Google Docs, Forms

Since my blog post on the Google Spreadsheets code (for which Jonathan’s comments were immensely helpful, so thank you Jonathan!) I realized there is a far better way to go about entering the billing data my mom needs.

It would be far easier if I could make a webpage for my mom to enter the data into. I could Bookmark it in her browser of choice (Firefox 4) and whenever she needs to add more hours she simply goes over to the page and enters the appropriate date/time.

To create a new form you simply go to “Create new” and make sure to choose “Form”

gdoc-form

You’ll be presented with a simple editor. I won’t screen capture that myself, and actually I highly recommend you play around with the editor and you can figure it out yourself. If you do have questions though feel free to leave a comment.

I made a form with the questions that would be pertinent to my mom, and then selected a gardening theme (something she loves), and in a couple minutes I was done. Here, I’ll show you what I mean:

sample-form

When my mom enters the data and hits “Submit,” the data is automatically entered into a spreadsheet. She does not have to deal with the un-friendly Excel-like interface. Meanwhile I can see the data as it gets populated here:

sample-form-data

Timestamp is WHEN the data is submitted, and the other 4 columns are taken from the form shown above.

In the past one would need to learn HTML, PHP and possibly work with a database like SQL to be able to do this. Now a lay person can easily do it with Google Docs. Now obviously if you do use HTML, PHP and SQL you can have FAR more flexibility in the form, but if you need something quickly this might be far easier.

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