Now you can seamlessly integrate form data with a spreadsheet. This impromptu backup system can be set up fast and won't cost you anything but a few minutes of time!
There are a few common reasons why businesses need to export form entries to a spreadsheet. The most common one is to simply back-up your data, something that we'd recommend all businesses do regularly!
Besides backing up data, you might also want to use form entries for other purposes. Having them in a handy spreadsheet means you could do more with them. For example, if you create a online registration form, you could collect contact details in a spreadsheet to make it easier to schedule follow-up calls in the future.
The problem is that transferring all the information you need from one app to the other can be incredibly time-consuming. It's also prone to human error (no matter how careful you are) and this could spell disaster if there are missing entries or typos messing everything up.
Surely there's an easier way of transferring the information you need between two apps?
This calls for the number one modern solution: automation. The beauty of automation is that it removes the time, hassle and errors caused by manually handling data. Why spend all that time manually backing everything up when it can all be handled automatically?
Today we'll be taking you through how to set up a Google Sheets data entry form. But first, let's introduce you to the brilliant app we'll be using throughout.
Uncanny Automator: A simple way to integrate your favorite plugins
Uncanny Automator is a free WordPress plugin that gets data from WordPress forms to Google Sheets. It allows you to connect the best WordPress plugins and apps to automate workflows. It's like Zapier, but works natively inside of WordPress. It offers free credits, just like Zapier, but after the credits are gone, you'll save loads by skipping Zapier. Who couldn't use a plugin like that?
They have more than 75 apps available to connect, including Slack, WooCommerce, BuddyPress, social media pages and of course, Google Sheets.
How does it work?
After connecting WordPress forms to Google Sheets (through Automator), a new row will automatically be added to the bottom of a Google Sheet with all the form data. This can be triggered whenever a new entry is received in Formidable. It can even be added conditionally based on a field value in the form.
This saves you from manually exporting your form entries to a CSV and then going into Google Sheets and importing it. Automator works behind the scenes to give back time to you or your client.
For this integration to work, you'll need:
- The Formidable Forms plugin (the free plugin is fine)
- A Google account
- The Uncanny Automator plugin to tie it all together
Step 1: Install Automator and Formidable Forms
First of all, you'll need to install Formidable Forms and Uncanny Automator. Even the free Automator plugin will do.
Once Automator is installed, you'll need to connect to the Automator processing service from inside the plugin. Here, you'll be able to create a free Automator account. Or, if you have the paid version, install that as well and activate it with your license key.
Step 2: Create a recipe for your WordPress site
All the integrations that Automator handles are called recipes. So, for this to work, we'll need to create a recipe that connects Formidable Forms with the app you want to integrate with - in this case Google Sheets.
When you go to the Automator → Add new page, you'll get a choice between Logged-in users and Everyone. In this case, we want every entry submitted in a form to go to Google Sheets. Click Everyone and then Confirm.
Step 3: Select Formidable as the Trigger app
To connect Formidable Forms entries with Google Sheets, you'll need to set a Trigger and an Action. In this case, the Trigger will be Formidable Forms and the Action will be Google Sheets.
This is how the sequence works:
A form is submitted → Creates new form entry → Creates new row in Google Sheets
To choose your Trigger app, click on for Formidable Forms.
This tutorial will also work with any of the best WordPress form plugins, including WPForms, Gravity Forms, and Ninja Forms. But since you're reading this, we're going to assume you already know that Formidable is the most flexible form builder out there and blows away all the rest.
Anyway... So once a form plugin is selected as the trigger, you'll get a list of possible 'triggers' including 'A form is submitted'. Select which one you wish to set up. There is also a trigger available when a logged-in user edits a form, but we are only seeing triggers for everyone.
Step 4: Select Google Sheets as the Action app
Once you've set your Trigger app, it's time to tell it what to do with the form data. Setting up your Action app is pretty much the same.
Once you select the Google Sheets action, you'll be walked through the quick process of connecting Automator to Google. Next, you'll again be given a list of options. Select the option to Create a Row in a Google Sheet.
When you've selected your Trigger and Action apps, you'll now need to select the spreadsheet you want to link. This is where the new data will be directed.
Go ahead and click the Get columns button to fetch the existing columns in the spreadsheet. You can now map your form fields to specific fields in the spreadsheet.
For example, with contact form sign ups, you'll want to match 'First Name' to the 'First Name' column on your Google spreadsheet. You can do this in Automator once your Google account and spreadsheet has been selected.
With that, you're all set up. Go ahead and submit a test entry just for the thrill of seeing it show up in the Google Sheet.
Well that was easy! This is such a simple integration that can save you tons of valuable time and effort. Remember, this is just one of a huge range of integrations that run through Uncanny Automator. Once little things like data entry have been automated, you can get back to doing something more worth your time, like growing your business in new ways.