Getting your client/customer to provide as much information as possible regarding their identity and needs should be a primary objective in an document creation process. It saves time, improves accuracy and creates a connection from the outset of the attorney-client or doctor-patient or seller-customer relationship. Pathagoras allows (indeed, can create) several ways of creating and importing from a variety of Intake Forms.
•Intake form (Word, Simple): This is an exceptionally easy-to-create two-column Word table (or series of tables). Variables are listed in the left column. The right column is blank (for the user to complete). Sent to a customer for completion and return. Pathagoras can quickly 'scrape' the returned data into an Instant Database record.
•Intake form (Word, fancy): This is a more elegant form. Tables are still used, but the two column restriction is gone, and you can provide the user a friendlier label to the areas to be completed. E.g., 'Your name' vs. [Client Name]'. (The variable names are still present in the document, but hidden from the client's view.) You can also create sections, add titles, emphasis and conversational instructions. Sent the 'Fancy Form' to a customer for completion and return. Pathagoras can quickly 'scrape' the returned data into an Instant Database record.
•Intake Form (Excel): You can create quite elaborate Intake Forms using the many tools provided in Excel. Send the spreadsheet to the client or customer for completion, and upon return, scrape the data from the form into the Instant Database.
•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 into the Instant Database.
•Web based Intake Forms (Jot, Gravity and others): There are many companies that allow you to design simple to incredibly elaborate on-line forms using their proprietary software. Most, if not all, allow you to send the data from completed forms to your mailbox as a .csv file or Excel spreadsheet. 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. If not, a pairing table can be created to match the field name supplied by the forms purveyor with the variables in your Pathagorized documents.
•The Instant Database: Instant Database screen is the most basic of Intake Forms, but the least 'pretty'. Despite its lack of good looks, you should still consider it as a possible intake form. 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. With your client (or your client's hand written intake sheet) in front of you, insert values for the various variables. Click 'Next'.
o In the situation contemplated here, the underlying document is not a Will or a Contract. Rather it is a form that merely lists all 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. 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.
oVariable replacements can be made on the form (and if you do so, make sure you don't overwrite the original.
•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.
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 from them as desired, until you have the. 'perfect' intake sheet.