Field trips are an invaluable learning tool. But a positive learning experience takes significant planning and execution. One of the painful and expensive aspects is getting the necessary signatures from parents, collecting emergency information, medications and figuring out who can be chaperones.
This wastes paper, time & ultimately money. After getting the necessary approval from the principal/superintendent, teachers must hand out paper documents and forms to students (e.g. here’s Miami-Dade County’s packet of forms) and hope that students will take them home to parents, get them signed and bring them back. Of course, many students forget or they lose the form and teachers must follow up with students and parents.
Automating these parental permissions is easy with frevvo + Google Apps. It boils down to a few simple steps.
Create a folder in Google Drive and a spreadsheet with student info.
In the frevvo form, enter field trip details. frevvo will retrieve the list of students and automatically send an email to each parent with field trip details and a link to a permission form.
Click the link, review information, sign electronically and submit.
If you would like to chaperone, check the box and verify information.
The list of students and chaperones is in the spreadsheet. View it anytime!
frevvo will send reminders to parents who have not yet signed. No need to chase students down.
It’s fast, easy & affordable. Check out the infographic at right and if you like what you see, visit our web site or contact us for more information.
There’s no doubt that green schools save taxpayers money. But green buildings and iPads are expensive, multi-year efforts.
Reducing paper use is one of the quickest and most budget-friendly paths to a green school. Electronic textbooks and assignments are important but schools also use mountains of paper for simple, day-to-day activities like parental consent, field trip chaperone lists and various staff approvals (conference, leave etc.). For example, Miami-Dade County has 2350 (!!) active forms. The majority of these need to be signed and will end up being printed on paper and stashed in filing cabinets for years. And, they’re not alone! The California Integrated Waste Management Board estimates that 47% of school waste is paper.
With frevvo, replacing these paper/PDF forms and workflows with fully electronic versions is fast, easy and affordable. We’ve already built many of these and they’re super easy to customize to fit your unique needs. They can be signed electronically, routed to the proper person(s) and used on mobile. When completed, they can generate documents that can be saved to Google Drive or to a document management system.
The problem is that every organization still has those pesky enterprise workflows. The things we must do day in and day out – sign sales orders, approve purchase requisitions, refer patients, on-board employee and so on. Usually, this means printing, signing and scanning – a long, long way from running your business on your phone.
With frevvo, you can take a big step in this direction easily. Everything just works automatically on mobile. Check out the short video below.
Of course, your organization is unique so we’ve made it super easy to customize the forms and workflows to suit your needs. It’s all in the cloud and frevvo is affordable, pay-as-you-go with no long-term commitments.
Give it a shot to see how easy it is. You really could be running YOUR business on your smart phone sooner than you think.
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.
A purchase order workflow boils down to filling out a form (the PO) and getting it signed. Usually, that means filling out a Word document, saving it to PDF and e-mailing it to the customer. The customer then prints, signs, scans and e-mails it back. Then, it’s saved somewhere (filing cabinet, e-mail folder).
With frevvo + Google for Work, you can automate this process completely with ease. Check out the 90 second video below. Fill out the PO electronically and click a button. The customer gets an email, clicks it on any device, reviews the PO and signs right there. You’ll get the signed PO back by email and it’s uploaded to Google Drive. That’s it.
Google for Work is an awesome suite of apps that brings together essential services for your business. It’s amazingly cost effective, cloud-based and you can access it anywhere, anytime. Add frevvo web forms and workflows to the mix and there’s so much you can do. Check out the short 5 min video below to learn more.
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.
Google Forms is a great free option for the simplest forms. But, business forms very quickly go beyond the basics and frevvo is a powerful and affordable option. So, why should you pay for forms? Here are a few real-world reasons. Click this link if you prefer to watch a 5m video.
Confirmation email: You’ve put up an event registration form and you’re collecting responses in a Google Spreadsheet. Obviously, you want to send a confirmation email. With Google forms, get ready to write code. With frevvo, it’s a few clicks in a wizard.
Signatures: It’s one of the most common things you might do. From Emergency Contact forms for students to Purchase Requisitions to Employee On-boarding to Patient Information, everyone needs to collect a signature. With frevvo, sign using your finger on a touchscreen device or a mouse on the desktop. No need for wasteful printing and scanning. Try an example now.
PDF Generation: Sometimes you just have to generate a specific PDF. Maybe a Government W-4 or I-9 for HR or a Permission form that needs to be filed away. Another thing that frevvo just does without a fuss. Try an example now.
Workflow: Forms rarely live by themselves. Most business forms have an associated workflow where person 1 fills out the forms and others comment, review, and sign them. frevvo comes with built-in routing, notifications, task lists, audit trails and more. Watch this 3m video to learn more.
Responsive, mobile forms: Need to support smart phones and tablets? Of course, you do. With frevvo, there’s nothing to do. Our forms and workflows just work automatically and naturally on all devices. Watch this 4 min video, check out these blog articles or try any of the examples in this article.
Attachments: Expense reports, purchase orders, student applications you name it – users need to attach supporting documents all the time. Just drag in an Upload control and it just works with frevvo. On a mobile device, users can just take a photo with the camera and attach it. Another thing you simply can’t do with Google Forms. Try an example now.
Save documents to Google Drive: Ok, your form or workflow is now generating some documents – a PDF or two, some attachments. What to do with them? Email, print and file them away? frevvo integrates with Google Drive so you can simply save your documents online so they’re easy to find, backed up and secure. Try an example here.
Dynamic pick lists from a Google Spreadsheet: Do you have dynamic forms? For example, the user picks a value from a pick list and the form needs to do something – maybe populate a few other fields from some back end. With frevvo, you can pull this dynamic information from a Google Spreadsheet no less. Try an example here. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. frevvo forms are incredibly dynamic and sophisticated – database, REST services, XML/XSD it’s all built-in.
Multiple languages: Unprecedented demographic shifts in the U.S. are creating a communications gap between organizations and their customers. frevvo can help you combat these language barriers. Provide access in multiple languages (frevvo works in all languages worldwide) so they can provide important information easily and accurately. When complete, the system can generate PDF confirmations in multiple languages. Try an example here: Spanish version and English version.
Calculations: frevvo forms can perform sophisticated calculations including using cloud services. Try this example that does automatic mileage calculations using the Google Distance Matrix API. Subtotals and totals, tax calculations etc. – it’s a normal requirement for business forms and trivial to do with frevvo.
Bonus Reason – LOOKS: Let’s face it. Good looks matter. The nicer your forms look and the better the user experience, the more likely it is that users will complete your forms and do so accurately. frevvo looks fantastic everywhere, strives for a people-first user experience, is easy to brand and customize and provides a world-class user experience.
There’s a lot more like an intuitive drag & drop Form Builder, Conditional Sections, Spaces (built-in portals), Geo-Location, sophisticated XML/XSD-based integration, powerful API for embedding, Database connectivity, LDAP support and on and on and on …
You can include sophisticated layouts, signatures, PDF, calculations etc.
Create your Google spreadsheet.
Run the Google Spreadsheets wizard to connect the form/flow to the spreadsheet.
Check out this short 5-question quiz. It has 3 pages, has several types of questions – free text, multiple choice with one/more correct answers, an image, and a video-based question. The quiz cannot be submitted unless all answers are completed. When you Finish the quiz, your answers are saved to this Google Spreadsheet and the spreadsheet is displayed. Try it out for yourself by clicking the image or this link. Try it on your mobile device.
There are many powerful things you can do with frevvo + Google Apps. Click the Google Apps category above for more articles and examples or contact us to learn how you can automate your approval workflows and integrate with Google Apps to manage your documents and reports.
Google Apps includes Sheets, using which you can create powerful online spreadsheets. frevvo forms and flows integrate with Sheets so you can save submissions to a spreadsheet. But that’s not all – Sheets includes some sophisticated capabilities including charts, queries, filters etc. and you can leverage these for powerful data analysis on your submission data.
We’ve created a simple example. Click the image or this link. You’ll see a simple frevvo form with a few fields. Fill it in (all fields are required) and click Submit. The form adds your submission data to a Sheet and shows it. You’ll see your submission in the last row.
But, the spreadsheet also contains two other worksheets (the Tabs at the bottom). The first one (Geo Location) runs a query on the raw submission data and groups submissions by country. The Sheets Query language is very general and allows SQL-like queries. For example, the table in the Geo Location worksheet is generated using =QUERY(Results!A2:E2012, “select C, count(B) where E > 0 group by C”). Now that we have the data by country in a nice tabular format, we can generate a nice chart that plots submissions by country on a world map.
The second one (Pie Chart) runs a similar query except that it sums pledge amounts by country and by position. Once again, we have the required data in a table and can generate pie charts to report on the data.
In this way, you can use frevvo’s Google Connector and Sheets to create advanced reports, charts and analytics based on your form submissions. There’s a lot more you can do and we’ll be creating more examples over time.
Does your organization use Google Apps? Contact us to learn how you can automate your approval workflows and integrate with Google Apps to manage your documents and reports.