This is a long article with lots of pictures, but it’s really not difficult to create a form calling for hours, download the resulting data, and “clean up” when the time for collecting hours has passed.
Create the form and the “call for hours post”
- The first thing is to login to the website. Once you’re in, go to the Dashboard or anywhere in the administration area. (If you’re logged in, staring at a page on our site, hover over “Pinellas County ACS/ARES” and click “Dashboard).
- Then hover over “Formidable Forms” and click “Templates”.
- Look in the Custom Templates section for a template called “PCACS Volunteer Monthly Hours”. Hover over it and click “Create From from Template”.
- On the resulting “Add New Form” page, you’ll see the “starting point” for creating the form. Look for two fields, one at the top where it says “PCACS Volunteer Monthly Hours” and another a little way down that says “PUT_MONTH_NAME_AND_YEAR_HERE”.
- Put the Month and Year at the start of the “PCACS Volunteer Monthly Hours” and the “Month, Year” where it says “PUT_MONTH_NAME_AND_YEAR_HERE.” Then click “Create”.
At this point, the form has been created. Now we need to:
Add the form to a Post
This way people see the form. We want the form on the front page (home page) of the website and we want it “sticky” so that it stays at the top of the front page even if other PCACS members post lots of other things. We’ll “remove” the form from the front page after hours have been collected.
- Hover over “+ New” at the top of the page. Click on “Post”.
- Give your post a title. Maybe something like: “Time to enter your Volunteer Hours” or whatever you like. In this example, I gave a title of “PCACS Volunteers: It’s time for your monthly hours”. Also fill in a short statement to go with the title. Maybe a reminder to include the hours spent at a particular community service event this past month. In this example I picked “PCACS volunteers, it’s that time again! Time to enter your hours for the month.” Then, click the little funny “form looking” icon between “Add Media” and “Add Box.” (If you hover over it before you click it, it will say “Formidable Forms”)
- From the overlay that appears, pick the form you created up above from the drop down. There will, over time, be a lot. So pick the correct one! Make sure to check “Display form title”. Then click “Insert Form”.
- Note how the previous step added some content to your post?
- Okay, the Post is mostly ready. Just some “house keeping” now. Look on the right of the screen for “Visibility” and click “Edit”
- Check the “Stick this post to the front page” box.
- Optional: If you want, you may set a time in the future for this post to “publish”. That means you could create the post anytime during the month but not have it appear until the 29th or 30th or whatever.
- Check the “Administrative” Category item. Uncheck the “Show likes” and “Show sharing buttons” items.
- The last step: Click Publish. Your post will now appear (or appear whenever you said you wanted it to appear in the “optional” item a few steps ago.
What the post looks like
If you’ve done all the above, then you can check to make sure the page looks correct.
- Click “View Page” in the top bar.
- Look at the resulting post! This is what a logged in user will see.
Now, wait while people enter their hours. Give them however long you normally do. After a week or whatever, it’s time to “clean up” and “download” the results.
Remove the Post
You’ve collected the hours, now it’s time to remove the post. There’s no reason to have April’s post floating around in September. It would just confuse our users. We’ll remove the just the post.
- Go back to the hour entry post and edit it. The easiest way is to use the “Edit Post” link in the top navigation bar when you are looking at it.
- Click “Move to Trash”.
Download the Results to Excel
Now the fun part. Grabbing the results.
- From the Dashboard or any page in the Administration area, hover of “Formidable Forms” and pick “Form Entries”.
- Pick the form from the drop down at the top and click “Filter”. You can see who has responded right there on the screen. Click “Download CSV for …”.
- The results will download as a CSV that, chances are, you can just “double click on” and it will open Microsoft Excel. Viola. Spreadsheet done, pretty much ready to submit to Pinellas County.