On the Fourth Day of Christmas, the Waffle Brings to Me...Forms to Gather Info 

December 20, 2023
6 min read

Gather 'round, ye merry office elves, as we are one day closer to the big finale. Today we unveil a gem that streamlines the chaos of data collection and survey creation. Microsoft Forms, with its simplicity and efficiency, dances into our festive tech lineup, bringing tidings of easy-peasy information gathering and organization. Let's unwrap this digital present and discover the joy it brings to our productivity! 

Listen, Microsoft Forms might not be the flashiest thing under the tree, but let me tell you, it's got its perks. When you're dealing with a bunch of info that needs organizing, surveys to be made, or data to be collected without pulling your hair out, Forms swoops in like a Christmas miracle. It's user-friendly, saves time, and can gather responses faster than you can say "deadline." Plus, it plays nice with other Microsoft apps, so if you're already neck-deep in that ecosystem, it's like having a team of elves helping to streamline your work. 

To check out Forms, let’s fly by the waffle button again in the top-left corner of Figure 1 (marked 1) and select it from the options. Not spotting it? Click on "Explore all your Apps" (2) and rummage through the apps.  

Screenshot of the Waffle menu with step indicators for the App Launcher waffle (1) and Explore all your Apps (2). Other options include Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, OneDrive, and Excel.
Figure 1: Explore Your Apps Using the App Launcher (Waffle button). View Full Size

Pro Tip: If you don’t see Forms, click the Productivity tab in the Explore by category section, as shown in Figure 2 (marked with a 3). 

Screenshot of the Forms card indicated by the number three.
Figure 2: Find the Forms application in the Productivity category. View Full Size

Click the Forms card to open the App. You’ll see the results in Figure 3. 

Screenshot of the new Forms introduction page with links for the four audiences for Forms: Personal, Business, Student, and Teacher. There’s also a button to Create new.
Figure 3: The Forms welcome now has four options to choose from. View Full Size

Microsoft has recently updated the dashboard (shocker!) and you have several choices. For this example, let’s go check out the Business options, as shown in Figure 4. The progress bar is marked by the number 5. 

Screenshot of a welcome screen with preview images of the template options in Forms with the second step in the progress bar indicated by the number five. There are buttons at the bottom to create a New Form or to take a New Quiz.
Figure 4: Microsoft reveals the new template options in the welcome wizard. View Full Size

Wait, what is this? Microsoft is finally starting to provide some TEMPLATES? Forms has been around for years and we’ve been waiting for this. What’s the next option in the introductory tour? Click the next step in the progress bar (6), as shown in Figure 5. 

Screenshot of the welcome screen with a preview of the options for creating questions using AI with the third step in the progress bar indicated by the number 6. In addition to the New Form and New Quiz buttons, there’s also a Try AI now button.
Figure 5: Microsoft hints at the new AI features of Forms in Step 2 of the welcome wizard. View Full Size

Well, well, well. Lookie here. Another shocker. The big push for AI is popping up in Forms now too.  What else do they have up their sleeves? Let’s slide right, as shown in Figure 6, and click on the New Form button (7). 

Screenshot of the welcome screen with preview images for the integration with Microsoft Excel with the New Form button indicated by the number seven.
Figure 6: Microsoft hints at the new Excel integration with Forms in Step 3 of the welcome wizard. View Full Size

This one is also a long-awaited request! The static Excel export looks like it’s finally being replaced by integration with Excel! No more static exports. Let’s go play with our new shiny toy and click the New Form button. The results are shown in Figure 7. Here we are, at the Forms Home page, with the View All link indicated by the number 8. 

Screenshot of the Forms home page with the View All link indicated by the number eight. At the top of the screen, there are buttons for New Form, New Quiz, and Quick Import, and at the bottom, there are buttons for the different categories of forms (Recent, My forms, Filled forms, Shared with me, and 1 more), and there’s also a search option asking if you want to filter by keyword.
Figure 7: The Forms home page highlights the new features in Forms. View Full Size

Let’s go check out some more of those templates. Click View All (number 8 in Figure 7), and you’ll get to Figure 8 where you can see some sample templates. 

Screen shot of Trending templates, including Employee satisfaction survey, Office facility request form, Community volunteer registration, Competitive analysis study, Attendee confirmation survey, and Post-event feedback survey (indicated by the number 9). At the bottom of the screen, there’s Explore by category, where you’ll find even more templates to choose from.
Figure 8: This is just the beginning of a huge collection of sample templates. View Full Size

Why reinvent the wheel? Let’s let the elves do the work and pick one of these fabulous templates! Why, there’s even an option for a Post-event feedback survey. How timely! Let’s choose it. You can see the results in Figure 9. 

Screenshot of the Post-Event Feedback Survey Form with only one question: Overall, how satisfied are you with the event?
Figure 9: The Post event survey template is a great option for gathering attendee feedback. View Full Size

What a PERFECT segue! Quicker than St. Nick, I’ve got a form for my upcoming events. 

Curious to learn more about Forms? Join me on January 17, 2024 for the “Getting Started with Microsoft Forms” session of our Kick Start 2024 emPOWER!Hour series. 

For more information, check out our 12 Days of Christmas promotion at: https://poweruplearning.com/2024-kickoff/  

Stay tuned for the next tip in our 12 days of Christmas. Until next time, I’m Shortcut Shari and it’s my job to make your job easier. 

Shari Oswald

Shari Oswald

Shari is known as Shortcut Shari because she believes we should all work smarter, not harder, and she loves to share keyboard shortcuts. Shari has been using SharePoint since before it was called SharePoint and is excited to share her knowledge and expertise with those who are as excited about technology as she is. Shari's focus is the “People Side of Change.” As a Microsoft 365 Solutions Architect and Consultant that grew up right along with SharePoint, her practical knowledge of the Microsoft Productivity stack coupled with her passion for empowerment via learning makes Shari an excellent resource as a consultant and evangelist for Microsoft 365. Her philosophies for information architecture and SharePoint design are centered on solving business challenges with technology and ensuring usability and adoption for the organization. Shari is a Microsoft Certified Trainer, a Microsoft Certified Specialist Master, consultant, presenter, author, and evangelist. When she is not architecting SharePoint magic as a consultant, Shari is in the classroom or creating online learning for LinkedIn Learning, ClipTraining.com, and Pluralsight.