Newbie hoping to replace Jotform, to help African wildlife rangers

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4 - Data Explorer
4 - Data Explorer

Hi there, we’re looking for an alternative solution to Jotform. We are wildlife rangers working in African National Parks. We use a Jotform to complete our ‘Daily Station Report’ which includes daily roll call and station statistics. We use ruggedised iPads, we open the form online, go offline to do roll call, and then go online to sync the form (I believe airtable can do same).

Our challenge is the insanely convoluted and over complex back end. It takes an entire (frustrating) day every time we want to add a name to the roll call, because of the calculations which add up how many staff present, away, sick etc.

We have 64 staff at this park in Zimbabwe, and the Staff Sgt has to read them out and tick the right box (present, away etc). So he can’t write in the name each day, or he’ll standing in front of the rangers for hours! 

We need a SIMPLE front end (see iCloud link to screenshot of current Jotform) to this, and the ability to EASILY make changes when need be. Also, the Jotform emails a nice PDF of the results AUTOMATICALLY to the officers and remote HQ. 

Screenshot of our current Jotform:

Is it possible for us to replace Jotform with Airtable?

Thanks in advance for your advice,


2 Replies 2

re: We use ruggedised iPads, we open the form online, go offline to do roll call, and then go online to sync the form (I believe airtable can do same).

Hmm, I tried opening Airtable on my mobile device without internet and wasn't able to connect to anything I'm afraid, so I don't think this is possible.  Happy to be proven wrong though!

You mentioned that the main issue is adding a name to the roll call and how it would take a day due to the calculations.  May I know how those calculations are done now?  The lag is when you're using the JotForm webapp to update the form? 

Perhaps you could use JotForm for the offline functionality and use its Airtable integration to push the data into Airtable and use it as the new backend instead?  (As I'm unsure what your calculations are I can't guarantee this will work, but it should probably work!)

You'd continue making changes to the JotForm with the added need to create the appropriate fields in Airtable which seems like an alright workflow

The PDF bit's slightly more complicated I'm afraid.  You'd need to find a third party service to integrate with such as PDFMonkey, DocuMint, etc as Airtable doesn't natively do PDF generation, and you'd then need to create an automation to send out the resulting PDF to the officers and remote HQ

Apologies if I've misunderstood something!

18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto


No, Airtable doesn’t have an offline mode, which is why it’s best for you to continue using JotForm’s offline mode. You can use JotForm’s mobile iPad app to make it easier to use offline mode in the field.

However, what you’re looking for is an easier way to manage the submitted data after the fact, and an easier way to generate documents after the fact.

That’s where Airtable would come in to help you. Airtable would be your database system where you would view all of your data in an easy to manage app, and then you can create PDF documents from that data as well.

You can use JotForm’s native integrations or Make’s JotForm integrations to automatically bring your form submissions into Airtable.

After that, you can continue to use Make’s Airtable automations to automatically create PDF files of your data by automatically sending your Airtable data to any app that you’d like. (Make natively supports over 1,700 apps.)

My clients enjoy automatically sending their Airtable data to Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, which then generates all the PDF reports that they need. All of this can be automated via Make.