Fun With Forms- An Introduction To Google Forms

Introduction To Google Forms With Screenshots

Google forms is really great and also limited in some ways, but we use it a fair bit. Today I am walking you through an intro with Google Forms.

You can create forms for a wide variety of needs. We have checklist forms for many of our internal processes. You can use Google forms to collect applicant data, create quizzes, feature requests, feedback after workshops, seminars or meetings, and more.

Check out this test Google Form we created and nested inside a free Google Sites.

google forms screenshot

The appearance can be edited somewhat by changing the background colour in the header. This will cause the remaining elements to be automatically formatted to match. You can also opt for a header image.

When you create your form, you also create a corresponding responses spreadsheet. Each time someone completes and submits your form, Google will collect their answers in a new, time stamped row in the responses spreadsheet.

If your form collects attachments, Google will automatically create a folder in your drive corresponding to the form, and all attachments received through the form will be automatically uploaded and stored in your Google Drive. You can leave them there or re-organize them as per your needs. For convenience, a link to the attachment file is automatically created in the responses spreadsheet. See image below of entries as rows, with link to attachments saved in Drive..

Google Responses Spreadsheet screenshot

And here are screenshots of my Drive folders pertaining to this form.  Below that, the specific folder for question 1 and the 2 attachments received so far.

Corresponding attachments folder screenshot

Attachments Options in Google Forms

For each question that allows an attachment to be uploaded via a Google Form, you can specify the following:

  • file type allowed (you can turn this feature on or off)
  • 1 attachment, 5 or 10
  • File size maximum ranging from 1 MB to 10 GB – see screenshot below for options

Screen Shot- Google Forms Attachment Options

Notifications Of Google Form Submissions

You can set up response notifications in your Google Forms. You actually don’t do this in the form itself, but in the associated responses spreadsheet. To turn this feature on, go to the responses spreadsheet and:

  • Tools
  • Notification Rules
  • choose your options and hit save

You can only turn on notifications for yourself. If you require additional team members to also receive notifications, please be sure to add them as collaborators, and have them turn on notifications for themselves.

Processing Received Entires

As you process entries received, you’ll want to mark them as done somehow.

In your response spreadsheet, you can add a column at the end called Processed (or some similar name) and your team can mark as YES once they process a file.

Or you can opt for colour coding. Establish a team rule that once processed, a row is highlighted a different colour of your choosing to indicate the entry was processed.

Or you can opt for a combo of the two – have a colour change rule and a column at the end titled Processed By, where team members can enter their name once they process a row.

Extras
There is a library of add-ons that can be used with Google Forms. To check out the options from within your form, click on the 3 dots icon in the upper right corner and click on add-ons.

Gotchas
I love Google Forms for some things but not all things.

For example, formatting responses received is limited to formatting a row in a spreadsheet- not very pretty but it works well enough for many uses.

For longer forms, responses will span more than a single screen length so you will have to scroll sideways to view.  This is a little cumbersome but not a deal breaker.

If you are trying to collect passwords, Google won’t allow it and will shut down your form for violation of terms of service. Be sure to read through the documentation if you are trying to collect personal information like SIN numbers.

I hope this walk through inspires some use of Google Forms because they are pretty sweet!

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