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.

The Instant Database screen is the most basic of Intake Forms. 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'.  In addition to the variable replacements being made on the form, but the variables-to-values pairings are saved to your Instant Database. This action is identical to what 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 from them as desired, until you have the. 'perfect' intake sheet.

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 hidden from view.) You can also create sections, add titles, emphasis and conversational instructions. Sent the 'Fancy For' 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 spreadsheet to the client or customer for completion, and upon return, scrape the data from the form..

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.

For each of the above four Intake Forms, once the completed form has been returned by the client or customer, Pathagoras provides the tools to 'scrape' the personal data from the form into an Instant Database record.

Intake Form (Jot, Gravity and other web-based forms): 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 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.