Thursday, December 3, 2015

Google Gifts: FormMule Add-on for Google Sheets

During the weekdays of December, we're sharing one tool per day.  We're calling it our Google Gifts series.  Some of these come directly from Google, and others are tools that enhance Google Apps or Chrome.  Today, we're sharing the gift of FormMule, an email merge add-on for Google sheets.  

FormMule is an add-on (see Google's help page if you're not sure what an add-on is).  The magic of FormMule is that it can automatically send an email to anyone who submits a Google form -- with a personalized message that includes information that they submitted.

Want to see it in action?  Submit a response to this form and you'll receive an email response!

Why would I use it?  What does it do?

As an instructional tool or for professional learning, you can send a personalized email based on form responses.  As a teacher, it can be a powerful communication tool (ISTE-T.3c) for use with students, peers and/or the parent community.

Here are some ideas for using FormMule with Google Forms:
  • Confirmation emails:  email a record of what the person submitted (dates, times, location, etc.).  This is helpful if you'd like the person to have verification of their responses.
  • Observations: Using a Google form to do walk-throughs or observations?  You could automatically send an email to the person you were observing with information from your visit.
  • Goal sheets:  If students or teachers are submitting their own learning goals, email them a personalized response that includes the goal they've identified.  
  • Digital Mad Libs: Have students enter parts of speech on a form and then email them their own mad lib!
  • Personalized welcome emails: If you are hosting an event or a workshop and collecting registrations via Google form, send a personalized welcome to your participants, along with any additional information that you'd like them to have.  This would also work well for student introductions at the beginning of the year.
Here's how to set it up:

After you've set it up, it will send emails based on your settings (automatically upon submit, manually, or based on a time frame).  You'll notice that it creates a new column for you in your spreadsheet, which verifies that an email was sent (along with a timestamp).  The email will come from whatever Google account set up FormMule, but you can choose a different "reply to" address in the email template.

Where can I learn more?
The New Visions Cloud Lab website has information on this add-on (along with their other great add-ons for Google Apps).  In fact, another one worth checking out is Form Limiter!  There is also a good video tutorial on how to set FormMule up, which you can find here:

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