Creating Free Online Sign-up Forms and Questionnaires

This is another in a continuing series of tech tips for churches, a.k.a. “how to do it yourself without paying money” —church website construction tips from yours truly at www.sundaysoftware.com.

May a thousand cats think I’m a scratching post if I’m not right about this:

CREATING ONLINE FORMS & QUESTIONNAIRES IS A LOT EASIER THAN YOU THINK, thanks to Google’s free Google Docs service at http://docs.google.com

Maybe you’re registering kids for VBS. Maybe you need to send out a questionnaire about a schedule. Maybe you just want to POLL some members to find out when they can all meet next week. Online Forms are the answer.

Forms not only help you efficiently collect important info, they also make you LOOK like you know what you’re doing, and they display the results in a good looking chart or spreadsheet. Sure beats making a bunch of phonecalls or sifting through paper returns. You can email your form to people, or post the form at your website, or post the link to the form on your website.  And did I mention it is completely FREE? and easy to do?

Many church website companies offer form-building modules, so if your church is paying for a church site, see what they offer. But if you’re a volunteer or staff person who doesn’t have access to the church website form module, you can still make your own form and send it.  Bluntly: YOU DO NOT NEED TO WAIT FOR THE CHURCH WEBSITE TECHIE to distribute your form.  Just go ahead and build your own form in Google docs, then do one of the following.

1) EMAIL the link to your members.

2) Post the form’s LINK at your website. Sometimes, this is easier than asking the techie to post the code itself (unless you’re the techie).

If you ARE the web techie, then you’ll just copy the Google form code and paste it into your website to make the form appear on your webpage.

GET STARTED:
It is really easy to create a test form.  All you need is a free Google account to set up the form and access the results. If you have a Gmail account, you already have an account. Go to http://docs.google.com to get started. Sign in, and once you create the form, select the option to email it to yourself. Open your email and try the links back to the form. Once you fill out the form, look in you google docs account to see how the results display.

Tip: You can copy the link to the form in the email and send it to others, adding your instruction message to get them to click the link and complete the form.

Here’s a simple form I made at Google Docs demonstrating several types of answers one can put on a form. After creating the form, I clicked a button to generate a simple line of code that I pasted here in my blog page (see screenshots below).

 

Tech Tip: The “iframe” line of code which I pasted here from Google Docs was too wide for my blog page’s width, so I clicked the html view here in my blog and manually typed in a smaller width and longer height until it fit right. In other words, you can make any form you create fit your web page.  The background graphic is also something I selected from Google Docs’ form builder.

Some screenshots from Google Docs…

Here’s a screenshot showing the simple code Google gave me to paste into this blog page.

Here’s a screenshot of the E-Z to use form building template.

Yep, it’s very easy to do. So easy, in fact, that you won’t want to tell people how easy it was to do. Just let them think you’re a genius.  Go to http://docs.google.com to get started.

Check out my Ten Commandments CD! …from Sunday Software

 

 

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