In today’s fast-paced world, efficient data collection and organization are paramount for any business or project. Even something as seemingly simple as a form can serve as the catalyst for some of our client’s most critical processes.

Step 1: Accessing Smartsheet

To begin, ensure you have a Smartsheet account. If not, sign up for an account at https://www.smartsheet.com/. Once you’re logged in, you’ll be greeted by the Smartsheet dashboard, where you can create and manage your projects.

Step 2: Selecting or Creating a Sheet

To create a form, you’ll need a Smartsheet sheet to store the collected data. You can either choose an existing sheet or create a new one. Click on the “+ New” button and select “Sheet” to create a new sheet or choose an existing sheet from your dashboard.

Step 3: Designing Your Form

After selecting or opening your sheet, you’ll be taken to the sheet view. Here’s where the magic happens – the design of your form. Click on the “Forms” option and choose “Create Form” from the dropdown menu.

Smartsheet will generate a default form based on the columns in your sheet. You can customize the form to match your specific needs (Upgraded accounts benefit from color customizations, allowing you to perfectly match your company’s colors). You’ll then be able to drag over existing fields, click “+ New Field” to add new fields, and rearrange fields. Click within specific fields to customize items such as:

  • Label – This can be a great tool when you have a longer name that exceed the column’s character limit

  • Help Text – This is often underutilized in forms but can be a fantastic way to provide additional information and reduce confusion

  • Required – Designate if the field must be filled out in order to be submitted

  • Hidden – If you want information to pass through but not be displayed on your form

  • Validation – This helps with formatting to improve consistency with data collection/reporting

  • Display As – Be sure to add additional lines if you want to encourage your submitter to provide lengthier responses

  • Default Value – Not commonly used by CCC, but you can prefill a field with a value if it makes sense for your use case

     

Logic (tab) – This is offered on upgraded accounts and can be an extremely useful addition to a form. This will allow you to add conditional logic which will only ask your submitter questions based on how they answer other fields in the form. We LOVE this as a way to reduce the length of a form so as to not overwhelm the submitter by only making relevant fields visible.

Step 4: Customizing Form Settings

Once your form fields are set, click on the “Settings” tab at the top to configure your form’s appearance and functionality. Here, you can:

  • Theme & Brand – Choose the appearance of your form. We recommend you experiment with the different options (Vertical, Side-by-side, Plain) to determine which works best for your needs

    If your account allows it, we’d recommend toggling OFF the option to “Show Smarsheet branding on the form footer” to reduce text on the form

  • Security – Depending on the sensitivity of the information you’re collecting, you can require a Smartsheet login and/or CAPTCHA be added to your form

  • Form Submission – Here you can display a custom confirmation message, reload the form for additional entries, or send the user to a specific link

  • “New Submissions should appear on the” – This is a preference on your workflow and how you intend to review your information.

  • Send Email of Submissions – You can allow the submitter to receive an emailed copy of their submissions and even provide a custom message to accompany their copy

     

Step 5: Sharing Your Form

With your form designed and settings configured, it’s time to share it with your intended audience. Click on the “Share” button at the top-right corner of the form editor. You can choose to share the form through a link, email, or embed it on a website.

Additionally, you can control who can access and submit the form by selecting specific sharing options, such as allowing only people within your organization or requiring respondents to log in before submitting.

Note: These options can be limited depending on which account type you have

Step 6: Collecting and Analyzing Data

As respondents start submitting your form, the collected data will be automatically populated in the corresponding columns of your Smartsheet sheet. Now that you’ve collected the data, this is where Smartsheet begins, or rather, continues, to shine! You can view and manage the data in real-time, apply filters, create reports, and even set up alerts to notify you of specific responses.

Conclusion

By following these steps, you can design a custom form tailored to your needs, share it with your audience, and efficiently manage the collected data. Smartsheet forms not only simplify your data collection process but also enhance collaboration and decision-making. Let Correct Course Consulting help your company start leveraging the benefits of Smartsheet forms today and watch your workflows become more efficient than ever before!