We are a small church which means our volunteers work at least once a month.  In the past, we would create a schedule.  We would either ask people to email us when the can and can’t work (a ton of email to keep track of)  or create a schedule with out getting any input from them (They were responsible for switching if they can’t work).

Both options didn’t really work.  Things got really complicated especially during the summer when people are out of town quite a bit. People would forget that they needed to find a replacement until the last minute or they would and forget to note it on the calendar.  It was frustrating to everyone.  Things often fell through the cracks.  This fall, we decided we were going to find a better way.  We started to email a Google form to all our volunteers asking them when they could serve!  This not only made it easier for the scheduler.  They only have to look at one form instead of ten emails tell them when people can work.  It also reduced our switching and made our ministry leader’s job much easier.

Here are step by step instructions on how to create these forms!  These steps are a bit cumbersome at first.  Once you get the hang of it, it is easier than you think.  It makes life easier for the scheduler and your volunteers!

1. Setup a Google / Gmail Account if you don’t already have one:

You will need a free Google (gmail)  Account to make this work.  I suggest creating on that has the same name as your website domain.  Ours is churchwebtoolkit@gmail.com.  You can use this for a variety of different things so it is worth creating another email address.

2. Create a Google Drive Form:  Click here to see example of our form

*Log onto Google / Gmail an find  Google Drive (used to be known as Documents) in the top menu. If it isn’t there click the more option and you should be able to find it.

*Click on the create button on the top left corner and select Form. 

[frame src=”https://churchwebtoolkit.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Createform.png” width=”120″ height=”210″ align=”center” ]

*Create the form as shown below :

 [frame src=”https://churchwebtoolkit.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/GoogleFormCreate.png” width=”360″ height=”360″ align=”center” ]

  • Use the checkbox option for months and type in the different dates you need people to work.  You can set up multiple questions for different months.  We usually send out a form every quarter and have three different question for each month.
  • Use text box option for person’s name.
  • Make every questions a required response.  This makes sure they remember to put their name and fill out every question.


3. Email the Google Drive Form: 

You can email the form directly to your workers one of two ways.
*Clicking the email form button in the top menu.  I find this a bit cumbersome because you have to add all the email address in.
*Attach a link to the form in an email.  This seems to get the best response rate for us.  One trick if you do this.
  • Click on the form menu in Google Drive.
  • Click on Go To Live Form.  It will open up the form.  In the navigation bar of your brouwser something like this will appear.  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dGl1QU5scVl2SXFXVjBjZTBOOVdIUEE6MQ#gid=0
  • For some reason some people have difficult opening this link.  Copy it and delete the last six digits off it (#gid-0) and email the link.  The link you send should look like this. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dGl1QU5scVl2SXFXVjBjZTBOOVdIUEE6MQ

This is what they will see when the open up the link:

 [frame src=”https://churchwebtoolkit.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/GoogleForm.png” width=”425″ height=”360″ align=”center” ]

4. Volunteers click on link to get to form and submit their answers.

Each volunteer will then open the form via the link you sent them.  They can select the dates they can serve.

5. Their responses are saved in a spreadsheet.

Everyone’s answers are automatically imported into a spreadsheet.   Click here to see the example. It should appear in your Google Drive list with the name you created for the form.  Open up the form and create a schedule that works for all your volunteers.

 [frame src=”https://churchwebtoolkit.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/GoogleSpreedSheet.png” width=”425″ height=”311″ align=”center” ]