I had to share this cool new feature of Google Docs, but I didn’t want the last post to go any longer than it already was.

One of the great things about Google is that they are always innovating. One of their coolest innovations is an online form that fills data directly into a Google Spreadsheet. So here’s how it works. Open up a Google Spreadsheet and click on the “share” button. This will give you the opportunity to share as collaborators, viewers or to to fill out a form. Click on the “fill out a form” selection and write whatever questions you need. Then you simply add the email addresses of who you want to fill out the form. They’ll get a slick form in their email (if for some reason the form doesn’t work, it includes a link to the form on a separate web page). As people complete the form, their responses are automatically added to the spreadsheet you created in Google Docs.

How might you use this? Easy! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve created a camp application where I forgot to ask what size t-shirt the child needs. Or there have been times where I’ve needed to collect some simple information from a large number of people. Perhaps you want to contact all your volunteers before Christmas and ask them what service(es) they would prefer to work. Certainly I could send out an email, but that would also require reading the responses or cutting and pasting data from emails to a spreadsheet. Using Google Spreadsheet’s form means spending just a few minutes to send out the form and then just waiting for the spreadsheet to populate on it’s own. Beautiful!

I set up a sample form here. Don’t be bashful… fill out the form!

Now, go here to view the Google Spreadsheet that is being populated by this form.

You will need to create a Google account (if you don’t have one already) to view the page, but again it is free… and easy. If you don’t have a Google account…. why?

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