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If you’ve ever tried to make an online survey, you’ve probably tried a few tools here and there. You’ve no doubt enjoyed some features of one product, and some of another, while being frustrated at the limitations you’ve come across. Survey tools we’ve tried and loved at MakeUseOf include PollDaddy, SurveyMonkey Make Free Professional Online Surveys With Survey Monkey Make Free Professional Online Surveys With Survey Monkey Read More , Survey Legend Survey Legend: Create Beautiful Surveys Using Images to Engage Your Users Survey Legend: Create Beautiful Surveys Using Images to Engage Your Users Read More , SIS, and MicroPoll: They all have their benefits and shortfalls.

You may have already heard of Google’s Form feature, but not given it a try yet. Today I plan to convince you to give it a go. As a previous worshipper of SurveyMonkey and PollDaddy, I am keen to share a few of my biggest reasons for changing to Google Forms as my main survey and form-making tool. It really has changed the way I make forms and surveys. In fact, I’m starting to use them for everything, which brings me to my first reason.

Create Unlimited Free Forms

Most survey tools online will offer a certain amount of free polls or surveys before they start charging you for the service. This is all good and well if you’re a big company, but if you’re just a regular person who loves running polls and surveys, you’re out of luck.

Google, on the other hand, will let you run as many polls and surveys as you like. You can just keep creating new Google Forms Use Google Forms To Collect Contact Info On A Mobile Device Use Google Forms To Collect Contact Info On A Mobile Device Using Google Forms, you can collect names, emails, and other contact information on your computer or mobile device that supports mobile browsing. All the data is saved to a spread sheet which can be used... Read More until your Google Drive is full. Which, for most people, would take a really long time.

You’ve also got a lot of variety in the types of forms you can build. You can use all sorts of question types and use a variety of themes on your form.



Results Can Go Directly Into a Shareable Spreadsheet

If you love collaborating on things with friends or co-workers, then you’ll appreciate that Google Forms will allow you to share both the editing of the forms and the results with as many people as you like. Everyone can view them at the same time, make edits at the same time and see other people’s edits as they make them. Google’s document sharing abilities far surpasses anything I’ve ever seen on another survey tool. Unbeatable.

Logic Threading

Call it what you will: Threading, flow, logic-branching. Whatever – it’s useful. Threading is the ability to change the survey based on answers the participant has given. For instance, if the first question of the survey asks if you are a Mac or Windows user, the following questions can be based on Mac or Windows accordingly. It’s a handy way to avoid clunky wording of questions and ensure the participants only answer relevant questions.

Now, with many popular survey tools, this is available but only as an advanced feature. That means you’re going to pay for the privilege. With Survey Monkey, for instance, the cheapest pro account will cost you 25€ per month. On Google Forms, you can do this for free — and it’s easy to do!

You Can Get Email Notification of Results

Some of the poll-making and survey-making tools available online will insist that you revisit their site in order to check on results. This is just not very user-friendly in my opinion. Google Forms will let you get notifications or responses to your forms either with each response or in a daily batch.

It’s a little tricky to set up; somewhat unintuitive. But once you’ve done it a few times you’ll never forget how. To do it, change your response method to be a spreadsheet by clicking on “Choose Response Method” in the toolbar. Then click on “View Responses” to see the spreadsheet. Choose Tools > Notification Rules and pick whether you’d like immediate or daily batch notifications.

Forms are Mobile-Friendly

Not all web pages are created equally. Some are best displayed on a desktop machine, and some require Java or Flash. Not all of the readily available free survey-making tools are great on a mobile browser. But Google Forms are. All Google Forms are able to be used with any simple browser on any device. The design is responsive and the checkboxes or other response tools are easy to use no matter which device you’re on.

This is a huge selling point, as you can use Google Forms to get responses where most of the participants would be using a mobile device, such as a conference or meeting.

Reasons Not To Use Google Forms

Okay, a misleading title. I have no good reasons NOT to use Google Forms. There are, however, some great reasons to use pro features of other survey tools if you are in the market for some of their other features. For instance, Survey Monkey will help you to find your target audience. So, if you’re doing a random survey and need people between 18-30 who like beer to apply, Survey Monkey will help you find those people. That’s a powerful tool that you won’t find Google offering.

However, for most regular Joes and Janes, we just don’t need these features. All we need is a cool way to make a survey, poll or some other variety of form. And for that, Google Forms are perfect.

Which survey-making tools have you tried. What would keep you using them over Google Forms? Why?

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  1. Aishwarya Apte
    April 12, 2017 at 4:57 am

    I want to use Google form for taking quiz of students. My question is how I can make sure that form/quiz I shared with students they will not be able to see others response only I should be able to see it

  2. Mike
    October 1, 2016 at 1:44 pm

    Do your users have to have google accounts, the ones who you share the spreadsheet with, or your forms-filler-outers?

    • Robert
      December 24, 2016 at 4:55 pm

      Those who take the survey do not need to have a Google account. Anyone can take easily take a survey in seconds. Only the person who makes a survey in Google Forms needs a Google account.

  3. Marelize
    January 11, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Thanks for the response Jack - do you send the links manually or is it an automated response as well?

  4. Patricia Adams
    March 9, 2015 at 7:03 am

    My personal favorite is SoGoSurvey. Easy-to-use and very budget friendly.

  5. Jenai
    February 26, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    Jack mentioned "One of the new features enables respondents to return to and edit their original entry. Recently I’ve gone into the script gallery and added a script that will generate an auto response to user upon the form being submitted." Can anyone point me out to this function? I belive my survey would yeild more productive results if participants had the ability to come back with updated information as most will be hit with questions that need more thought than the 5 minute break at meeting will allow for.

  6. Maria
    January 7, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    I do love Google forms BUT it does not have a "save and continue later option" - no *that* would be truly perfect...

    • Chelle
      February 17, 2016 at 4:55 pm

      Google automatically saves the form. You can return to it at any time.

      • Danielle
        March 31, 2016 at 9:37 pm

        You can save a form you are designing, but you cannot save a form that you were "filling out". So from the POV of the recipient of the form, you cannot save your progress and come back to it later.

  7. David G
    August 26, 2013 at 6:06 am

    I wanna embed Google Forms on my website. I hope it works as a contact form.

    • Angela A
      October 27, 2013 at 4:40 am

      It's perfect for that!

  8. Kat
    August 16, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    Excellent review, can't wait to test drive Google forms. Thanks for the 411!

  9. Syed
    August 16, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    "Okay, a misleading title. I have no good reasons NOT to use Google Forms. " You rocked.... :)

    • Angela A
      October 27, 2013 at 4:41 am

      Heh, thanks!

  10. Jack
    August 16, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    I've also used SurveyGizmo but Google forms have become my favorite tool for collecting information. One of the new features enables respondents to return to and edit their original entry.

    Recently I've gone into the script gallery and added a script that will generate an auto response to user upon the form being submitted. This has enabled me to automate several workflows that used to require paper forms.

    • Angela A
      October 27, 2013 at 4:41 am

      That's a great idea! I will need to start playing with scripts.

    • Marelize
      January 8, 2016 at 12:27 pm

      Jack, do the function of being able to return and edit relate to a google sign in being required?

      • Jack
        January 8, 2016 at 1:29 pm

        Users can return and edit their previous responses without a sign in being required. You can enable this function in the "Confirmation Page" settings which will appear at the very bottom of your form when you are in edit mode. You just check the box that says "Allow responders to edit responses after submitting".

        Rather than enabling this function, I prefer to send a link that gives them access to their previous response and I send it only to those users that have a need to return and edit a response.