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Tech Tip: Google Forms & RSVPs

training-google-formsSince the staff committee sends out our RSVP forms for staff parties via email, I know most staff have seen how easy it is to fill in this type of form. If you’ve ever wanted to set one up, hopefully this guide will make it as easy as possible.

Before you get started, it helps to think through a few quick questions:

  1. What information do your guests need? The usual is just title, time, date, location. But if they need to pay or sign a document, you may need to set up a second step after the RSVP form.
  2. What information will you need? Names? Emails?

Finding Forms

New Forms Menu

Google Forms are a special document type available from Google Drive, which you can create using your individual account. In the latest Google Drive update, they “hid” forms under the “More” link at the end of the “New” menu. You won’t find it in the simple shortcuts from your grid menu, though, you’ll need to open Drive fully.

Existing Forms

If you need to edit a form that someone else created, make sure they’ve shared the form itself with you, not just the form results. These two are managed separately – the results are usually saved in a Google spreadsheet.

 

You can find existing forms by going to the search bar and using the drop-down menu to select “Google Forms” from the “Opens with” section.

forms - find existing forms

 

New Form Checkboxes

I like to start with the checkboxes at the top and bottom of the form to make sure the form will work the way I want. These settings are customized for Chicago-Kent users and won’t appear if you use a different type of Google Form (with a personal email, for example).

These options in “Form Settings” at the top are very useful if you are inviting only Chicago-Kent staff, faculty, or students to be able to limit responses to those users, collect their emails (that’s what the username will be), and be sure they can only answer once!

Form Settings Options

 

The options at the bottom under “Confirmation Page” are also helpful, especially if you use them with the form settings above:

Form Confirmation Page OptionsTips for the Confirmation Page: You can customize the text tat appears at the end and even let people view the responses so far if you want to. Don’t show the form results if you are collecting text fields that you want kept private (like questions or suggestions). It won’t show usernames but it will show text entries.

Form Questions

Here’s an example RSVP form with a single (required) question. It has a title, description, question, and multiple choice answer options so only one response will be collected (yes or no):

Form - example rsvp form

Tip for adding questions: The answers to your form will appear in the spreadsheet in the order you add them, even if you rearrange them later. If you have a very simple form, that won’t matter. If you need to collect more information, keep that in mind as you write your questions to make sure they’re easy to read in the results.

Sharing Forms

Collaborative Access

Do you have someone else who needs to review a form’s questions or appearance? Here’s how to share access to the form itself (the results can be shared separately):

Sending via Email

This is also done with the Send form email. I recommend sending the form to yourself first for a few quick edits:

Editing Email Forms

Here is the quick checklist of changes I always make before sending a form via email:

  1. Move the disclaimer text to the end
  2. Edit the subject
  3. Replace “username” with “email”
  4. Remove disclaimers about passwords (not relevant to RSVP forms anyway)

Responses

Forms Responses MenuYou can view summaries, full results, or close your form using the “Responses” menu in the Form Editor.

You can also get to the summary view from the results spreadsheet from the “Form” menu, but you’ll need to click on “Edit Form” to turn off “Accepting Responses.”

Note: If you share the spreadsheet but not the form itself with someone, they won’t be able to use the “Edit form” option. (See collaborative access above to see how to share that file)

 

Form menu in spreadsheet

 

I hope this helps you quickly collect RSVP information and share it with anyone who needs access!

 

Emily Barney

Technology Training & Marketing Librarian

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