This is a great trick from Google Docs I just discovered while visiting author Dan Pink’s site where he welcomed readers to sign up for notifications of when his new book comes out. What was interesting is that the form is from Google Docs, and it saves the data directly into a spreadsheet.
I’m no Excel maven, but this is incredibly easy to do. Try it out by going to this form to share what book you’re reading, just as a simple example of how it can work. It takes seconds to try it, and then if you want to create one of your own, Google makes it easy for you to do so if you’re logged in to your Google Account.
The only hitch is that the form’s not embeddable directly in a blog post or elsewhere, so currently you have to go to the link. I tried embedding it in a blog post and it’s a live form – you can fill it out there, but it messes up the design on that post and for that month (I backdated it to October so it wouldn’t mess with the current entries). If you know a fix, include it in the comments. I did this just by viewing the source and copying most of the code.
Below, I’ve pasted Google’s how-to for creating a form yourself:
You can create a form from any spreadsheet. Just follow these instructions:
- Open a new spreadsheet.
- Save the spreadsheet.
- Click the Share tab.
- Under ‘Invite people:’ choose the radio button to fill out a form.
- Click Start editing your form… In the form template that opens, you can add any questions and options you’d like.
- Click the Preview and send tab. Here, you can add email addresses, a custom confirmation message, and choose whether you want people to see the responses.
- When you’re finished, click Send.