The last 2 weeks were devoted to Client Management. I’m following up with some of my favorite tech tools.  These aren’t necessarily used for managing projects (like the tools I shared last week) but they have made my life a LOT easier and a LOT more efficient.  Next up… Formstack!

Getting Info Up-front

If you don’t yet query your clients before you meet with them, you should.  By learning more about my clients before meeting with them, I’m better able to service them in that first meeting.  I help them build their vision and educate them from the get-go.  Before you meet with your clients, send them a little questionnaire to learn more about them.

Streamlined Questionnaires

There are quite a few form-building tools for your business.  I’m a sucker for all things google and was a long-time user of Google Forms which is an easy and free online tool that allows you to provide an online form to your clients which then feeds into a google spreadsheet.  It’s amazing and magical!

But, once I started using 37signals’ Highrise to manage my client information and communication I needed to have everything get into Highrise in one easy step.  (You cannot move information from a Google form to anything other than a google spreadsheet without going through a few steps of downloading, uploading, etc.  That’s too time consuming.)

Formstack to the Rescue!

Formstack is easy to use and I love how it integrates with Highrise.  You build your form or questionnaire in a few steps.  You can add your logo and customize it so that it ties with your company branding. For me the branding match is more important than having a “template” form.

To integrate with Highrise, simply input your merge code (called an API key).  Voila!  When someone completes a form the data (name, address, phone, etc) goes directly into your Highrise database.  No need to copy over info to multiple programs.  You can also integrate with Mailchimp (for newsletters), Paypal, and a bunch of other programs.  You can also embed the form onto your website.  And, if you don’t use Highrise, you can also export the data to Excel or print the information.

The lowdown on Formstack:

Formstack offers a free 14-day trial.  After that, the starter package for 5 forms is $14/month.  If you have an inquiry form for meetings on your website and a follow-up details questionnaire (2 forms) this package is probably all that you need.