How I Use Google Forms To Manage Over 120 Custom Requests Per Year
When you're managing multiple platforms it's easy to lose track of requests. I've tried everything to stay on top of my obligations and unfortunately, there have been times where the ball was dropped. My issue with planners is that I forget where I put them. A lost planner is not helpful at all. I needed something better than pen and paper that I could access from anywhere at any time.
I love Google because everything syncs and I can access it from every device I own. In the past, I've used Google forms for polls, but it never occurred to me what a useful tool it could be for tracking orders and requests. I'm going to share how to set up a basic Google Form and connect it to Google Spreadsheets so that keeping up with to-dos is more manageable.
Go to Google Drive and click on the "New" icon in the top left corner.
A drop-down menu will pop up. Find Google Forms in the menu and click the arrow icon to open more options. Select "blank form".
Click on the "Untitled form" box at the top to start editing the text and give your form a name. You can add a description too if you'd like.
The first box will look like the image below. Click on the drop-down menu to the right that says "multiple choice" and change it to "Short answer".
We're now in the process of customizing the form so yours may need to be slightly different than mine. Click the plus icon on the right to add a new box. I've added 5 short answer boxes so that I can identify the purchaser's username, contact info, their request, specific details, and the amount paid. Then I've added a multiple choice box at the bottom to determine whether or not it's a package.
Tip: You can add a multiple-choice box like mine to determine whether or not an order requires shipping information. In multiple-choice setup, you can also determine rules for the answers. If yes, and an item requires shipping, you can tell your form to proceed to the next section. Hover over the menu bar on the right and find "add section" at the bottom. Repeat steps 1-5 and add boxes with short answers for name, address, city, state, postal code, and country information. If you choose to collect sensitive information you should regularly delete it or keep it in a more secure location. Make sure your Google account has two-factor authentication turned on and a strong password.
Click on the "Responses" tab at the top of the Google Form.
Next to the green Google Spreadsheets icon click on the 3 dots and choose "select response destination" from the dropdown menu.
Choose "create a new spreadsheet" and give it a name. Then click "create". Don't leave this page yet, but you can open your Google Drive in a new tab to check if the spreadsheet is now listed in your files.
Click on the purple "Send" button in the top right. Then click on the link icon in the popup box. This is the link to your form that will allow responses to be recorded in your spreadsheet. This link is only meant for you to use and I do not recommend sharing or inviting others to respond. You will get the most accurate information by filling in the form for yourself.
Copy and paste this link into your own browser and bookmark it. Now, when you need to input an order you will click this bookmark and fill out the form you've created. You can refer to the spreadsheet for your responses.
Tip: When I've completed an order I highlight the row green to mark it as finished.
The spreadsheet will also keep track of the date the order was entered. If you are immediately tracking requests when they're received this could help give you a better idea of when orders are past-due. This also helps me be more aware of how many requests I can realistically handle at once.
If you need any help please feel free to contact me.