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School l Directory - How to Collect Data Online

14 years 6 months ago #151005 by JHB
I found a sample I'd set up awhile back. Here's the link to the spreadsheet and the form . You can enter dummy info and you can see how each field type works.

I remember now why I don't like the check boxes. If the person picks more than one thing, it stores all the answers in one field. That gets pretty long, plus it's not very useful to be able to sort or filter. In this case, the question was about what time was best for volunteering. For me - it would be better to separate these into all separate questions (morning, afternoon, etc.) It's bit more to fill out, but then the spreadsheet is easier to use. For this example, if you need people who can work morning, you'd sort or filter by that column. With all the answers squished in one cell, you'd have to manually pick and choose by reading the cells.
14 years 6 months ago #151004 by JHB
An application that provides other features and reporting is always nicest if you can swing it. But if you are looking for free (and easy), then the Forms feature of Google Docs would be a good alternative.

I use these tools for both business and volunteer purposes. The form is super simple to set up. Ten minutes and you're ready to start. Just log into Google and then "more" from the list of items at the top, then "documents". This gets you into that environment where you can create word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation files. Go to Create New and select Form.

You'll quickly get the hang of it. Here are a few caveats.

* Think pretty carefully about what you want to collect and in what order. Once you have the form set up, it automatically creates the underlying spreadsheet. I've had some issues when I decided later to add a new field or switch things around. You CAN edit it, but try to do so while you are still testing.

* Keep your field names short. These become your column headings later. Use the help/text line for each field for lengthier information.

* The spreadsheet function is adequate, but it's more primative than Excel. I tend to export the data out into Excel if I do much more than view.

* Expect some random trash/spam entries and requests for access to view the spreadsheet.

* one of the field types was a real pain. I think it was the checkboxes. I can't remember exactly what the issue was, but the way it stored the values in the spreadsheet was too cumbersome.

*Be careful who you give data access to - you can allow designated others to view and/or edit the spreadsheet.

Good luck!
14 years 6 months ago #150997 by mum24kids
I haven't tried it myself, but I have heard that you can do something like this with Google Forms (a function of Google Docs). People type the information in the form, and the form responses are collected in a spreadsheet. So, you might want to check that out.
14 years 6 months ago #150945 by Rockne
That's correct. If you're looking for more on PTO Manager, here's the link:


PTO Today Founder
14 years 6 months ago #150938 by Lisa
You can do it through PTO Manager.
14 years 6 months ago #150886 by Tracy
Does anyone know how to set up a website for parents to enter their data (student name, parents name, address, phone, etc) online. The idea is to collect this data and dump it into an excel spreadsheet, then bring to the printer. We have no idea. HELP! No one has time to key in this information by hand every year.
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