Welcome to the second post in a brand new series called Tap Forms Projects. The series explores ways to build a variety of projects across all kinds of industries, and you can check out the first post as an example: Build a relationship manager.
In this inaugural series, I’m exploring how to build a CRM, or Customer Relationship Management tool. Contrary to the name, a CRM can be useful to nearly everyone: students, businesses, researchers, salespeople, or anyone (like me!) who wants a separate place to store businesses, doctors, and other contacts.
Track calls, interviews, more in a separate form
In part 2 of the CRM series, we’ll explore how to link two forms to organize data together. This can be immensely useful to keep notes when you talk to customers, interview people for a project, or track visits to doctors and businesses.
This setup allows you to tie the notes from the new form to each contact in the CRM. Separating contacts and notes about said contacts into separate forms is useful in a variety of ways. One big advantage is that separate forms allows you to keep track of multiple pieces of related information, such as the date a call came in, the status of the call (e.g. great, good, needs follow-up), and the notes about the call.
In the first part of this series, we built a foundation to store contacts; the core of a CRM. Now, we'll explore how to link two forms together and share data between them.
Specifically, we’ll create a new, separate form called a Call Log. This is for storing the aforementioned, ongoing notes. Then, we’ll link this form to our original CRM and embed an ongoing record of our notes in each contact.
Step 1: Create a second form
To get started, we need to create a new, separate form for storing our notes, call logs, or whatever is on the menu for your project. Simply create the form and name it “Call Log.”
Let’s add some Fields to the new form. Your needs may vary, so let’s start with the basics:
- A text field, I named mine Topic
- A Date & Time field
- A Notes field
Step 2: Create a link to the new form
In our original CRM form, we need to create a link to the new Call Logs form. This will allow us to tie entries from the Call Logs form to their relevant contacts in the CRM form. It’s great for being able to view a contact’s logs right in their contact entry and, of course, any custom layouts you build:
- Open the original CRM form
- In the Fields section, add a Link to form field
- Make sure the Link Type is set to One to Many
- Pick your Call Logs form
- Select Show Inverse Relationship
Setting the Link Type as One to Many tells Tap Forms that multiple records from the Call Logs form can be associated with a single contact in the CRM form.
That last option, Show Inverse Relationship, tells Tap Forms to create a sort of two-way street for the data you’re connecting between forms. Tap Form will add a new Link from form field to your Call Logs form. This allows each individual Call Logs record to display the CRM contact to which they are connected. We’ll use this field in the next step.
Step 3: Add and connect data
To start bringing this all together and see the power of linking forms, we need to sprinkle in some data. First, let’s start with adding contacts to our foundational CRM from part 1. You could also download the Tap Forms Archive from my forum (free account required) which contains sample data.
But if you’d like to use your own data, let’s add some. Simply open your CRM form and add a few contacts.
Now the key step is to link Call Logs entries to clients in the CRM form. Here is one easy way to do this:
- Select a contact in the CRM form
- Add an entry to the contact’s Call Logs field
- Note that this entry also appears in the Call Logs form
Here’s another way to link call logs to your CRM contacts:
- Add an entry to the Call Logs form
- In that entry, find the field Tap Forms created for you, named after your CRM form
- Click the check mark in that field, which will display a menu of contacts from your CRM
- Pick a contact
- Rinse and repeat for a few more Call Logs entries
Now you’re CRMing with fire!
Step 4: Bask in your handiwork
Open your CRM form and select a contact that has one or more Call Logs entries assigned. If we set this all up right, those logs should appear in their CRM entry—your forms are linked!
This opens up a wealth of doors for combining data from multiple forms, and we’ll explore some in another post in this series.
In part 1 of this Build a relationship manager series, we started building a place to store contacts and keep notes about interactions with them.
Now that we’ve linked the contacts and notes forms, we’ll explore how to customize these forms for a variety of use cases in part 3, coming later this month.
If you have thoughts or requests for this Tap Forms Projects series, or similar series down the road, reach out on Twitter @TapForms or via email@example.com.
Tags: Tap Forms Projects