How to set up a Formotus workflow using Google Sheets

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Google workflows allow your users to collaborate on a job while pushing and pulling data from a Google Sheet.  Until the job is finished, it will be available for your users to update and the Formotus workflow form will automatically update your Google Sheet each time the mobile users submits it back to the Google Sheet. 

 

FORMOTUS WORKFLOWS

To set up a Formotus workflow, you will create 2 versions of the Formotus workflow form based on the same form template.  One version of the form (job assignment version) will be used to create and assign jobs to mobile users of the second version (mobile users' version) of the Formotus workflow form.  A manager or someone in the back office will open the job assignment version of the form on their desktop or any iOS, Android or Windows 10 device to assign jobs to mobile users.  When the mobile users open the Formotus software on their device they will see the list of jobs that have been assigned to them.  The mobile user selects a job from the list and pulls that job off of the server onto their device.  The job is "checked out" so no one else can work on it.  When the user completes the job, they submit it back to the server where the data will appear in your Google Sheet.

Best practice:  Before beginning to create your Formotus workflow form, set up a Google Folder and Google Sheet within your Google Drive.

Step 1. Create your Formotus form – Create a form with the Formotus form creator and add a data connector so that it submits to Google Sheets.  Below is the Formotus Google submit wizard.  Below the graphic is a list of the information you need to fill into the wizard.

 

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Name: This is the name of the data connector, for example, 'Inspection Form Google Submit'

Folder URL:  Copy and paste your Google Folder URL here.  Be sure to get the shareable link, and choose 'can edit' instead of 'can view'.  Also, make sure the folder/sheet are set to share.  You will want to share this sheet with any mobile user that will have the Google workflow form deployed to them.

Authenticate:  Select the Authenticate button.  This will prompt you for your Google credentials if you are not already signed in.  You must also allow pop-ups for this authentication to work.

Spreadsheet:  Once your Google account is authenticated, you can select the spreadsheet you want to submit to in the dropdown menu.

Sheet Name:  This will likely be 'Sheet1', but If you have multiple Google Sheets, you can select which Google Sheet you'd like to submit to.  Remember the Google Sheet name is not the title of the Google Sheet, it is the name of the tab at the bottom of the Google Sheet that you want to submit to.

File Name:  You can leave this default, but feel free to rename the file name to whatever you like.  This will be the name of the submitted instances in your Google Sheet.

Use this destination to submit from device menu:  This checkbox option is helpful if you don't have a submit button in your form, or if you want to give your users another way to submit.  This allows your users to submit the form by selecting the menu button rather than a submit button. Best practice, however, is to have a submit button.

What happens to the form after submit:  If you selected the 'Use this destination to submit from device menu' checkbox above, you have the option to choose what you'd like to happen when submitting.  You have three options after submitting: Close, Keep Open, or Open New (blank draft).

Select fields to promote in the sheet (optional): To make your form more organized, it is recommended to rename your field names before promoting them to make your data more clear.  By default, a field name example would be 'textbox1', but you may want to rename it to something that matches the control's label.  The field names will show up in your Google Sheet as column names.  To change field names, find the Fields tab in the right panel of the screen.  Select one of the fields to see the Properties option where you can change the Field Name.

Step 2. Create the mobile user version of your Formotus workflow form – Once your Formotus workflow form is created, go to the Forms page in the Formotus portal.  Click the checkbox to select the Formotus workflow form.  You will notice options will appear in the right panel of the screen.  Select the +Workflow button.

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The wizard will ask you to create a name for your Formotus workflow form.  This version of the Formotus form will be deployed to your mobile users/field workers will see on their devices, so the name should descriptive (e.g. Mobile Inspection).  After giving the form a name, authenticate using your credentials if you're not already logged in, and select CREATE WORKFLOW.

 workflow2.2.png

Step 3. Configure your workflow form – On the page shown, you can customize your workflow form to your specifications.

You don't need to fill out every filter on this page, but it is recommended to at least Filter by job status for workflows.  One example of this would be to add a checkbox in your form and label it 'Job Completed'.  As long as the checkbox isn't checked, the job will be available for field workers to grab and enter data.  If the job is finished, the field worker can select this checkbox before submitting to tell the back office the job is done.  Also, the job will disappear from the list of available waiting jobs so they can move on to the next job.

Step 4. Deploy your form – When finished creating your workflow, select SAVE SETTINGS at the bottom of the workflow configuration page.  You will be prompted to deploy your form, it is suggested to do this to view the form on your device.

Step 5. Deploy your Formotus workflow form – On the  Forms page in the Formotus portal your Formotus workflow form will have the green workflow icon next to the form name.  The workflow version of your Formotus forms (green icon) is the form that you will deploy to your mobile users.l see.

To assign a job to a mobile user, you will deploy the workflow job assignment form (Inspection Form/blue icon) to your device or anyone who will assign jobs.   Open the form on your device, create a job, assign it to a mobile user and submit.  The jobs that you assign to mobile users will show up in the Formotus forms list on your mobile users' devices.  The mobile user will "grab" the job which checks it out and loads the form with the job assignment onto their device.  Once a job is checked out, the mobile user's username appears in the Google Sheet listing who is working on the job.  While checked out, no one else can work on the job.

(Job deployed to mobile user's device)

           One Job Waiting                       View Available job                  Grabbed & Checked Out

    

Below is an example of data submitted to a Google Sheet.  The promoted fields transfer to the sheet with data filled out by mobile users.  Note that Google Sheets shows that the job on the bottom of the list is checked out by 'user@example.com'.

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The submitted data can be used to create reports, graphs or charts in your Google Sheet.

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