The Super-Simple Way to Create Your Own Google Forms Templates

Google Forms is a go-to tool for many businesses and individuals looking to easily collect data and information online. Whether you need to create a customer feedback survey, job application, event registration form, or student quiz, Google Forms lets you build and share professional forms in minutes.

One of the most useful features of Google Forms is the ability to save your forms as reusable templates. Templates save you the time and effort of building new forms from scratch for recurring needs. You can create your own custom template with your preferred questions, answer types, theme, and settings, then use it as a starting point whenever you need a new form.

In this guide, we‘ll walk you through the process of creating your first Google Forms template step-by-step. With these tips and best practices, you‘ll be able to build templates perfectly tailored to your needs. Let‘s get started!

Why Use Google Forms Templates?

While Google Forms offers pre-made templates for common use cases, creating your own template unlocks the full flexibility of the tool. With a custom template, you can standardize the data you collect across your organization and ensure consistency in your forms‘ content and design.

Templates are especially valuable if you regularly send out the same type of form with minor variations, such as a monthly customer satisfaction survey or weekly quiz. Once you set up your template, you can simply make a copy, tweak the details, and share the new form in seconds.

Using templates can also help to:

  • Save time on building forms from scratch
  • Reduce manual data entry by pre-filling recurring fields
  • Maintain consistent branding across forms
  • Minimize errors or omissions in data collection
  • Streamline collaboration on form building

According to Zapier, over 3 million businesses use Google Forms, demonstrating its widespread popularity. By leveraging templates, these companies can scale their data collection efforts without adding complexity.

Planning Your Template

Before diving into building your template, it‘s important to plan out your form content and structure. Thoughtful planning will make the creation process much smoother and ensure you end up with a template that meets your needs.

Define Your Goals

Start by clarifying the purpose and goals of your template. Ask yourself:

  • What type of information do I want to collect?
  • Who is my target audience?
  • How will I use the collected data?
  • Will this be a one-time form or used repeatedly?

For example, if you‘re creating a customer feedback survey template, your goal might be to gauge satisfaction with your product or service and identify areas for improvement. You‘ll want to collect information like customer demographics, ratings of various aspects of their experience, and open-ended feedback.

Outline Questions & Sections

With your goals in mind, brainstorm a list of questions to include in your template. Group related questions into sections or pages to keep your form organized and easy to follow.

For each question, consider:

  • Is this question necessary to achieve my form goals?
  • What answer format would work best (multiple choice, short answer, linear scale, etc.)?
  • Should this question be required?
  • What instructions or context do respondents need?

Try to keep your form focused and concise to increase completion rates. As a general rule, aim for 10 questions or less, and use clear, direct language.

Choose a Form Style

Next, think about the overall look and feel you want for your template. Google Forms offers several pre-made visual themes, or you can create your own custom theme.

Consider your organization‘s branding guidelines and target audience when selecting colors, fonts, and images for your form. A polished, professional design can increase trust and engagement.

You can further customize the form experience with features like:

  • A welcome message or instructions
  • Page breaks and section headers
  • Progress bars
  • Confirmations and redirects

Plan out which of these elements you want to include in your template.

Building Your Template

Now that you have a plan in place, it‘s time to translate that into an actual Google Forms template. If you don‘t already have a Google account, you‘ll need to create one. Then:

  1. Go to forms.google.com and click the "Blank" template to start a new form from scratch.
  2. Give your form a title and description that clearly communicate its purpose. You can also add a header image here.

New Google Form

Adding Questions

The core of your Google Form template is the set of questions you include. Click the "+" icon on the right sidebar to add a new question.

Adding a new question

Google Forms supports 12 question types:

  • Short answer
  • Paragraph
  • Multiple choice
  • Checkboxes
  • Dropdown
  • File upload
  • Linear scale
  • Multiple choice grid
  • Checkbox grid
  • Date
  • Time
  • Section header

Select the question type that best fits the information you want to collect. For example, use multiple choice or checkboxes for questions with a fixed set of answers, and short answer or paragraph for open-ended responses.

Click on a question to edit the question text, add a subtitle or description, and customize settings like making the question required.

Editing a question

Use the duplicate and delete icons on each question to quickly make copies or remove questions. Drag and drop questions to rearrange their order.

For more advanced logic, you can create sections to group related questions and show/hide questions based on previous answers. This allows you to create dynamic forms that adapt to respondents.

Customizing the Design

Once you‘ve added all your template questions, it‘s time to polish the design. Click the palette icon at the top to open the "Theme options" panel.

Theme options

Here you can:

  • Choose a pre-made theme color and font style
  • Customize theme colors
  • Add a header image
  • Set background color

Aim to keep your design simple and accessible. Use contrasting colors for text and background, and limit the number of fonts.

Adjusting Form Settings

Click the gear icon at the top to open your form settings. Here you can toggle various options to fine-tune the respondent experience:

  • Collect email addresses
  • Restrict to 1 response per person
  • Edit after submit
  • See summary charts and text responses
  • Shuffle question order
  • Show link to submit another response
  • Show progress bar
  • Confirmation message

Consider which settings make the most sense for your template‘s intended use case. For a survey template, you might want to collect email addresses to follow up with respondents, while a quiz template may need to restrict responses to one per person.

Pay special attention to the confirmation message, as this is an opportunity to thank respondents and provide any next steps.

Collaborating on Templates

If you‘ll be building forms as a team, you can add collaborators to your template. Click the three-dot menu in the top right and select "Add collaborators."

Adding collaborators

Enter collaborators‘ email addresses and set their permission level (view, comment, or edit). Collaborators can then access the template from their own Google Forms account to make edits or suggestions.

Using Google Forms‘ built-in version history and comments features can also aid collaboration. You can see a log of all changes made to the template and revert to previous versions if needed.

Distributing & Managing Responses

Once your template is complete, you‘re ready to put it into action. Google Forms offers several options for distributing forms:

  • Share a link to the form
  • Embed the form on your website
  • Share via email
  • Share to Google Classroom
  • Download as a PDF or document

Sending options

For templates you plan to reuse regularly, keep the sharing settings as flexible as possible so you can easily adjust them each time.

As responses start coming in, you can view them in real-time from the "Responses" tab of your form editor. Google Forms automatically collects responses in a linked Google Sheets spreadsheet for more detailed analysis and manipulation.

Form responses

The "Summary" view provides a quick overview of response data with auto-generated charts and graphs. Use this to spot trends and insights at a glance.

For more advanced analysis, you can use Google Sheets formulas and pivot tables on the raw response data. Zapier also offers integrations to instantly send new form submissions to other apps like your CRM or email marketing tool.

Tips for Effective Google Forms Templates

As you build and refine your templates, keep these best practices in mind:

Keep It Focused

Resist the temptation to pack too many questions into one form. Shorter forms tend to have higher completion rates. If you need to collect a lot of information, consider breaking it into multiple forms or using page breaks and logic branching to keep the experience manageable.

Use Clear, Specific Language

Avoid jargon or ambiguous phrasing in your questions. Be as specific as possible so respondents know exactly what you‘re asking. Include descriptions or examples for complex questions.

Provide Context

Let respondents know upfront how their responses will be used and why their feedback is valuable. A brief intro message can help set expectations and build trust.

Make It Mobile-Friendly

Over 40% of online surveys are now completed on mobile devices. Preview your template on different screen sizes to ensure it‘s easy to read and interact with on smartphones. Keep question text concise and use mobile-friendly response types.

Test & Iterate

Before sharing your template widely, send it to a few test respondents to gather feedback. Note any questions that cause confusion and look for opportunities to streamline. Try different question types, wordings, and orders to optimize the response experience.

Conclusion

Creating a Google Forms template may seem daunting at first, but by following the steps outlined in this guide, you‘ll be able to build professional, effective templates for any data collection need. Planning out your template content, customizing the design, and optimizing settings will ensure a smooth experience for both you and your form respondents.

Templates are just one way Google Forms can help streamline your workflow and boost productivity. By saving your forms as reusable templates, you‘ll be able to spin up new surveys, quizzes, and questionnaires in a matter of minutes.

With over 2 billion monthly active users, Google Forms has become the go-to data collection tool for businesses of all sizes. By mastering templates and form building best practices, you‘ll be well on your way to gathering the insights you need to drive smarter decisions.

To Recap:

  1. Start by defining your template goals and target audience
  2. Outline your questions and sections
  3. Choose a form style and design
  4. Build out your questions and customize settings
  5. Collaborate with team members as needed
  6. Distribute your form and monitor responses
  7. Analyze response data and iterate on your template design

With a little practice and experimentation, you‘ll be a Google Forms template pro in no time! For more inspiration, check out our roundup of 50+ free Google Forms templates for every business need.

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