Simplifying and optimizing data entry is as simple as adding Calculations to your Form fields. Click here for three Calculations you can implement today.
Is your data still stuck on static PDF files and you are wondering how to get started using a mobile forms system instead? GoFormz can help. With GoFormz you just upload an existing PDF file and transform it into a ‘smart’ mobile form. Seems too easy to be true? Read how here.
One of the first questions people ask when beginning the process of replacing their paper forms with mobile forms is, 'what's the best way to create awesome mobile versions of my forms?' Below are some key questions to consider asking yourself, and our answers based on best practices that we have compiled over the years:
How important is preserving your existing layout?
Many businesses have been using the same paper forms for years if not decades. Their service team/technicians - the people filling the forms out - are use to the traditional look and feel. It’s a familiar dailey tool. Making them use a whole new layout may unessarily disrupt their daily tasks (causing a negative impact) and may lead to costly training on a new format. It may even break existing dependencies and workflows that are hard to identify.
What new types of data do you want to capture?
Because Mobile forms are filled out on tablet devices like iPads, you can now easily include new data types like GPS, maps, date/time and camera images. These new types of data can provide a whole new level of information in your forms. Consider which ones you might want to augment your forms with.
What are your considerations for Cloud Storage?
When you use mobile forms, you can leverage storing your forms and form data in the cloud. You can easily retrieve and run reports on them. You should consider naming conventions, tagging and other standard user permissions that best fit your needs.
What workflows should you set up?
Mobile forms provides endless opportunities to automate workflows. For example, you can now instantly submit completed forms for review/processing (instead of having to manually turn in a form). You can also automate emailing copies of a form to your customer or managers. Mobile Form Platforms also allows you to sync your data with other systems like Salesforce and Box. Consider which workflows you can optimize with Mobile Forms.
What calculations and conditional logic should you implement?
Now that you can automate calculations in mobile forms, you don’t have to do the math anymore. When setting up a mobile form, be sure to embed formulas for automating your totals, scores, and percentages. With conditional logic, based on what is entered in one field, the mobile form can populate multiple fields with appropriate corresponding values. (For example, enter a company name and the form populates address, phone, and email.) You can also enforce business rules by making fields conditionally required or even hidden based on values entered in specific fields.
Your mobile forms can automatically do math for you. Automating your calculations saves you lots of time and provides you with accurate numbers. Many of the formulas used by GoFormz users are quite simple and easy to add to your mobile forms. Here are three easy-to-master formulas that you can implement in your forms today.
1. Simple Arithmetic
Basic arithmetic (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) can very easily be included in fields on your mobile forms. In your Form Template in the Template Editor, select the field you want to add a calculation to and enter your formula into the Default Value setting in the Field Properties table. Here’s some very basic examples to show you how simple the syntax is:
Addition: =5+5 will automatically calculate 10 when the form is created
Subtraction: =10-5 will automatically calculate 5 when the form is created
Multiplication: =5*5 will automatically calculate 25 when the form is created
Division: =10/5 will automatically calculate 2 when the form is created
2. Formulas That Use Fields (& Tables) on Your Form
Ok, so the formulas above are nice and easy, but it’s rare that you want just a single value across all of your forms (and really, why have a formula that always adds 5+5, when the answer is always 10??). What you really want to know how to do is to have a field perform calculations based on what’s in other fields on your form. For example, say you are filling out a Job Proposal form and are estimating the cost for Material & Parts:
Most likely you will be using a table like the one above. Quantity represents how many materials or parts you need and Price is the cost per unit. Here’s how to calculate the Total for each line item and then a grand total.
Select the table in the Template Editor and open up the Table Columns Menu by double clicking on the Columns box located in the Field Properties:
The menu will open and will look like this:
Click on the Total column (or whatever is the column you wish to have the calculation performed for) to open that specific column’s Properties.
To specify the calculation for your first row’s total, you type this formula into the Default Value 1 box:
● =* which specifies: multiply the value in column 2 row 1 with the value in column 3 row 1
● The [ ] are used to reference the values found within the table
Repeat this for each subsequent cell you wish to add a Total formula to. For example, for the second Total box, you would type
● =* which specifies: multiply the value in column 2 row 2 with the value in column 3 row 2
For the third Total box, the formula would be:
● =* (multiply the value in column 2 row 3 with the value in column 3 row 3)
And so on.
Now that you know how to create formulas for Totals for each row, this is how you set your form to automatically calculate the Grand Total. Create a new Number field (separate from the table) where the Grand Total will go. In this case, that field is named Sum M&P:
Select this field and in the Field Properties panel, type the following for the Default Value setting:
o =SUM() will sum what is contained inside the parenthesis
o [L&S]! references the table, using the syntax of [TableName]! where the name of the table is what is inside the brackets (our table is called L&S).
o : references the range in a table column to add together. In other words, adds the values in column 4 row 1 through column 4 row 4.
3. Rounding Formula
Now that you know how to calculate your numbers, here’s how to round them in order to have cleaner numbers (this is especially useful when dealing with currency). This is a simple add-on to what you have already created. Wherever your current formula is located, you will just add:
● =ROUND((Current Formula), 2)
o =ROUND() will perform the rounding function
o The , 2 represents the number of decimal places you want to round to (in our case, we are rounding to two decimal places)
● So if you wanted to round the totals from the previous formula related to Material & Parts to two decimal places, you would type it out like this:
o =ROUND(SUM([L&S]!:), 2)
Add these formulas to your forms today and start saving time and consistently generating accurate totals!
Calculated Fields are one of our most popular mobile forms features. These fields save you lots of time that would otherwise be spent on manually performing calculations. Calculated Fields also provide accurate results and help you avoid the simple errors that occur with pen & paper calculations. These self-calculating form fields can be used in any form that requires numeric totalling such as employee timesheets, job proposals, work orders, etc.
A calculated field is essentially a way to define formulas in a field. Whether it’s addition or multiplication, calculated fields automatically do the math for you. You can reference other fields in your form as values in the equation. For example, you can define a Total field as a calculated field that multiplies the Quantity field value by the value in the Rate field. So the Total field will self-calculate a value of: Quantity x Rate = Total.
Calculated Fields are easy to set up in your forms. For more information, please be sure to check out our ProTip on how to add calculations and totals to your form.
Use Case: The Expense Report
Expense reports help employees track, total, and submit expense reimbursements for business related activities such as for trips, meetings and supplies. The form also captures other important details such as purpose and description of items purchased, as well as receipts.
Expense reports may look simple, but they can quickly become complex when it comes to actually filling one out. Current paper processes require employees to attach itemized receipts as proof of purchase. This means there is a lot of paper that needs to be saved, itemized and submitted with a single expense form. When conducting several transactions a day, tracking all of the receipts can become burdensome. Collating and totaling each expense manually can be tedious and error-prone.
By using a mobile form with pre-set Calculated Fields, the employee doesn’t have to worry about doing the math. Simply type in the description of the expense with its associated expense cost, and the fields automatically calculate the totals. For greater detail, the form can include expense categories with their own sub-totals. As the employee continues to add entries throughout the duration of a trip, the form’s grand total will automatically be updated.
Implementing image fields into the form makes it easy for the employee to submit copies of receipts - simply snap photos of receipts with the mobile device’s camera and include them in the mobile form. This removes the burden of keeping track of all of the small pieces of paper and processing them for submission.
By tapping [Complete], the expense report is automatically sent to the appropriate supervisor for review, making the submission process fast, easy and direct.
A work order form is used to gather important customer information, project details, and associated costs for labor, services and materials required to complete a job. Utilizing the mobile version of a work order form will increase the speed at which these forms are completed and provide you other benefits.
Mobile Work Order Features:
- QuickFill Lookups: Use these fields to include pick lists of recurring form values used by your team such as a list of clients or jobsite materials.
- Signature Field: Capture electronic signatures onsite for instant approval or authorization.
- Auto-email Workflow: Setup your work order form to instantly email copies to appropriate personnel like your front office and another copy to your client.
- Text Fields: Instead of deciphering your teammates' hand writing, use text fields on your form for job descriptions and other details.
- Automatic Calculations: Never rely on pen and paper calculations again. Use these fields to automatically calculate your totals and ensure accurate number every time.
Use a mobile work order form and start your next project with peace of mind.
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