Published on June 1st, 2020
One of the internet’s most used tools forms is needed for a variety of functions. Whether it is to conduct a survey or a contact form you may use them for various reasons.
Google forms are thus a vastly used concept and people use it all the time to fulfill many of their tasks. Let us dig deep and find out all that we need to know about Google forms and how they operate.
Google forms were first started in 2008 and that too as a Google sheets feature. Slowly more features were added to it and finally in 2016 it was changed into a standalone app.
It is now a full-featured service that is given to you when we sign up for a Google account. You may add standard questions, add colour themes or photos, and do lots more.
Building Your First Google Form
Easy way to build a Google form is by going to Google forms app. You must go to https://docs.google.com/forms/u/0/ and pick up a template or a blank form to start with.
There are links to go to google forms in other applications like Google sheets and docs as well. In Google sheets, you have to click Tools-Create a form.
Doing that automatically links the sheet to the form and you can export the same on the form template.
Forms editor is simple to use. It fills a major part of your screen and all the details like title and fields that have to be added. You may click on a field and add details to it.
There are multiple-choice, checkboxes, and other headers that can be added. On the top-right menu, you modify the color scheme and install any addons to the forms.
Field Options In Google Forms
Google forms have around 12 different field types, 9 question types and other options that you can go to the + sign in the right sidebar and choose.
All fields have a copy button to help you duplicate the same and deleting option as well. Let us have a look at the field types:
Title And Description
The title and description would automatically be added to each form. However, the description is hidden by default. In questions, you may leave the title and description blank but main form title has to be filled.
This field is when you need to ask small details of the information. Like names, addresses, email etc. Though you get only one line to ask the question the space given to the respondent is more.
There are number and text validations provided that ensures you get all the right information.
Similar to the above here you can ask long-form text-based questions. Here the only data validations available are length and expression and it is best to use when you want a detailed opinion about anything.
The multiple-choice options help you provide similar choices for one question. The reader has to pick up one that he feels is correct or more suitable.
Here also you can list the answers and ask the users to choose from them. The data validation is to help the users pick as many options as you want.
It is quite possible that you want to include all the answers at one place itself. This one is similar to multiple choice just that all the options are provided in the menu.
Particularly useful when you have too many answers to choose from.
This allows the people to select any number from a range of numbers like 0 to 10. Here you can either add labels to each number or choose emojis too.
Multiple Choice Grid
Here the options are available in a list format instead of a grid. You may add questions in the form of rows and their options in column forms.
Though you may include as many rows and columns you must remember that a higher number of them could be difficult for users to view.
Apart from selecting the regular responses, you can even choose one response per row and per column.
If you are looking for a specific date you may mention that here. The format of the date would be as per the one that is prevalent in your location.
Users would also see the date format as per your location until unless they are signed in to their Google account.
Time is needed if you want that activity to end in a particular time band.
You can upload an image or add an image from a link, or from Google drive. If you have flash installed you could also take a photo from the webcam.
In Google forms, you may only add YouTube videos. You may either add them through search or with the help of a link.
Form Sections And Logic
Simple contact forms have only a few pointers added to them. However, when you are talking about a survey there can be too many questions.
In that case, you can divide them into sections so that the reader is only answering one particular section at one time.
Go to the right toolbar and click the last option to add sections Each of the sections would have their own title and description that would make it easy to show or conceal questions.
You may add sections with multiple-choice questions, and then add jump options to each. However, these sections can be extremely efficient at making your form like a mini-app.
They allow you to reduce your surveys with questions intended to go to only those who should be contacted.
Another interesting concept of Google form is making a Quiz. Inside settings you find the Quizzes tab, you can select Make a Quiz and then set if the results should be displayed immediately or after you have checked the same.
You may choose to show correct and wrong answers and with the answer key button, you can enter the correct option for them to know.
Designing The Form
There is not much that you can do with the design of the form. Most forms come with a colour scheme along with a light colour choice for the background. New forms come in purple colour while template ones come with an image.
There is a colour pallet icon on the top from which you can choose header colour and background options as well. You can choose images from your Google library for your form.
There are also GIF’s and other options but when you put them in a form they look still without any effects.
Storing Responses In A Spreadsheet
Once you have created the form you do not have to worry about accessing the responses given by the customers.
The system automatically stores all responses in the Responses tab and you may go through them in different forms.
The individual response view gives you the detail of what each person has responded to. For quick results this is perfect but if you wish to analyze it further you may link with a spreadsheet by clicking green sheets icon in the Responses tab.
Doing that makes the entire process simple and easy. Any changes in the form of field names would automatically be updated in the sheet. Since Google forms keep your data safe in case you lose something from the spreadsheet you can reupdate it.
You have to go to form and click Form-Unlink. Once you have unlinked the sheet you may link it again to get all information back.
Sharing The Form
All the initial tasks have been done, next in line is to share the form and there is a lot more into what you can do with it.
You can share your form with others and they can edit and make changes to it. Open the forms menu and click on add collaborators. Later write down the email addresses of those who you want to be a part of the document.
Before you share the document further make sure to check the form settings. Click on the gear icon so it opens your settings.
You may also decide if you want to share the form within your organization or with anyone who has the link with them. If need be collect their usernames or let the users themselves make changes to their responses.
Google would show the form in the language of the recipient’s location. Forms, like required and submit, would be in the native language whereas the questions will be in the language chosen by you.
Share The Finished Form
Once you think that everything is perfect you just need to click the send button and the form shall be shared to many people at one time.
You may do it through social media, email or use an embed code. If you are sharing through email and the other person has a Gmail id he may just fill the form there itself instead of opening the whole thing.
Share A Pre-Filled form
If you want the feedback of a customer you can make a pre-filled form. The person can add his opinion and give a rating or ranking to the same.
This is also perfect when you have a form that needs to be filled every week and you may not want to make it again. Click the get pre-filled link option and add your choices accordingly.
Sharing In Paper Form
It is possible that you need offline responses to your questions. Click print in the forms menu and then print the form in the same manner in which you have created it.
Grids and multiple-choice questions would have pill buttons to fill while text fields have blanks to fill in.
Google Forms Addons
Though Google forms are itself a great tool there are some addons that you can utilise too. Click on the menu and then choose addons. You will find different types of add-ons and you may select as per what you want to put there.
Some of the best addons are:
- All questions required?
- Choice eliminator 2
- Data director
- Doc Appender
- From limiter
- Form notifications
- Form publisher
- Form field expert
- Form recycled
Building Add-Ons With Google Apps Script
If you want to receive files in the Google form then there is no particular add on for that. However, there is a Google apps script that would allow you to accept the files in secondary forms and then add them to your Google drive.
Integrating Google Forms With Mailchimp, Salesforce Etc.
There are apps like Zapier that allow you to do a lot more with your Google forms. It can let you send notifications, save form data to other apps, and put the forms as the main point of your work.
However, to use these features the forms should be connected to the Google spreadsheets feature. You may start with the following features, to begin with.
- Notifications: You may get notified whenever anyone fills the form that you have shared. The Notification can be sent to your email or SMS or any other communication app that you may be using.
- Saving form entries: Next you can route tour form entries to spreadsheets that you have prepared for this service. The data stored you can now use the form quickly and more efficiently.
- Save new contacts: You may want to keep in touch with those who are filling your forms. It is easy to add the contact details to your CRM app and know who all are the ones interested in your service.
- Email newsletter list: Want to increase your customer base? Just connect the email newsletter app and all those who fill your form, their details are going to be added automatically to the list.
- Form entries into tasks and projects: You have already planned out the jobs to be done and the information stored in forms can be useful to keep that updated. It is then easy to start new projects and manage the tasks.
- Creation of documents: In case you wish to customize your documents you may do that too. Using tools you could create pdf documents, and save the forms as you want them. For individual copies, you could also text files from each entry that you have received.
Google forms has all the features you need to get your work started. Before thinking of any other app try to utilize its benefits to your advantage. The above features shared would help in proceeding further with the task.