Google Forms is a fantastic and versatile software for quick data collection. It is relatively easy to use, free, and collaborative. What's not to love?
Like an onion, a parfait, or young-adult vampire literature, Forms has a lot of layers. The more you peel, spoon, or leaf through, the better experience you'll have. Plus, Forms usually won't make you cry. That's right, I'm looking at you, onion.
Here are six tips for getting the most out of Forms.
Use FormRecycler to Reuse Items
Remember the Google Form survey you wrote last month? It sure had some great questions! If only there were a way to reuse some of them on your new survey without retyping or copying and pasting line-by-line. Enter the Add-on 'FormRecycler'. This nifty add-on lets you import items from any of your previous Google Forms with no typing required!
1. Go to forms.google.com and create a new form.
2. Click the three-dot menu in the top right corner and select 'Add-ons...'
3. Search for FormRecycler and click '+ Free'
4. Click on the puzzle-piece icon near the middle-right top of the screen and select 'FormRecycler'.
5. Click 'Recycle Form Questions'
6. Find the form you'd like to import items from, click it, and then click 'Select'.
7. Select the question or item you'd like to insert and then click 'Insert Questions'. FormRecycler lets you insert 50 questions per week free of charge!
Allow Respondents to View Results
Sometimes respondents to the survey need to see the results. Before you send out the form, be sure to follow these steps.
1. After you finish writing the form, click the gear icon near the top right.
2. Check the box next to 'Limit to 1 response' and 'See summary charts and text responses' and then click 'SAVE'.
If you forgot to select the boxes in the tip above, or you had no idea that option existed, never fear! You can take a full screen capture of the results and save them as a PDF with this awesome Chrome extension.
1. Click this link to add 'Full Page Screen Capture' to Chrome: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/full-page-screen-capture/fdpohaocaechififmbbbbbknoalclacl
2. Navigate to the 'responses' page in your form.
3. Click the camera icon in your extensions menu.
4. A little Pac-Man-looking thing will gobble up some dots while the screen capture is happening, then click the 'Download PDF' button to save the capture as a PDF.
5. Attach the PDF to an email to share it with whoever needs to lay their eyes upon it!
Need to give others full access to your form? Here's how to do it. Just remember, collaborators have full access. This means they can alter, delete, or add anything they want. There isn't a way to have them 'view only'. Definitely lay down some norms beforehand.
1. While your form is open, click the three-dot menu near the upper right and select 'Add collaborators...'
2. Type the names or email addresses of the people you'd like to add as collaborators and then click 'Send'.
Collect Respondents' Email Addresses
Collecting email addresses from survey respondents can be a great way to reach out to people who need help and determine who, exactly, is answering your questions. The software will tell respondents their email addresses are being collected, but be sure to tell them this is happening yourself. It's just a whole lot less shady!
1. Go to the form you are going to send out.
2. Click on the cog/gear icon to open the settings menu.
3. Check the box at the top to 'Collect email addresses' and then click 'SAVE'
Send the Form
What good is a form if no one responds to it? Here are the steps to take to share that form!
1. Open the form you want to share.
2. Click the 'SEND' button near the top right.
3. Choose whether to send the form as an email, share a link, or use an embed code to share within a website.
Forms gets a whole lot deeper than these six tips with a bunch more layers to explore! Let me know in the comments what else you'd like to learn!