Knack Blog

The Knack team on web applications, online databases, and beautifully designed products.

 

RC Recycling: Finding Commonalities with Our Customers

12/13/2017 Posted by Carson

I often say that one of my favorite parts about working at Knack is getting to see all of its seemingly infinite use cases. Hearing about a customer who’s using our product in a new way or to a new end is always exciting.

In some cases, such as with RC Recycling, Knack customers have taught me about entire industries I wasn’t previously aware of. My knowledge of construction sites is pretty limited, so talking to Mike about his company, which helps recycle excess concrete, was a window into an industry about which I knew almost nothing. Not only did I get to hear about the real world impact Knack was having on his business, but I got to learn about a whole set of jobs I hadn’t known existed.

With all the diversity of Knack’s customer base, sometimes it seems like the software itself is the only common thread. After all, what else is there linking car dealerships and international nonprofits, fishing companies and NFL teams?

But sometimes Knack’s impact extends beyond the technical or organizational. Since it’s web-based, it offers Mike something he hadn’t previously enjoyed: the option to work from anywhere with an internet connection. This has meant that not only can he take his time getting to the office in the mornings (since he doesn’t have to be there to get started on the day’s tasks), but his new part-time dispatcher, a stay-at-home mom, can work exclusively from her home.

This is a benefit that resonated with me. Knack is an all-remote team, and we value the independence, flexibility, and work-life balance that promotes. In fact, remote life is one of the core tenets of our company culture. Like Mike’s dispatcher, several of our team members have young children at home, and working for a remote company often means more time with family.

The range of Knack customers and utilizations is impressive, and one we love to see play out day after day. Sometimes the need for a robust database tool may be all that these companies have in common, or that we as a team have in common with them.

Other times, though, through a conversation like the one I had with Mike, a shared company value will be brought to light. And those moments are just as exciting as the ones that highlight our differences.

You can read our full case study with RC Recycling here.

mike-bio

Send Webmerge Documents Back to Knack

12/06/2017 Posted by Danielle

We are really excited to share a new integration built by our old friends at Webmerge!

While we have previously offered a few options for integration using Zapier or custom code, we are excited to share the new update from Webmerge: Knack Delivery

Knack Delivery is a feature that allows you to automatically deliver generated Webmerge files to your Knack app.

Continue reading...

E-Commerce Updates!

11/28/2017 Posted by Carson

We’re very excited to announce some upgrades to our e-commerce functionality! Accepting payments with your Knack app just got even easier.

Saving Payment Methods

In the past, payments were submitted exclusively via checkout forms where users had to manually enter their payment information each time. Now your app can save a user’s payment method, so future payments are quicker and simpler.

Securely storing payment information in Knack means that users can log in to submit payments at any time, or you can charge their payment method as you complete services:

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E-commerce is a great way to set your app up to make donations, purchase tickets, or place orders. Now that user’s payment methods can be saved for future use, activities like online bill pay, submitting invoices, and call-in payment services are easier than ever.

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Feature Highlight: Allow Users to Add New Options in Forms

11/17/2017 Posted by Ranasha

In Knack, adding a multiple choice or connection field to your object is a great way to categorize or connect your data. Users can choose from a dropdown menu of options and associate the record with a category or record in a connected object.  

For example, consider the following example.

HowDidYouHearUs-1


Multiple choice and connection fields make it possible for you to offer several options to the user.  However, in some cases, the correct response is not always available. How can users add another option without needing to access the builder?  

Well, it just so happens we have a solution for allowing users, in the live app, to add new options from within the form!

Continue reading...

New Knacksters Alert!

10/11/2017 Posted by Danielle

We’re thrilled to introduce our newest Knacksters: Gavin and Jeremy!

Over the past couple months we have been busy making some additions to our dream team. We are so excited we wanted to shout it from the mountain tops, but we didn’t have a mountain handy so this blog post will have to do.

We also like to take sneaky interview screenshots. Along with bringing their unique skills and talents to the team, you can see that Knack is getting a nice upgrade in the beard department.

Gavin Foster

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Back in July we hired Gavin, who hails from Richmond, VA. He joined the engineering team as a Junior Engineer and is eager to expand his skills into full-stack engineering. Fortunately, we have plenty of needs in this department.

Gavin comes from an art background and during his interview he showed off his screen printing skills. Little did he know that according to Knack lore, an official Knack hoodie was promised to the team years ago. Since there is still no sign of it, we may need to enlist Gavin to help make it happen.

Jeremy Sher

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Jeremy is from Eugene, Oregon and is our latest Senior Engineer. We’re always excited to add a Senior Engineer so this was a great addition to the Knack “building cool things with code” department.

Jeremy also plays fiddle in a Bluegrass band and will happily discuss theories comparing coding with playing music. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a live fiddle demo during our interview so we’ll have to save it for our future Knack talent show.

So a big welcome to Gavin and Jeremy! We are so excited to see all the great things you do at Knack!

Knack Retreat: Salt Lake City 2017

09/20/2017 Posted by Danielle

A few weeks ago we had our 4th retreat in Salt Lake City, Utah. We caught up as a team, hashed out ideas in work sessions, and hosted our first “KnackCon” for our customers. Now that we have another successful retreat in the books, we wanted to share some of the highlights with you!

image_0Team Knack! We are getting better at group pictures!

 

ezgif.com-resizeWe also actually took individual pictures!

 

image_2We couldn’t get enough of the sunset views.

 

image_3Or the post sunset views, equally as beautiful.

 

image_4Oh nothing to see here, just giant mountains and rainbows.

 

image_5Retreats are always perfect for big picture strategy sessions. Some of us are paying more attention than others.

 

image_6Success team making things successful on the front lawn.

 

image_7We had such a great time visiting customers in Miami we decided to host our first “KnackCon” at our house with customers from the area. It was invaluable to hear more about how they use Knack and talk through what future updates might bring!

 

image_8Retreats are perfect for the engineering team to go deep on challenging issues. This year’s focus was on database performance. Steve decided to join because we were being loud outside of his bedroom.

 

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image_10Exploring downtown SLC.

 

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image_12It wouldn’t be a Knack retreat without game night! It may have taken us longer to agree on what rules to play by than actually play the game. What does it say when the founders are picked last in playground-style team selections?

 

ezgif.com-video-to-gifThe front lawn was the perfect setting for a somersault race.

 

image_13Somehow Lime-a-rita cheers have now become an official retreat thing.

 

image_14Leaving our mark on Salt Lake City!

Knack + Zapier = A Match Made in Data Heaven

08/17/2017 Posted by Carson

Better Together

Hunched over a laptop painstakingly entering records line by line into a database—we've all been there. When the data you need to run to your business is scattered across a number of different apps—email marketing platforms, CRMs, invoicing tools—getting that info into your database can feel like an uphill battle.

Zapier is an app automation tool that connects Knack to the other apps you use throughout your day. With Zapier, you build “Zaps”—simple automations that don't require any code—that move your data from one app to another automatically. Need to attach a paid invoice to an existing record? No sweat, there's a Zap for that. You can even move data out of your Knack database and share it elsewhere. For example, get a heads up via a Twilio SMS whenever a record is updated.

Need some inspiration to get started? Here's how three companies are automating their database workflows using Knack and Zapier.

Maintain accurate records

Rows and rows of detailed records are only helpful if they're easy to access. Business consulting company Intrabellus, Inc. deals with multiple Knack databases across many different clients. Their clients need to be able to dive into the details without disrupting the layout of the data.

Their simple solution? An automation between Knack and Google Drive.

“I use Zapier to create an extra copy of all Knack records,” says CEO Nichole Carpenter. “This gives my clients reassurance about accessing or moving their files with no extra work needed on my part.”

Grow client relationships

You can have the most powerful tools at your disposal, but they’re useless if your team isn't using them. The data in your CRM is only as helpful as it is current. And without up-to-date information on your prospects and customers, clients can fall through the cracks and relationships suffer.

Startup fundraising advisory Capital Pilot knows this frustration all too well and started looking for new ways to ease this pain.

“I’ve never worked in a place where people actually used the CRM properly,” explains co-founder and COO Matt Johnson. “Automating certain tasks through Zapier and adding reminders and triggers make it so people actually use the CRM.”

Before setting up this automation, Capital Pilot wasn't confident in the funding status of companies logged in their CRM. Was the data current or wildly out of date? A few missing zeros here and there could negatively impact a budding relationship.

Matt fixed this issue by setting up a Zap that updates their CRM of choice, Pipedrive, every time a new form is submitted in Knack. Updating a startup's information in the CRM automatically, rather than relying on the team to remember to log in themselves, improves efficiency and allows them to grow relationships effectively.

“I spend way less time doing data entry, or copying something from one app into another,” adds Matt. “Plus, with simple automations, we avoided spending time and money on software development at a time when we couldn't afford it.”

Make customers happier

It's easy to get tunnel vision on your most important tasks of the day. But letting little things slide can disappoint customers and impact repeat business. Before setting up a few handy automations, repair company PhoneAxiom Express Device Repair found it difficult to keep up with customer notifications.

“In the rush of business, you sometimes forget the basics,” says owner Mark Pauley. “We haven't always been so great at calling customers to notify them that their device is ready for pickup.”

Now, Mark relies on Knack and Zapier to automatically send alerts to customers and has since seen a boost in the quality of his company's customer service. He uses a Knack database to track service requests, including details like the type of phone needing repair, the cost of repair, and payment info. Whenever a device's status changes to “ready for pick up” in Knack, a Zap automatically texts the customer via the messaging app, DialMyCalls. The result? Happier customers and no more forgotten messages.

Setting up your Zapier integration

To use Knack with Zapier, you’ll first need to connect your Knack account. You’ll get a pop-up prompting you to sign in to your Knack account. This lets Zapier link your Knack account to the other apps you choose.

Zapier

Now you'll see your Knack account connected to Zapier.

Zapier

That’s it! You’re connected and ready to create some Zaps! Get started with one of the pre-built Zap templates for our most popular automations, or build your own workflow from scratch using the “Make a Zap” button.

Your Turn

Want to try out a few automations for yourself? Here are a few ideas to get started, or let us know your own favorite Zaps!

-Kim at Zapier

Click here for a full list of what's possible when you combine Knack and Zapier!

Feature Highlight: Track Changes to Your Data

08/10/2017 Posted by Odalis

There are times when there may be some confusion or misunderstanding as to why something changed in your data. For example:

  • Who updated that customer’s order to “Complete” when the item they purchased is still in your warehouse?
  • What new information was added to that recently updated project?
  • When did that member sign up for an account?

For Knack users with a Pro plan or above, the record history can answer those questions.

Continue reading...

Feature Highlight: Add Clarity to Forms Using Instructions

08/03/2017 Posted by Odalis

Sometimes users misunderstand what information we want and we need to add in a little more direction to avoid hours of confirming the accuracy of information.

For example, we have a multi-step application where we keep getting responses to a few questions that aren’t exactly what we’re looking for. Like our Licenses questions. We’re only looking for licenses that were given at the state or national level. But right now, we have applicants that are including other types of licenses:

So we want to add in some additional instructions to ensure we’re capturing the right information—the first time around.

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Feature Highlight: Reveal Data Faster using Value Links

07/27/2017 Posted by Odalis

Users can get frustrated and use your app less if getting the information they need requires too much jumping around. They want it to be as easy as possible to get what they need and then continue with their day.

For example, we have a Donations page that includes the name of the donor that made the donation:

Our users would love if they could click on the Donor name on the table to find out more about a specific donor. Otherwise, they need to first navigate to the Donors page and then search for the Donor to see their details. It may not seem like a lot of extra steps, but when you have to do that daily, it can be irritating.

So we’re going to use Value Links to make the donor names clickable and send users directly to the donor’s details page.

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