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In the last article, I shed some light on to a feature in Google Forms that many don’t know exists: How to setup an email notification in Google Forms.

Compared to corporate form tools like JotForm or Typeform, Google Forms comes across as a little basic. It does what it is supposed to do, namely collecting form responses. But its design features appear to be somewhat trivial, and by default, there aren’t many options for embedding it into workflows or even automations.

On the other hand, Google Forms is completely free, and you cannot say much against that.

Because online forms are seen as the building blocks of interactivity on the web, they are used widely and often. For an increasing number of users, the predominant task has become, how can a free Google Form actually be tweaked in such a way that it is valuable and useful for the modern business owner?

And secondly, how can it be integrated into an entrepreneur’s toolkit to play nicely with the other tools s/he is using?

Ways to Automate Google Forms

In this article, I want to show you two ways to automate Google Forms.

The first hack is about how to send form submissions instantly into your email’s inbox. It is not just about the notification that a submission has actually arrived. No, with this hack you can get all or a selection of questions from your Google Form delivered as an email straight to your inbox.

The second hack I find even more interesting. It comes in handy when you are using Asana as your project management tool. By using Asana’s Email Integration feature, you can send submissions from your Google Forms directly into one of your projects in Asana. And I will show you how.

Hack #1: Send Google Form’s submission instantly into your Inbox

For that, you need to install an Add-On to your Google Forms that is called “Email Notifications for Forms”.

automate google forms add-on email notifications

Step 1: Installing the Add-On

In the top right-hand corner, click on the menu with the 3 vertical dots. From the opening menu choose ‘Add-ons…’.

automate google forms add-ons

A new window will open up with a multitude of Add-ons you can install to enhance the features of your Google Forms. If you are curious by nature, you can scroll through to get an idea what clever brains have developed. Not all these Add-Ons are still up-to-date, and not all are free to use. But it is always good to know that there are some tools that can seriously level up your existing toolbox.

From this list, I want you to select the Add-On ‘Email Notifications for Google Forms’. In its basic feature (that’s all that we need here) it is free to use. It will come with a line of advertisement later on, but nobody will see that except for you.

automate google forms add-on email notifications

Open it and click on the blue FREE-button and install the Add-On.

When you got this Add-on installed, it will become available in the top menu of your screen. Behind the puzzle icon, all your installed Form Add-Ons are listed.

automate google forms add-on

Step 2: Using the Add-On

To use this Add-On, you first need to create the Google Form you want to use it for.

When you have done so, click on the puzzle icon in the top menu and choose ‘Email Notification for Forms’.

A pop-up will appear, where you want to select ‘Create New Rule’.

automate google forms create notification rule

Next, there is a sidebar showing up on the right of your screen, prompting you to specify an email subject.

 

Bulb_lightblueTip:

Make it something really unique, so that setting up a filter rule in Gmail becomes a workable option.

You can also add or change the text in the Email’s body, and select whether you want all form responses be included in the mail, or only a few of the answers.

automate google forms email notifications rule

If you choose {{All Answers}}, you will get all the questions and answers, presented in a nice table view.

Here’s an example how it will look like in an email:

automate google forms table text

This is it. Whenever there is a submission to your Google Form, you now get a notification right into your inbox.

Hack #2: Send Google Form’s submission directly into a project in Asana

If you are the kind of person who doesn’t want to check their inbox multiple times daily and uses – or considers to use – a project management tool like Asana, this workaround is yours.

To set this up, you need an account with Asana’s project management tool. You also need the Google Form Add-On I discussed above: ‘Email Notifications for Forms’.

automate google forms email feature asanaLet’s start off with Asana.

You may or may not know it, but in Asana you can create tasks by sending emails to a project.

By addressing emails to [email protected], you can send emails directly to the Workspace or Organization associated with your email address.

Alternatively, you can send emails to create tasks directly in any Asana project. Every project in Asana has a unique email address that contains the project’s ID. Check out the Email Integration Tutorial from Asana to locate this unique email address for the chosen project.

The project’s email address is needed for creating the rule for email notifications in the Add-On. This is basically the same process as described in the hack #1 above:

  1. Click the puzzle icon and select Email Notifications for Forms
  2. From the popup window, select ‘Create New Rule’
  3. Enter the sender’s name and email address. (Note: Here it is important that you enter the email address that is associated with your Asana account)
  4. Enter the email address for your project in Asana
  5. Click ‘Continue’

 

For configuring the email notification, you now decide upon the information that is sent to Asana.

  1. Whatever you enter as your ‘Email Subject’ will become your tasks’ title in Asana
  2. If you want to transfer all responses from your form’s submission, just let the ‘All Answers’ in its double curly brackets untouched.
  3. Click ‘Create Rules’

 

Every submission that your form receives, is now added to your chosen Asana project – with the identical task title.

Taking it One Step Further

Maybe you worry that you could miss out on new form submissions when they are directly transferred into Asana instead of your inbox. That’s the perfect opportunity to think bigger and to expand your box.

Workflows like this begin to make sense when they are embedded into a bigger process. If you set up this integration only to transfer a form’s submission into Asana and have it sit there – then there is indeed a potential of missing out on new submissions. You need notifications. And you do that by setting up your project’s properties in such a way, that you get daily (or at least regular) notifications on new or due tasks.

Asana offers a range of integrations to popular 3rd-party tools for free.

One integration that could be helpful in this context, is the one between Asana and Google Calendar. By syncing Asana tasks to your Google Calendar, you can stay up to date with everything that is on your plate. As soon as you get new tasks in, they would appear in your Google Calendar.

Are you using Zapier or some other integration platform? Then there is a whole new world opening up for you! Zapier, for instance, offers hundreds of connections between tools, thus allowing you to streamline business processes and make your business life easier.

Maybe you are already aware of the pressing need to streamline some of your business processes. Every growing business goes through this phase of struggle and missing critical pieces. Sometimes, when you hear people talking about their software and what they use to automate their businesses, you wonder what's best for you. There are so many tools becoming available all the time. And it is difficult to evaluate whether the software you are using is really serving your business.

 

I am now offering a custom designed program called the Silver Tech Package. It is a service that is designed for the specific needs of growing online businesses. If you need someone who not only understands the struggle of small online businesses and the technology they need but who is also able to implement and execute the work, drop me a line.

 

Tip:automate google forms tip

With the free version of this Add-On, you cannot create a rule to get submissions delivered to your inbox and to Asana. The free version entitles you to create only one rule for each form.

Let’s say, you first have set up a notification rule that is sent to your inbox. But now you want to have it sent to Asana. If you don’t want to upgrade, you will have to delete the previously created notification rule. To do so, click on ‘Manage Form Rules’ and delete it. Now you can create a new rule.

If you are a user of Gmail or GoogleApps, there’s actually a nice workaround for this bottleneck.

Within Gmail, you can setup a filter rule, that filters out the form submissions by its Email Subject (remember the hint I gave you?), and have it forwarded to your Asana project’s email address. This way you can store the submissions in Gmail as well as in Asana. Depending which tool is more convenient to use in case you are on a quest to quickly scan through the submissions.

automate google forms

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