Pathagoras offers several ways for you to gather data for use in the Instant Database system. Some involve office staff inputting the data. With others, you can turn the 'responsibility' for data input to the client or customer.
•The most typical 'intake form' is the Instant Database screen. Press Alt-D to display the screen and (assuming there is a document 'beneath' it with variables), click the Scan button to display all the variables in the underlying document. Provide values for the various variables. When you click 'Next', the replacements are made but more appropriate to this discussion, the variables-to-values pairings are saved, just like would happen with any of the more 'formal' Intake Forms discussed below.
•Masks: As you know from previous sections, if you Scan an on-screen document, Pathagoras will identify the bracketed variables within the document and present them on the left side of the Instant Database screen. The next step you would typically follow is to provide personal information at the right for each variable. But you can stop before that step and save just the variables, with all 'blanks' at the right. That form can then be recalled at any time and completed from anywhere. This form is called a 'mask'. It is Pathagoras' 'original' intake form. The various variables in a mask can be rearranged, augmented and even deleted so that the mask, when recalled, will ask for the client's personal information in a more logical order. Great for transferring data from a written intake form into digital data. Read more about creating and using Masks at the link.
oA variation of the 'mask' concept is simply to have a Word document containing a list of your variables. The document would simply be, e.g., [Client Name], [Client Address], [Client Phone], etc. Any format will work. Save the document and recall as needed. Just like 'Masks', you can make these documents 'topical.' (So perhaps the Will list will contain [Testator Name], [Testator Address] etc., to marry up with your estate planning documents.
Recall the document as needed. Press Alt-D and Scan. Pathagoras will present the variables in order. Fill in the values, save the record, and you are done.
Since the document is a plain Word document, you can arrange the variables in any order desired, and add to and delete them as desired, until you have the. 'perfect' intake sheet.
•Intake form (Word, Simple): This is a rudimentary form that you might send to a client for completion. It is a simple 2-column form with the variables at the left and a blank at the right for the user to complete. Read more at the link.
•Intake form (Word, fancy): This is a more elegant form. The variable names are hidden from view. You create sections to the form. You can add titles, emphasis and 'conversational' instructions. Read more at the link.
•Intake form (Excel): You can create quite elaborate intake forms using Excel, send them to the client or customer for completion, and upon return, scrape the data from the form. Read more at the link.
•Intake form (Adobe): You can create quite elaborate intake forms using Adobe Acrobat, send them to the client or customer for completion (or link to them from your website). Upon completion and return, Pathagoras can scrape the data from the form. Read more at the link.
For each of the above 4 Intake forms, once the completed form has been returned by the client or customer, Pathagoras provides the tools to 'scrape' the data from the form into an Instant Database record. These tools also allow a direct transfer of the data into the document, skipping over the Instant Database record.
•Intake form (Jot, and other web-based forms): There are many companies that allow you to design simple to incredibly elaborate on-line intake forms using their proprietary software. Most, if not all, allow you to send the data from completed forms to your mailbox as a .csv or Excel attachment. Save the attachment into your Instant Database folder (by default: c:\program files (x86)\Pathagoras\IDBs. If the field names match the variables in your documents, you will have no problem using that data.