Quizzes can be a real benefit for marketers — and for plenty of other professionals. They can be frivolous or serious, ranging from fun quizzes to increase traffic, to market research surveys, to weeding out the hacks from the experienced potential hires.
To demonstrate how the quiz feature can work, we use an example of a basic knowledge test to be used when hiring a search engine optimization specialist for our marketing team. We expect a lot of applicants, so it makes sense for us to look at resumes only from the people who know the right answers, which means sorting them by some kind of “grade.”
From Google Drive, click New, then More, and choose Google Forms — or head directly to Google Forms.
Smartsheet is an online application that allows users to collaborate and organize projects and task lists. It avoids the issues that arise from multiple versions of spreadsheets, confounded by long email threads in which no one knows which data is current. Instead, Smartsheet makes it easy to keep track of tasks through a simple (or not so simple) to-do list.
Yet despite Smartsheet’s capabilities, teams can load up their sheets with an abundance of information and tracking points. Most bosses don’t have time to dig through everything their teams created; they want a high level view of a project’s progress. The boss just needs the basics of the completed work.
Often, we need to use the same photo or block of text for multiple Google Docs. No matter what kind of writing we do, we regularly repeat graphic elements, such as a company logo or or oft-cited trend chart. Here’s a time-saving tip: You can make copying and pasting multiple items an easy task with Google Docs’ own Web Clipboard.
In the example below, we are writing a research piece in Google Docs about the monkeys of Nepal. We want to to copy and paste two photos and a snippet of text that talks about the Money Temple in Kathmandu, and we know we will need them for another article about the Monkeys of Asia.
Google Forms lets you control the questions presented to users based on data already collected. It helps you ask follow-up questions that depend on earlier responses. But it’s not clear how — or why you should bother. Let me show you how it works.
We ask follow-up questions all the time. Here’s a few examples:
You’re planning a lunch event, and need to find out if an attendee has dietary restrictions. The people who answer, “No” don’t need to be distracted by a question asking what type of meal is acceptable (vegan, gluten-free, etc.).
We ask people using an eCommerce store where they found out about the website. If the user clicks a form choice that he learned about it from a flyer in a local coffee shop, we ask him to identify one of the three coffee shops in which we posted flyers. If the user instead had a personal referral, we might ask her for the friend’s contact info so we can send that friend a “thank you.”
We prompt for a location specification. A chain of car dealerships is in certain cities in a few states. To help users find the nearby options, we ask them which state they’re in, then follow up to ask about the cities in that state.
The technical term for this kind of survey logic and data management is logic branching. Google Forms calls its implementation threading and flow, and it’s mighty powerful. This short example shows how to put it to use, using that third example: the common state and city logic branching.
We’ve all been there. You are typing away in your Google Doc and realize you need to do more research on the subject you are writing about. You find yourself opening up another window in your browser, which leads to checking in on Facebook or Twitter. The next thing you know, several minutes have passed, and you haven’t even gone to Google to search for the subject you were writing about. (Though now you do know how to make a pig’s tail straight.)
Google Docs now has a solution to writer’s distractions, called the “Explore” button. It allows you to research a subject and other topics right in your Google Doc without ever leaving. Beyond minimizing distractions, this feature can help you be more efficient at getting your work done.
Simply hover over the icon in the lower right to see the “explore” button appear.
The IF statement surely is among the most commonly-used formulas in Google Sheets. It’s used for looking up data or making calculations under specific conditions. But did you know that the IF statement can help you keep your sheets looking clean and more readable?
That can be important, or at least a time-saver. When setting up a spreadsheet into which you import, add, or copy and paste data frequently, it can be a pain to drag or copy formulas down to your new data.
For example: We created a spreadsheet in which to track inventory for our gift shop. We have a tab for when we purchase inventory, and another for when we sell inventory. Instead of looking up the inventory number, we use a SUMIF statement that looks for the inventory name matching the item we sold, and then fills in the inventory number for that item.
Google Forms is an extremely handy application in the Google Drive suite. You can use Forms to collaborate on documents, transfer files to other users, and create web forms that submit the data right into a Google Spreadsheet. But Google Forms are even more powerful when you integrate them with Google Sheets.
For example, you can create a Google Form that automatically saves the data collected into a Google Spreadsheet. The obvious benefit is collecting the results into a single spreadsheet for your own analysis or what-have-you. However, the form/spreadsheet integration can help you create a dynamic chart that updates each time with every new form entry.
Let’s say, for example, we are managing a charity fundraising website that includes a request for the site visitor to make a pledge for a donation. Each sponsor can fill out the fields in the Google Form, pledging the amount of money to donate. So far, so good. However, in addition to a list of sponsors and their contact information, we would like to track how much money has been donated, and what regional location is raising the most — ideally with some sort of visual to show progress.
You may already know that Google Sheets can insert images into the document using the “Insert Image” option, but it has limitations. In particular, you cannot control the display very well, and the image shows above the cells in the document.
Instead, by using the =IMAGE formula in Google Sheets, you easily can add images within the cell and managing how the image sizes.
Let’s say we have a series of photographs from a recent trip that we’d like to manage. We want to capture each image’s unique date, where the photo was taken, and notes about its purpose. By using the =IMAGE spreadsheet formula, we can display each image in a cell, as well as organize the other information in the rest of the row.
Executives and clients often like to see a visualization of the numbers you are presenting, and they certainly can help tell your story clearly.
Google documents can include a chart to best illustrate what you are trying to say. However, a simple copy from a Google Spreadsheet and a paste into your Google Doc doesn’t work; at a minimum you have few controls over the display. The import feature from Google Sheets to a Google Doc is a better way to go.
The first step is to create a chart in the Google spreadsheet. After selecting the data to display, click the “Insert” menu item and choose “Chart.” Google shows a list of options; play around with your data and chart types to discover which chart works best for your purpose. In other words: Customize the chart (and its colorfulness) in Google Sheets, not in Google Docs.
Google Spreadsheets can be mundane to look at, with all those numbers just sitting there staring at you in black and white. It’s easy to fall into a vortex of numbers determining what number goes where, totals, what needs to be done, dates, and so on.
How to keep it all straight? Just as with text documents, color and formatting are your friends; conditional formatting makes it easy.