Google Forms is one of the many tools that Google has made available to us to help optimize our productivity. However, this tool is often overlooked by many users, simply because they don’t know how to use Google Forms.
Google Forms provides a customized, straightforward solution to help collect large amounts of data from various sources at the same time. What’s more, as part of the Google G Suite, Google Forms can easily be integrated with other Google tools, including Google Sheets.
Data collection is critical in most business processes. Whether you’re carrying out employee satisfaction internally, or collating user experience data from your customers, you can use Google Forms. More than just a simple quiz or survey, Google Forms offer a range of features and settings. These allow you to collect, manage and optimize large, complex data that will help you in your everyday operations.
Let’s explore in more detail the benefits of Google Forms and how you can use them to collect data in a spreadsheet effectively.
How to use Google Forms to collect data in a spreadsheet
What is a Google Form?
Google Forms is an online form generator tool that you can use to collect a variety of data quickly. You can create your own custom forms using the variety of question types Google provides, as well as a variety of settings to make the form personalized to your business or project.
Once others have submitted their form responses, you receive real-time insights ready to analyze.
Google Forms can be used for a variety of business processes, including:
- Customer feedback surveys
- Employee performance feedback
- Supply requests
- Inventory check-ins and check-outs
- Vacation requests
- Job applications
Why use Google Forms?
As you can see, you can implement Google Forms into almost any operation.
No matter how you use them to collect your data, Google Forms offer a multitude of benefits, such as:
- Accurate data: Receive your data directly from the source. Allow users to input their data without the need to transfer the data manually back to your computer or file.
- Save time and avoid manual error: Google Forms do the work for you; simply send over the form to others and receive the results directly. No need for manual copy and paste, saving you lots of time.
- Connect to spreadsheets: You can set your form response destination to Google Sheets, meaning that the data will be added directly to your sheets. This is a great way to use Google Sheets’ analytical features to get useful insights from your raw data.
- Customizable forms: Access a range of different question types to get the most out of your data collection, from multiple choice to long-text answers. You can also customize the form theme to reflect your brand identity.
- Data integrity: Send a copy of the form to an unlimited number of people to maintain data privacy. There’s no need to have users enter their data in the same spreadsheet.
- Easy to use and share: Google’s easy-to-use interface means that even an inexperienced user can create a form. Google Forms has the same sharing abilities as Sheets or Docs, so sharing with others is easy, too.
All of the above are extremely useful for data collection. However, the range of question types Google Forms offers is particularly important, as you’re able to further optimize your responses.
Let’s take a look at the different types of questions you can use in a Google Form.
What are the different types of questions in a Google Form?
Google offers a wide variety of question types that you can use in your own custom form. We can categorize them based on the answer type:
Type out an answer
This is a great option if you want to provide “open” questions where users have the freedom to respond to how they like. For example, “What do you think of our service?”.
There are two types of these questions:
- Short answer: Encourage users to respond with a short answer (between 1-2 sentences)
- Paragraph: Encourage users to respond with a long answer (one paragraph or more)
Choose from a list
The following question types should be used for “closed” questions, where you want users to choose a specific answer that you have provided. For example, “What department do you work in?”.
There are three types of these questions:
- Multiple choice: Encourage users to select only one option from multiple options.
- Checkboxes: Encourage users to choose between a set of options, where they can choose more than one if they desire.
- Dropdown: Encourage users to select a single option from multiple options using a dropdown format.
Choose from a grid or scale
The scale option in Google Forms is great for ratings, such as “From 0-10, how satisfied were you with our service?”. The grid options in Google Forms allow you to collect multiple answers for more complex, in-depth questions. For example, “Rate the following services as either excellent, good, or bad”.
Here are the types of grid and scale questions:
- Linear scale: Encourage users to rate using a scale that can go from 0 to 10.
- Multiple choice grid: Encourage users to select a single answer per row or column.
- Checkbox grid: Encourage users to select one or more answers per row or column.
This is often used in specific situations when documentation is needed.
For example, if you are creating a job application, you may ask users to upload their CV to the form:
- File upload: Encourage users to upload a file from their computer.
Select a date or time
Adding date and time question types is a useful way to ensure that all date and time formats submitted are consistent.
For example, to ensure that all dates are formatted as dd/mm/yyyy, or that all times are used with the 24h clock (16:00):
- Date: Encourage users to fill out their answers using the specific format.
- Time: Encourage users to fill out their answers using the specific format.
With this range of question types, it’s extremely easy to create the exact question that will get the most valuable response from your users.
But once you have all these answers, where can you keep it all for further analysis?
How to connect Google Forms to Google Sheets?
Google makes it extremely easy to integrate one Google tool with another. This includes connecting your Google Forms to Google Sheets. When you do this, any form responses submitted are transferred to your Google Sheets file, where they can be organized into a very digestible format.
To transfer all Google Form responses to your Google Sheets file, do the following:
- In your Google Form, select the Responses tab.
- Click on the three dots button (⋮) located next to the Google Sheets icon. Choose Select responses destination from the menu.
- Here, you can select where your responses will be. You can either choose to Create a new spreadsheet or Select existing spreadsheet.
Any responses will now be transferred directly to your Google Sheet.
It’s important to note that:
- If you save your responses in Google Sheets, they will remain there even if you delete the data from the form.
- If you change the fields within the form, these will automatically update in the sheet too. However, once a form has been submitted, any data within it will not change within the spreadsheet.
Read this article on How to connect Google Forms to Google Sheets for more detailed instructions, including how to further analyze your data.
How to create a Google Form
Now that you have an in-depth understanding of Google Forms, let’s go through a step-by-step on how to create one yourself.
In this example, I’ll create a customer satisfaction form to send to my clients. I want to connect it to a new Google Sheet where I can further analyze the data to create a final report.
1. Create a new form
Open https://docs.google.com/forms/ or access the tool via Google Apps in Chrome. You can either start with a ready-made template by Google, or start from scratch.
As I want to start from scratch, I will select the Blank option to begin.
Here, you can start by adding the form name and form description.
2. Add questions
Now, it’s time to add your questions.
To add a new question to your form, click on the plus icon located on the right-hand side of your form.
A new question box should appear. Here, you can use the dropdown menu on the right to choose your question type. Then, use the fields to write out your question, and (if applicable), write out your answer options.
In this example, I will create a dropdown question based on departments.
To make this a mandatory question, I can activate the Required button located at the bottom of the question box.
If I want to move my answer options around, I can drag and drop them by hovering over the left of each answer option.
Continue adding all of your questions.
3. Add sections
If your Google Form is quite long, you may want to section it off based on different categories. In this example, I will divide the survey into 3 sections; about the client, about the service, about the experience.
Click on the question before you want your section to start. Select the Add section icon from the menu on the right-hand side.
The section should appear below. Add a title and brief description.
Customize your form
Now that you have the basis of your Google Form ready, you can begin to customize it to reflect your company or brand.
Click on the Customize theme button on the top right-hand side of the screen. Here, you can adjust the theme of your form:
- Add a header image
- Choose your theme color
- Choose your background color
- Adjust the font
Under the Settings tab, you can further customize your form.
You can turn it into a quiz for example, and manage how your responses will be collected and analyzed.
You can also individually customize your questions.
Simply select a question and use the menu on the right-hand side to add an image, add a video, or import existing questions.
Read this Google support page for more information on How to create, edit and format Google Forms.
5. Choose where to save form responses
With your Google Form ready, it’s time to determine where to send the responses.
Click on the Responses tab, then the More options (⋮) button. Choose Select responses destination from the dropdown.
Here, choose whether to save your responses in a new or existing spreadsheet.
In this example, I will choose to create a new spreadsheet. Add the name of your new spreadsheet.
Once finished, click Create.
There should now be a Google Sheets icon next to the More options (⋮) button. Click this to open the new spreadsheet.
6. Send to user
Your Google Form is ready to send out to users.
Click the purple Share button located on the top right-hand side of the screen.
You can do the following:
- Add email addresses individually.
- Copy the Google Form link to add to a message.
- Copy a HTML link to embed the form in an email or website page.
Once you’ve carried out your preferred method, click the Send or Copy button to finalize the process.
How to fill out a Google Form
Filling out a Google Form is just as easy as creating one. Simply answer the questions in the survey, making sure to always answer the required questions.
Once you’ve finished the Google Form, click the Submit button.
Now, all your responses will be sent to the Google Form creator.
Automatically generate a form from your spreadsheet – Sheetgo Forms
Although Google Forms are a great tool to collect data in your spreadsheets, the Sheetgo Forms take data collection to the next level.
Unlike Google Forms, Sheetgo Forms allows you to create a fully-customized form using data from your spreadsheet. Each column in your spreadsheet creates a new field in your form. You can use Sheetgo’s long list of configurations to create custom question types, field types and dynamic default values.
Simply connect your spreadsheet and Sheetgo will transform it into a custom Sheetgo Form. You can then add the form to any of your workflows and choose a new or existing spreadsheet as the destination file for all responses. Sheetgo will automatically transfer the form responses to your original spreadsheet, organizing each answer under the corresponding question column.
As a result, there is no need to manually create your form – Sheetgo will create a custom one for you using your spreadsheet data. From here, users can fill out the form and you’ll receive the responses directly into your spreadsheet, ready to analyze or link with other connections within your workflow.
For an in-depth step by step on how to create a Sheetgo Form, take a look at this support article on How do Sheetgo Forms work?
Why use a Sheetgo Form?
Sheetgo Forms offer everything Google Forms offer and more:
- Automated form creation: No need to manually create the form – Sheetgo uses your spreadsheet data to build it for you.
- Connect to Google Sheets and other spreadsheets: Automatically transfer form responses to your spreadsheets to further analyze your data.
- Variety of configurations: Sheetgo provides a long list of intelligent configurations to get the most out of your data, including a barcode scanner, email, file uploads and default values.
- Data integrity: Sheetgo gives you complete control of how data is collected and stored. With separate forms sent to users, their personal data is kept private and you determine who has access to the spreadsheet.
- Access on any device: Sheetgo Forms can be used on any digital device for ultimate accessibility. This includes all of the configurations, including the barcode scanner.
- Connect within a workflow: You can connect the Sheetgo Form to your workflow, where the data can be transferred automatically to other connected files, as well as transforming the results into a live dashboard.
Collect data using forms in Google Sheets
And there you have it! As you can see, Google Forms are a great way to collect large amounts of data from multiple sources. What’s more, there are a lot of features to further customize and optimize your forms. However, if you’re looking for a solution that can automate the data collection process from start to finish, offering even more customizable features to tailor the forms to your exact business needs, then Sheetgo Forms may be the perfect tool for you.
Interested in seeing the Sheetgo Forms as part of a ready-made solution? Check out this article on the Inventory with barcode scanner system in Google Sheets.
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