Collect Your Information in Style

I’ve been using Google Forms for surveys, application forms and questionnaires for quite some time now; mostly because they came within Google Apps which managed the mail servers for several companies that I have worked with or for (i.e. GMail for work). Forms used to come with some pros and cons versus other services that were available at the very low cost of free – one pro being that all the data goes into a spreadsheet that can be downloaded, analysed, imported into databases etc. The big downside for me was that, for a very long time, they were ugly. That has all changed though with the ability these days to insert header and background images and colours and to change the colour, size and font face of all the different text elements separately (I counted 150 different fonts available before I got bored).

Google Forms has a good range of options for how people get to answer your questions or provide information – short and long text boxes, radio buttons (multiple choice) and checkboxes, scales of 1-10, grids, date and time fields. They allow multi-page forms where respondents can be directed to different sets of questions if they answer certain questions in a certain way and all your information gets stored in a spreadsheet for you to analyse in Google Sheets or download as an Excel sheet or .csv for importing to other analysis or storage tools.

If you need industrial-strength processing and analysis of your forms, then maybe there is a better, paid, option for you that includes advanced tools for the job but, for most needs of smaller companies, Google Sheets will do just the job and can integrate seamlessly with your other branding. Google use Forms them all the time themselves for their own data collection so that’s a good endorsement.

To get using sheets, head over to Google Drive using any personal Google (GMail) account or any corporate Google Apps account. There’s plenty of help available if you need it, including “how to’s” and help forums. Just Google ‘using google forms’ and you’re on your way.