Can I show form users a calendar BEFORE having them fill out the form?

Jason Ingram
edited 12/09/19 in Smartsheet Basics

Hey, slightly complex question: my marketing department services several companies under our corporate banner, and we would love a way for end (form) users to see a calendar of scheduled communications before requesting a new one. We're hoping that showing stakeholders our already-full calendar of communications will either deter them from creating a new communication, encourage them to get on board with an existing communication (like a newsletter), or decide to push their communication out a few days to a date when there are no/fewer communications scheduled. I see this working this way:

1. We already know how to put together a sheet that logs communication requests (emails, newsletters, mailings, etc.), alerts stakeholders, and is populated by a request form. What we'd like to do is...

2. Share the calendar view associated with the above sheet BEFORE they fill out the form, so they can make business decisions about when to schedule their communication. We're hoping this transparency results in them self-managing their own requests, so we don't have to constantly convince them that the communication schedule is, in fact, bloated 

Any thoughts? We have an Intranet and use MS Teams, so I could just share the existing communications calendar and make a simple two-step process: look at calendar, then request communication... but I'm hoping there may be a slick way to share the calendar, and (maybe?) have them click on the date they want to trigger the form? Too much? Let me know, thanks!


Jason Ingram



  • Shaine Greenwood
    Shaine Greenwood Employee
    edited 01/10/18

    Hi Jason,

    You might try using an approval process for this. The reason being that it's possible not everyone will proactively look at your calendar before submitting via the form.

    When someone tries to submit a communication that falls in a bloated schedule area, you can decline. You can then have a published view of the calendar that you send with them when you decline with a message that reads that it's too bloated. You can base your "decline" or "reject" message around an automatic notification.

    Here's the flow I'm seeing:

    1. Someone submits a request via the form.
    2. You approve it or decline it.

      • If approved, great! It stays on the sheet and you track it as normal.

      • If declined, an automatic notification can be triggered to send them an email/notification with a link to the published version of your calendar. In the email message, you could have something that states "this is too bloated," please request this for a later date or use an existing communication in your next request.

      One trick to making the automatic notification part of this work is that you have to correctly log their email addresses. Typically I do this by making the form require people to be logged in to Smartsheet (which will capture their correct email), then adding a system "Created by" column to the sheet.

    Here's some homework on the features themselves: