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1st Gear: Basic forms -- how to make them, why you’d use them, how they can help you manage your workload.

Start by logging into your Gmail or Google account and going to your Google Drive. Google Forms Menu
From there, choose Create, and then Forms.

Creating a Form will also create a companion/linked Spreadsheet at the same time. This is where results from your form will be stored. 

There is an option to save data within the actual form, or to assign the data location to a sheet inside an existing spreadsheet, but I never do this. 
Apps Dropdown Menu
Once you create a form, you’ll be asked to choose a title and a theme for your form. You can choose the theme now, or choose later, or simply leave it blank. You can always change your mind later and change it to something else. 

Currently, there are 19 different themes available. There used to be more, so you'll sometimes see older forms that use themes that are not available anymore. They should all be migrating to the new format soon. Maybe when that's done throughout Google Apps they'll add more themes, or allow users to design their own. Until then, choose from the options presented, or leave it plain. 
Forms Themes Window
Now that you’ve created a form, let’s look at its main parts, and the options available to you in each part:
1) Settings
2) Question/Item Options
3) Confirmation
 3 parts of a Google Form
 Part 1) Settings -- Three checkboxes allow you to:Which helps you:
 Control who can access the formRestrict form to accounts in your domain
 Collect email address of person filling out the formVerify/collect the Google account of the person filling out the form
 Show progress bar at bottom of screen.Useful for multi-page forms
 Part 3) Confirmation-- Three checkboxes allow you to:Which helps you:
 Show link to another responseEncourage visitors to submit a second form
 Publish and show a link to the results of this form to all respondentsAllow others to see the current results of the form questions 
 Allow respondents to edit responses after submittingUseful if you want visitors to be able to change their replies later
The default confirmation reply is “Your response has been recorded”, but you can edit it to say whatever you want to acknowledge that the form has been submitted.Tailor your respondents' next steps by providing a link in your confirmation.

Part 2) Question / Item Options

This is the heart of the form, so we'll spend a bit of time on your options. 

The center of the form is where most of your work will take place. There are lots of options, so hang on while we go through them.

Form Items Screenshot
 1. Form TitleIf you titled your form when you created it, the title should already be here. If you didn’t title it then, you can do so now. This will be the title for your form and the companion spreadsheet, so choose something that makes sense.  You can also use the “Form Description” box to include information your users might want to know (what the form is for, how long it might take – especially useful if more than one page) 
Title line
 2.  Questions/ItemsEach question or item on your form has its own workspace. A new form comes with one question; when you want to add another, simply click the “Add Item” button after saving your current one.
HINT: There’s a duplicate question button in the upper right which can really save time when you’re creating similar items.
Question line
 3.   Question title and help textEach question/item title will become the heading of a column in your companion spreadsheet, so they should be descriptive, but not too long.

If you need to include lengthy details, explanations, or examples, use the “Help Text” to do that. Information that shows there will appear on the form when the user completes it, but it won’t take up space on the spreadsheet results.

NOTE: All question types can be made required or optional. Users will not be able to submit a form without completing all required questions.

Question screen
 HINTTitle your questions something other than 1, 2, 3, etc. Using those question titles can make the results sheet pretty confusing later on, and reduce the value of the information you collect. 
 4.  Choosing a field typeThere are a variety of question types to choose from. Make your choice depending on what kind of answer you want.Question option dropdown
 Field Type     Best for: Special
 Text Short, open ended type answers Data Validation  
 Paragraph Longer, open ended types of answers Data Validation
 Multiple Choice When only one choice is possible     Go to page
 Check boxes When more than one choice is possible # of responses
 Choose from a list  When only one choice is possible Go to page
 Scale Likert Scale Ratings (1 to 5, etc.)
 Grid Repeating choices (multiple items with same format) 
 Date Dates No year
 Time Time  Duration

There’s still lots to learn, but you’ve got enough information to start making a form. So why not get started? 

If you’ve come today with an idea about a type of form you’d like to create, why not start in on it now. You’ll have a chance to keep changing it as we progress. If you don’t have any ideas about forms you’d like to try, ask for a suggestion.

We’ll take some time now to do some work.

ASSIGNMENT #1: Turn your form in for review

When you’ve created 2 different types of items, and you’ve made the other choices available to you (title, theme, confirmation message, etc.), you’re ready to show off your first attempt.

Here's a sample, basic form to see what you can quickly do with the skills you now have. 

Click the “Send Form” button in the upper right corner of your screen.

Then type the following email address in the “Send Form via Email” field:

You can keep working and fine-tuning your form while we wait for others to get to the same point. Any changes you make will appear in the version we look at later. Try changing your response form, browse the themes that are available, or trying out a new type of question/item.

Or maybe you're just ready to shift gears and move on to 2nd Gear: Managing Data. If so, then let's go!