Google Forms are a brilliant, free way to collect feedback from friends, colleagues or indeed complete strangers. We can’t cover everything you need to know in one article, so consider this a beginner’s guide to Google Forms. We’ll explain how to create Google Forms and answer some frequently asked questions.
Why use Google Forms at all?
First, they’re free; you only need a Google login to use them. Second, Google Forms is super easy to use. And third, it’s simplicity itself to share with other people – both the original form and the results.
So in what situations might you use Google Forms? Here are just a few:
- Get feedback from customers
- Event registration
- Gather contact information
- Send out party invites
- Find a time/date for an event (take a look at Doodle too)
- Create order forms
- Evaluate courses
- Assessments and worksheets (teachers love Google Forms)
How do I create Google Forms?
First, to create Google Forms, head to the Google Forms homepage. Press the blue “Go to Google Forms” button (see the main screen image above).
If you aren’t already logged in to your Google account, you’ll be asked to enter your Google username and password. And then you’ll find yourself at a page like this:
You can create a Google Form from scratch, but it’s easiest to adapt one of the pre-existing templates. Click on the up/down arrows next to “Template gallery” at the top right of the page.
Scroll down until you find one that roughly matches what you’re looking for. For instance, we’ve just updated my local tennis club’s website. As ever, there will be bugs and suggested improvements, so I was looking for an easy way for people to send us feedback.
I chose the Customer Feedback form, which is under the Work category. If you’re in education, note there are handy pre-made forms for quizzes, course evaluation, assessments and worksheets.
It’s worth clicking on the TAKE TOUR button when this pops up. It quickly explains how to add or change questions, change themes and monitor responses.
However, Google Forms is easy to understand once you get into it. The very best way to learn to dive in and start playing.
For instance, if you click on any of the questions then you can immediately start editing them. Here, I’ve tweaked the wording so you can give your responses to this article.
Google Forms: how do I share the form?
Once you’re happy, it’s time to share with your target audience. You now need to press the SEND button at the top right.
This allows you to send emails directly to people who you want to fill out the form. However, there are four other options that you may prefer.
Click on the link icon (to the right of the email icon) and you’ll see a huge link as below:
Tick “Shorten URL” and it will create a shorter link. Indeed, it’s this one: https://forms.gle/bjLRLeMxpjLK2MeY8
You can also embed forms into websites, share on Facebook (either to a News Feed, in a group, in an event, on a friend’s timeline or on a page you manage) or post the link directly on Twitter.
Google Forms: how do I analyse responses?
Once you’ve shared your form – and note there’s no “Publish” button, it’s basically live from the moment you start working on it – then you’ll start getting responses.
Click on the RESPONSES tab. Here, you’ll see I’ve received two pieces of feedback on this article. One pointing out a mistake, the other with a comment of “Probably the best article I’ve ever read”. How kind.
If I scroll down I can see the names and email addresses, if these were entered.
However, you can also create a Google Docs spreadsheet that collates all the responses in a more structured manner. Simply click the green-cross icon (above “Accepting responses”) and Google will do the rest.
You can either create a new spreadsheet or add the data to an existing spreadsheet. Once created, you can share the spreadsheet as per normal – the prominent green Share button is something of a giveaway.
Note you can also directly share the form (along with summary of responses) by adding “collaborators”. This option is at the foot of the “Send form”, which I showed you earlier.
Here’s hoping you’ve found this to be the best article you’re ever read. If not, you know where to leave feedback.