It’s time to update the family book! 

Sending letters is so old fashioned, and most members don’t want to sit down and write out names, birthdays, babies, marriages…. THEN have to mail it back. (I know I put it aside and forget, too!!!)

Next time you want to collect updates and anecdotes, send out your request with a link to a google survey. (Then you can cut and paste the info, too!) Here’s a link to mine- you will need to make a copy before you can edit and use.

Steps to using my Google survey:

When you click on my document link, you will need to make a copy to use it. Depending on your device, look for three vertical dots. Clicking on that will give you a list of options. Choose copy. This will put a fully functional copy on your google drive that you can rename, edit, or use as is!

There are some great tutorials out there for creating and using Google forms. 

Once the information starts coming in, you will want to collect it in a spreadsheet. Google forms gives you the option of looking at the information from the survey itself (with neat graphs and categories) or you can collect it in a simple spreadsheet, so you can see the individual responses in columns under each question ( you can sort your information, copy/upload the information into other programs, stuff like that).

To put it into its own spreadsheet, you will need to complete one more step.

Once you’ve copied the file into your own google drive, and opened the survey, notice the area right above the name of the form. There are two tabs there. One says ‘questions’ and one says ‘responses’. Choose ‘responses’, then, you guessed it, those three little dots! 

Choose Responses, then select the three dots for the next menu.

Choose ‘select response destination’ and then make sure that you type in a name for your spreadsheet… I usually name it after the survey, with the date I started using it. 

Next, choose ‘select response destination’.

Click create, and your ready to share the form with your family members! 

After you type in a title, choose ‘Create’ to save your choices.

If you want to change the spreadsheet, the tutorial for that is here.

The last step is to share. 

I’ve been collecting emails for my relatives, so my first step will be to send an email to ‘share’ the google form link. In the email, I’ll ask those relatives to share the link with their relatives. Like ripples in a pond, the doc spreads and your family tree grows.

This is the ‘share’ icon. You start here to send emails, or to get the URL shortlink.
You can share directly from the google doc, if you have everybody’s email. You can type each email, or (the easy way!) simply cut and paste from other group emails you may have already sent or received about other family events!

You can also get a link right from the google survey that you copy and paste into a regular email, message, or other communication to family members – even in a good, old fashioned letter! (They will need access to a computer to complete the document, tho’, unless you print out a questionnaire….. )

To get a link: 1) choose the link icon; 2) check the box for a short link name; 3) copy the link.