Nowadays, you probably run a survey of some kind a couple of times a week via Buzzfeed, Facebook or news sites, etc. While we do a ton of surveys, not many of us do our own surveys. The main reason is that there is no very simple and quick way to create a survey, send it, track responses, and show the results to everyone.
After using a few online tools, my preferred method for creating simple surveys to send to friends or family is to use Google Forms. It lets you create fully customizable polls or forms, send them to anyone, and track all of their responses in one place. In this article, I’ll show you how to easily create your own polls using Google Docs.
Before we start, it should be noted that there are two ways to create a form in Google Docs. The first way is to create a new form from Google Drive, and the second, in my opinion, the best way is to create a form from Google Sheets that will link the spreadsheet to the form and load all the data into the spreadsheet for later analysis.
Starting the form
To create a form from Google Sheets, go to the Insert tab and then click Form.
A new tab will open with a form control panel. This is where you can start adding questions, etc., which I will explain below. You will notice that when you return to your table, you will see a message that a new form has been created. Also, if you click on the Form tab, you will be able to edit the form, submit it, view the live form, etc.
You will also see a new sheet in the spreadsheet called Form Responses, where all responses to each question will be saved.
To create a form from Google Drive, either click the big Create button on the left, or click My Drive, then New File, and then click Google Forms.
Create a survey form
Now for the fun part: creating our form! This is what the new form screen looks like below. What I love about it is that it is very intuitive to use and understand.
By default, you are in question editing mode, but you can also switch to Change Topic, View Answers, or View Live Form using the buttons at the top. There are many topics to choose from, so you can make your survey professional, stupid, or whatever.
The next section is Form Options, where a progress bar is displayed so users can see what part of the survey they have completed. You can also customize it so that there is only one answer for each user and you can shuffle the questions if you want. The first option is useful if you are conducting a survey among your employees or students and you need to make sure that the answers are accurate and can relate to a specific person.
Before we get to the middle section, let’s get to the bottom of the confirmation page. These are the options for the last page that users will see after completing the survey. You can provide them with a link to submit another response, post the link to the form’s results for the public to see, and allow respondents to edit their responses after they submit the form.
The middle section is where you create the shape. By default, if you create a form from a spreadsheet, it will have the same name, but you can change it. Below you can give a description, and below – actual questions. By default, the first question is a multiple choice option. Go ahead and click on a question and it will unfold so you can customize the question.
Name your question and then add help text if you want to clarify something or add more information to the question. The type of question is cool! You can choose from many different options such as text, paragraph text, multiple choice, checkboxes, list box, scale, grid, date and time.
The text is really neat because you can use it to have users enter information like email addresses, phone numbers, and so on, and then actually validate the data to make sure it matches.
After you create your own, click the View Live Form button to see how it looks. Here’s my fake vacation survey:
Close this tab and then click the Submit Form button and either submit it to your Google Circles or enter the email addresses of the people you want to include in the survey. That’s all! It’s so easy that you can create a form and submit it in less than half an hour. Enjoy!