video:
frevvo Live Forms supports direct connectivity with Digitech Systems’ PaperVision and ImageSilo document management products. The PaperVision Connector allows you to save form or workflow submissions to the document management repository as PDF, TIFF, JPG and GIF format.
If you’d like to try it out, check out this Step-by-Step Tutorial. It walks you through the drop-dead simple process of creating powerful e-forms that work with ImageSilo or PVE. You could have your first form done in as little as 15 min.
If you prefer a really quick introduction, check out the 3 min video from this earlier post.
Using Panels, you can easily create multi-column layouts with controls next to each other.
Sections allow you to create collapsible groupings of controls and place logically-related controls together.
Tabs are a great way to fit large forms into limited real estate.
Repeat controls are extremely powerful and can be used to create repeating individual controls (nick name, phone …) or repeating sections (address, incident …). frevvo will manage min and max occurrences automatically and ensure that invalid forms cannot be submitted.
This short (5 min) video introduces you to using these grouping controls for form layout.
There are many other cool things you can do with frevvo forms but that’s for another article and another video.