How to use online forms to increase productivity

In offices around the world, a lot of time is sunk into unproductive, ineffective, and unrewarding tasks that can be easily automated with online forms. It’s an all too common occurrence – an entire morning can be sucked down a black hole of responding to emails, going back and forth, without actual work getting done. Stop the endless string of emails and inadequate workflows in their tracks by incorporating forms into tasks like HR requests, customer contracts, project proposals, and more.

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Online proposal form

There are better ways to weed out unproductive meetings than setting up a time to discuss a proposal, and finding out during a meeting that it is not a good fit. Set up a proposal intake form on your website (instead of having them contact you through a contact form or email) requiring them to state what sort of partnership they’re proposing. This will help you avoid sales emails, calls, and meetings that your company doesn’t need and to focus on spending your time on high-value and worthwhile partnerships.

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Reimbursement requests

Cut out the back and forth emails, reminders, and notes on your calendar to “check in.” Create a reimbursement request form where employees can enter their information, a photo of a receipt, etc. This can be integrated with a business tool of your choosing such as Box or Dropbox. You can set a designated day where you can look at the information collected, and approve or deny them. Streamlining this process makes sure that nothing owed slips through the cracks.

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PTO requests

With an online process, paid time off requests can be streamlined for everyone’s convenience, as the information can be collected in a centralized, easily accessible place like your Jotform dashboard, Excel or Google Sheets, or Google calendar. Bureaucratic steps and pointless paperwork can be avoided so everyone can focus on more pressing tasks.

Project Management form

Instead of setting up yet another meeting and disrupting fellow employees’ workflow, team members can submit their ideas for projects with a form. They can add suggestions, such as tasks for different teams, goals, upload docs, etc. Multiple proposed projects that are similar can be reviewed and discussed in the same meeting, and everyone can quickly be brought up to speed in advance with an overview of the information collected in the forms.

Online forms are particularly useful for recurring tasks. Is there pre-determined information that needs to be collected on a continuous or periodic basis? Then ask for the specifics in a form so that the information can be conveniently submitted to bypass the time-consuming process or swapping emails.

An avid writer, she has contributed to sites including Entrepreneur and Social Media Today. A Bostonian and University of Miami alum, she loves traveling, trying new foods, and drawing & crafting.

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