Tiny church administration: getting people to sign up

At the risk of overselling Google Documents, I think I have a tool to promote that would be very helpful for people in churches large and small. Thanks to a Day Job Office Mate, I learned that Google Docs spreadsheets can now be shared as a form.

Previously, it was possible to share a spreadsheet with any number of people. One created a spreadsheet and invited others to read or read and edit it. A spreadsheet could nicely store and manage details: say, for a church directory, seminary alumni dinner (“chicken, salmon or tofu?” “bringing guest”?) or adult enrichment class. But sharing the spreadsheet means sharing details that participants wouldn’t want generally known, and subject to mischief and corruption. Plus, a form would make the process more elegant. Offering a sign-up by email seems more like a service to church stakeholders than a make-do. It even thanks your participants after they fill in a form.

It is also amazingly easy to do. Some directions at the link above, with a screenshot below. A nice feature is that a timestamp gets attached to each submission — “$5 off to the first ten to sign up”? — and the form may be manually amended for those who don’t have email and web access. (“Call the church office to sign up if you don’t have email.”) With the spreadsheet, you can mail-merge letters and tickets as needed or produce a sign-in list.

Can you think of other ideas how this could be useful? If you would like me to ask you to fill in a form, send me a message through the Contact Me page.

A very simple Google Documents spreadsheet form

Note, the name you give the file is the subject your email recipient gets. And just two questions.

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