Internet Productivity

How to Use Google Forms to Get Updates From Your Remote Team

Sandy Writtenhouse 25-06-2020

Google Forms is a terrific and intuitive tool for gathering information from clients, customers, and employees. You can easily create and customize a form, share it in a few different ways, and then analyze the answers.

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If you’re in a work situation where you have a remote team, Google Forms can be an effective method for obtaining updates. You can use it for a specific project or simple work updates that you request daily or weekly.

Start a New Form

Google Forms offers a nice selection of templates that can help you get started. Click the Template gallery at the top to review templates for Work, Personal, and Education. If you see one that has the basics you need, such as the questions types, click it to use it.

If not, you can start from scratch by clicking the Blank option under Start a new form. This is what we’ll be using for this tutorial.

The first thing you should do when you create a new form is to name it. Since Google Forms saves your work as you go, you’ll always know which is the correct form if you name it upfront. Optionally, you can also add a description.

Google Forms Name and Description

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If you enter the name on the form itself, that name will pop into the spot on the top left by default. But you can change that name as well as select a location for it within Google Drive if you like.

Google Forms Name and Location

Add Your Form Questions

Google Forms gives you several question types that should cover any situation. From short answers and paragraphs to multiple choice, checkboxes, and dropdowns, you have all the flexibility you want.

Basic Details

The most sensible questions to begin a team update form with are name, date, and optionally time. Whether you use a template or the blank form, you’ll have a question already there to get you started. So you can simply change that question type if necessary and then click the plus sign to add more questions.

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Google Forms Basic Detail Questions

For your team member’s name, select Short answer as the question type. Then add the name of the question and turn on the toggle for Required.

For the date your team member is completing the form, click the plus sign to add a question, and pick Date in the dropdown box for the question type. Then add the question name, such as Date, and make the question required.

If you’d like your team member to enter the time they’re completing the form, click the plus sign to add a question and select Time for the type. Don’t forget to add the question name and make it required if you like.

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Multiple Choice or Dropdown for Department or Area

If you are sending the update form to many people, you may want to add questions for things like department or area. Multiple choice and dropdown question types work perfectly for these types of questions. Plus, you can have the responder move automatically to other questions based on their answers.

Google Forms Department Multiple Choice

For department or area, you can use the Multiple choice question type if there are only a few answers to pick from and the Dropdown type to conserve some space if there are many possible answers. Choose your question type and then add each answer. We’ll use Multiple choice.

Now, depending on the answer the responder picks, we want to move them to a certain section with specific questions. This is a very handy feature in Google Forms because you can eliminate the need for the responders to skip questions that don’t apply to them and go directly to the ones that do.

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On the bottom right of the question, click the More button (three dots) and mark Go to section based on answer. You’ll then see the question update with a spot to add the section next to each answer.

Google Forms Go To Section

If you already have your sections created, you can select each using the dropdown boxes. If not, continue below to create a section and then come back to complete this part.

Google Forms Go To Section List

Use Separate Sections for Each Department or Area

To create a section, click the bottom button in the floating toolbar for Add section. You’ll see the section appear and can give it its own name and description. In this how-to, we’re going to create a section for those who select Information Technology for their department.

Google Forms New Section

We’ll add a question for the current project(s). This allows us to see which projects the responder is currently working on and checkboxes allow them to pick more than one. So, you can pick Checkboxes for the type, or you can take this question a step further.

Maybe for each project they select, you want to know their progress for it. This is where the Checkbox grid type is ideal. You can enter each phase in the Rows section and each project in the Columns section (or vice versa).

If you do lay the answers out as we describe, you can then click the More button and pick Limit to one response per column. This way, the responder can only pick one phase per project, which would make sense.

Google Forms Checkbox Grid Limit

So, this allows the responder to not only tell you which projects they are working on, but which phase they are on for each; all with one checkbox grid question.

Google Forms Checkbox Grid

You can then create additional sections and the questions the same way.

Another type of question you may want to add is a Paragraph for feedback. This lets the responder type in any issues, questions, or other feedback they have with plenty of space.

Google Forms Paragraph Feedback

Check Your Responses

Viewing the responses from your form couldn’t be easier. Just open your form on Google Forms and hit the Responses tab at the top. You’ll see a summary, can view responses by question, or look at individual answers.

Google Forms gives you text responses as well as colorful graphs and charts for your forms. And you can export the responses for offline viewing.

For additional information on viewing responses or creating forms in general, check out our extensive guide to Google Forms The Best Guide to Google Forms You’ll Ever Find Google Forms is one of the best free web tools available to gather data. This Google Forms guide will give you everything you need to master essential form-building skills. Read More .

Send Email Reminders

If you enable the option to collect email addresses for your form, you can then send reminders to those who don’t complete the form. This is extremely convenient; however, there are a few things to do and keep in mind for it to work correctly.

First, set up your form to collect the addresses. Click the Settings button (gear icon) on the top right and pick General in the popup window. Check the first box for Collect email addresses and hit Save.

Google Forms Collect Emails

An email address question will automatically pop onto your form which you cannot remove, and it is a required question.

Google Forms Email Question

Next, you must send your form to the participants via email. Click Send and use the Email tab. Enter the addresses of those you want to complete the form, separated by commas, and hit Send.

Now that Google Forms knows who you sent the form to, it can determine if responses are received from those responders. To send email reminders to those who haven’t responded, follow these steps.

  1. Open your form and click the Responses tab at the top.
  2. You’ll see sections for Who has responded? and Waiting for X responses.
  3. In the latter, click Send email reminder.

Google Forms Send Email Reminder

The same window you saw when you initially sent the form will display, prepopulated with those email addresses you are waiting for responses from. This lets you send them a polite reminder to complete your update form.

Copy and Reuse Your Form

If you plan to send your team update form regularly with minor changes to project names or work duties, as examples, you can simply copy your form and adjust it as needed.

Open your form and click More (three dots) on the top right. Pick Make a copy, give your copied form a name, and click OK to save it. You’ll also notice you have the option to share it with the same people, which is handy. You can then make your adjustments and send it.

Google Forms Copy Form

Consistent Updates Are Easy With Google Forms

It might seem like a bit of work to create a team update form using Google Forms at first. But if you do, you’ll get the updates and information you actually need because they’re answering questions you create. Plus, you can easily copy and reuse the form over and over.

For more, take a look at how to create a free website contact form with Google Forms or other ways you can use Google Forms for your business How to Use Google Forms for Your Business A form is an easy way to automate a repetitive task. Here we show you how you can use Google Forms for common work or business routines. Read More .

Related topics: Collaboration Tools, Google Drive, Google Forms, Remote Work.

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