Custom Form overview


The information herein describes template technology which has been replaced. See workflow technology for current custom template information. Most messages taken prior to 9-1-2015 utilize this older technology. This information is available to document these past messages.

Type-1   Type-2

Why customize forms?

Below we document how new forms are created. This section addresses why you might want a custom form.

      Standard contact form

Standard contact form

      Our own custom contact form

Our own custom contact form


At right is the standard contact form as provided with each account. It is suitable for many types of business to business messages.

Below the standard form is a custom form. It is our own internal customer contact form. It is an edited version of the standard contact form. Since we file by account name rather than by company name, we capture the account name information. Usually they are the same but when they differ, we want the account name. The standard form does not make this separation. While this distinction is useful to us, the distinction can be tedious for many. Rather than offer you only one choice, the ability to customize a form allows you to make your own choice.

The checkboxes added to the custom form do not affect the handling (except urgent) but are there for historical analysis to know that we are being proactive (not waiting for customer to call)..

The "why" of having a custom form is that it is more efficient for us than the standard form. Further, the custom form allows organizing the information taken to later searches.

Note that the background colors differ. This merely reflects the last color used in the site and is not a property of the form itself.
There are many organizations and businesses that have key information which should be recorded on every contact. Here are a few more examples to help you think about what custom information you might want to capture:

  • computer help desk: what operating system is running
  • real estate: price range, buyer or seller, immediate or future
  • many businesses: customer name/account, district, territory, or location
  • accounting department: payable, receivable, investor, or other
  • return desk: part number
  • etc.

It is not necessary for you to create a custom form to use Telephone Message Pad. Many of our customers use the standard forms. However, slightly over half have edited our standard forms to create their own variants. We definitely support you having information served to meet your needs.

Two types of templates

Above, we show an example of a Type-1 template. There is also a Type-2 template. They are optimized differently and which is "best" is a matter of suitability to task.

The difference between the two is technical. Type-1 form stores the template and data in separate files while Type-2 stores everything in a single file. This leads to the following characteristics:

Type-1 Type-2
Remembers last data entered no yes
Suitable for larger forms (edit sections) no yes
Can use built-in forms without cloning yes no
Changing template affects past presentations   yes no
Data used multiple times is entered once yes no
Target format support html, text, SMS   html
Can include own images yes yes
Can control formatting yes yes

A Type-2 template is used to implement the billing form. All other forms are Type-1.