Digital Transformation

Automate paperwork processes in minutes with Anvil Workflows

Headshot, Sophie Benjamin
By Sophie Benjamin

Anvil Workflows enables operations teams to automate paperwork processes. Here's how you can build a scalable Workflow, share it with multiple parties, and start receiving submissions.

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Digital Transformation

Automate paperwork processes in minutes with Anvil Workflows

Headshot, Sophie Benjamin
By Sophie Benjamin

Anvil Workflows enables operations teams to automate paperwork processes. Here's how you can build a scalable Workflow, share it with multiple parties, and start receiving submissions.

Paperwork and PDFs are a bottleneck to scaling any paperwork-heavy industry such as insurance, healthcare, finance, or real estate. Workflows help remove this bottleneck, enabling operations teams to customize PDF-based processes and build efficiencies. Here's how you can build a scalable Workflow, share it with multiple parties, and start receiving submissions.

Step 1: Upload Your PDF(s)

Gather your docs

Before you start your Workflow, find or create Word Doc or PDF versions of the document (or documents) you want to include. Using fillable PDFs or creating documents with text tags can streamline the configuration process!

Start a new Workflow

From the Workflow dashboard, click “+ New Workflow”. Either click to upload or drag in your first document. Add more documents using the “+ Add Documents” button in the Workflow editor.

Configure your PDF(s)

Draw and configure PDF fields as necessary. Check that your PDF fields are named clearly as many fillable PDFs are preformatted with unintelligible field names - this will save you time later.

Still need help with step one? Check out these help center articles:

Use text tags
Navigate to the Workflow dashboard
Add a PDF to a Workflow
Add fields to a PDF here

Step 2: Create your webform(s)

Now that you have uploaded and configured your PDFs, you’ll need to add and/or configure the corresponding webform fields.

Create page breaks

To get a sense of the overall flow of the webform, it is a good idea to start by creating the page structure. Page breaks are helpful for organizing information and keep any one page from feeling too overwhelming for someone completing the webform. Users will be able to save their place in the webform and return to it later.

Connect your PDF fields to your webform

After you have a page structure, connect your PDF fields to a webform. A single webform field (like a name or an address) can map to multiple fields on your PDFs.

Add unconnected input fields

Add unconnected webform fields to collect additional information that does not get passed onto the PDF such as file uploads. Unconnected webform fields are commonly used to create logic branches.

Add logic

Add logic to webform fields or entire pages to make your webform experience clean and streamlined. You can test your logic as you build your webform by clicking on the play button icon at the top of the webform builder.

Still need help with step two? Check out these help center articles:

Add a page break to a webform
Connect a PDF field to a webform field
Add fields to a webform
Add logic to webform fields

Step 3: Adding signer(s)

If needed, add signers to your PDF. Otherwise, skip to the next step!

Capture signer info

If you want signer information to be dynamic, make sure you are capturing both name and email address for each signer in your webform. If they don’t already exist, add those unconnected webform fields now!

Create signers and roles

From your PDF, navigate to the Signers tab. Create signers with dynamic or static names and email addresses in the order you want them to sign.

Assign signers to PDF fields

Click into each of your signature fields (including signature dates, signer initial, and signer names) and assign them to one of the signers you just created.

Still need help with step three? Check out these help center articles:

Add signers to a Workflow
Mark a field to be signed

Step 4: Test and publish

Configure Workflow settings

The final step to set up your Workflow is to configure the settings to your liking. From the Settings page, you can adjust and customize a variety of settings, from who receives email notifications when a submission is complete to additional accessibility controls you’d like to add to your Workflow.

Publish your Workflow

Once you have added your documents, created your webforms, configured any signers, and saved your settings, your Workflow is ready to publish! Publishing your Workflow does not mean you have to send it out right away, but you will not be able to test it end-to-end or share until it is published.

Create a test submission

As a final step, it is best practice to run an end-to-end test of your Workflow to ensure your webform is working as expected and your PDF output is the way you want it. From the Workflow’s dashboard, click the beaker to start a new test submission and complete it until the end. Test submissions are always free and will never count against any plan limits.

Still need help with step four? Check out these help center articles:

Navigate to Workflow settings
Test a Workflow

Step 5: Collect submissions

Anvil automatically creates a new unique Workflow submission from the base url, which gives you a lot of options for sharing. Here are a few suggestions for getting started:

  • Email a link to your Workflow
  • Host a link to your Workflow on your website
  • iFrame your Workflow
  • User Zapier to automatically start and share a Workflow

Once the submissions have started rolling in, you and any team members you invite to join your Anvil organization can access them from the dashboard.

Searching Workflow submissions

You can easily search through all your submissions to find the exact ones you need. Search by name or filter by Status, Visibility, and Date Range.

Download submission data and files

Once you have found the submission or set of submissions you are looking for, you can easily export their data and files.

Still need help with step five? Check out these help center articles:

Search Workflow submissions
Download files for a submission
Download files as a CSV

Bonus Step: Integrate

Once you have automated your paperwork via Workflows and are collecting data, you can easily connect and extend automation across your tech stack.

No-code integration with Zapier

Anyone can use Zapier to share data and automatically trigger customized events between your Workflow and over 4,000 other applications. Connect to Zapier here.

Talk to your developer

Achieve truly seamless integration with our full suite of webhooks and APIs. Share this documentation with your developer - we know they'll love it!

For businesses seeking to automate paperwork in bulk, please reach out to our sales team and we’ll be able to customize a solution. Contact our sales team

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