Web forms are a great way to quickly gather information from others directly into a sheet. The IT department at BBN Radio uses web forms to gather Help Desk requests and Loyola University’s major gifts department funnels data requests into one master sheet using web forms. The sheet / web form combo is invaluable for teams often inundated with requests from other departments - now they’re organized, processes are streamlined, and nothing falls through the cracks.
This week, we’ve got a few new tips to help you make your web forms even smarter. Check out these three tricks to optimize your next web form: using timestamps, setting personal notifications, and adding multiselect questions.
#1. Keep track of timestamps
Adding a System Column into your sheets is an easy way to automatically capture information without adding another step for those filling out and submitting your web form.
Use a ‘Created (Date)’ column in your sheets to instantly timestamp all web form submissions – date and time captured!
Add the system column by clicking the drop-down arrow underneath an existing column's header and selecting Insert 1 Right or Insert 1 Left.
Set the column's type to Auto-Number/System > Created (Date), then click OK
- Click the Save icon in the left toolbar and the column will automatically populate with the date each row was created.
Now every time a new entry is added to your sheet, this added column will reflect the exact date and time that the submission came through. Use timestamps when you have a web form that you’d like others to be able to complete quickly but you need more detailed information on the backend, in your sheet. Great for event RSVPs with a registration deadline, detailed bug tracking, Help Desk tickets, quickly adding updates from your mobile phone and more.
#2. Set up personal notifications
If you’re managing a team and assigning them tasks from one master sheet, you may not need to set a global alert to notify everyone each time your sheet has a new submission. Instead, use these steps to set up your own personal instant notification. When a new help desk issue is sent in, you’ll immediately know and can hop into your sheet and assign ownership to one of your technicians.
It’s simple to set up:
Add a checkbox column to your sheet called Submitted via Web Form
>Hide the column by clicking the drop-down arrow underneath the column's header and selecting Hide Column. This will prevent the column from being edited by your team members shared to this sheet.
Open the web form editor then click on the Add Field section to add the column as a field on the web form.
Make the column a hidden field and give it a default value of Checked.
Now, each time a web form submission is made, the checkbox in this column will get checked automatically without any interaction from the person filling out the form.
- Set up a Notification that sends you an email Right Away when the Submitted via Web Form column changes.
Now you'll receive an email alert every time your web form is filled out and submitted.
#3. Add multi-select questions
Web forms are an easy way to get a lot of information from someone really quickly. Try building your own multi-select question. They’re great for follow-up surveys after events, or on help tickets where multiple things may be wrong with a machine or software.
- Create new checkbox columns in the sheet, one for each check-able option.
- Open the web form editor and click on Add Field. Add a Heading/Description to the web form and set the Heading to the question you want to ask.
- For each of the checkbox fields change the Display Type to have Caption to the right.
Voila! A multi-select checklist is now a part of your web form.
What are your favorite web form tricks? We’d love to know!
Til next time, dig in and explore!
- Support Team