How mobile forms keep an outdoor adventure group in the loop

Mina Okpi may not have discovered the great outdoors until she was in college, but she considers the adventures she’s taken since then to be some of her favorite memories.

Shortly after Okpi was diagnosed with cancer in 2015, the former electrical engineer decided to embark on a camping trip that she felt was pivotal to her healing process.

But as she set up camp and lounged on the beach nearby, Okpi noticed something that was all too familiar but no less disheartening: She was the only black person there.

“It really broke my heart,” Okpi said in a 2018 Facebook Live interview with Sarah Williams, who hosts the popular Tough Girl Podcast.

“I think it was just a culmination of noticing that throughout my life, but for some reason, this time made me want to change that,” she said.

Once she returned home from that trip, Okpi began rolling out plans to create a group for fellow nature lovers of color in New York City. Her group, Black Outdoor Adventurers, now includes more than 2,300 members and hosts regular outdoor adventures throughout the year, from day trips to nearby ski resorts to bike rides in Central Park.

“In a sea of 100 outdoor and adventure enthusiasts, 5 percent might be black or of color, if we’re lucky,” Okpi wrote on the Black Outdoor Adventurers website.

“You know it’s a lonely experience. There have to be folks like me out there who are turned on by the scent of an open fire and transported by breathing deeply outdoors,” she said.

Okpi, the community manager at Black Outdoor Adventurers, has used JotForm since 2017 to collect liability waivers from new members before an event, along with pre- or post-event surveys to gather feedback from attendees.

“When I found JotForm, it just turned out to be more flexible and a better solution for us,” Okpi said in a JotForm interview.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

  • Collect information easily — even without Wi-Fi
  • Since many events organized by Black Outdoor Adventurers occur outdoors, Okpi makes it a point to have new members read and sign liability forms before they participate in any event.

    Direct links to the liability forms are shared on the organization’s events page and in an event confirmation email with a reminder to submit the required information.

    The problem, however, is that only about half of all new participants fill out and submit the liability waivers before showing up for a Black Outdoor Adventurers event.

    Since each participant must sign a liability waiver before taking part in any activity, those who have not filled out the form must do so at the event site or on the way to it, where internet access is spotty at best.

    You can use JotForm Mobile Forms on a mobile device to open, fill out, and submit any form in your account even when you can’t find a cell signal or Wi-Fi connection. You don’t have to worry about losing that data, since any submitted information is transmitted to your JotForm account automatically once you’re reconnected to the internet.

    With JotForm’s new mobile app, there are no limits to where you can access, view, and collect information in your account. That means you no longer have to search for an internet connection.

    “When we’re going for a hike, sometimes we have to check with people on-site and see if they’ve turned in the liability waiver,” Okpi said.

    “If they haven’t filled out the form beforehand, we can use the mobile app to send a text message with a link to the form, or I can ask them to fill out the form quickly on my phone or tablet,” she said.

    Photo by Angelo Moleele on Unsplash

  • Sort forms and submissions effortlessly
  • Before switching to JotForm, Okpi would print out her organization’s liability waivers and have new members sign the paper forms on the way to an event.

    “It was just unwieldy — there was no digital copy so it wasn’t the best solution,” Okpi said.

    This paper-driven process also made it difficult for Okpi to recall which members had signed a  liability waiver at past events and didn’t need to fill out the form again.

    After she started using JotForm, Okpi sent submission data in her account to a Google Sheet so she could access the data on her phone, sort through it, and determine which members needed to fill out a liability waiver.

    JotForm Mobile Forms makes it even easier to organize and search through your forms or submissions while you’re out and about. The new mobile app allows you to search for individual forms or submissions based on keywords or phrases, such as name, address, and title. You can even sort search results by alphabetical order.

    The best part is that you can use this sorting feature in the JotForm Mobile Forms app even when you can’t find a phone signal or Wi-Fi connection.

    “We used to have everyone sign a form at each event, but now we can look in the system and say, ‘OK, this person already signed one,’ ” Okpi said.

    “We may need to update information every so often, but we don’t have to collect a new form every time we hold an event,” she said.

    Photo by Richard Cordones on Unsplash

    Conclusion

    There was a time when online forms required a stable Wi-Fi connection so you could access, view, and collect information seamlessly.

    But not all jobs — or work, for that matter — happens in places where there’s easy access to the internet or good cell phone reception.

    Why should your JotForm forms be any different?

    The offline capabilities in JotForm Mobile Forms allow you to get work done anywhere and on your terms. That means you don’t need an internet connection to collect information with JotForm, much less access, view, and sort the forms or submissions in your account.

    You do, however, need the mobile app, so download it today and see how JotForm is reimagining mobile forms.

    Darin is a content writer at JotForm. He is passionate about disrupting perceptions, solving problems, and helping people be more productive with the easiest online form builder. Outside of the office, he is a rush-hour straphanger, adventure seeker, coffee drinker, and frequent traveler. You can contact Darin through his contact form.

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