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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

Almost all of us have filled out a Google Form at some point, whether to complete a survey or sign up for an event. As part of the Google services ecosystem, anyone with a Gmail/Google account is able to create professional-looking Google Forms for free.  

I rely on Google Forms all the time in my work, volunteer and personal life. And while I use them for the typical purposes (surveys and sign-ups), I’ve also experimented with several unique ways to use a simple Google Form. 

Create an escape room for a party or event  

An in-person escape room can be expensive (plus frustrating if the clues are impossible and confusing). Why not try making a digital escape room yourself, with clues based on fun trivia? (For instance, a Taylor Swift-themed party with song lyrics as clues to the escape room).  

The trick to creating an escape room in forms is to use a short-answer text and add “response validation.” You can select a correct number response (ex: “how many times is ‘me’ in her song ME!?”) or a correct text response (ex: “You kept me like a secret, but I kept you like an ____). Put the correct answer into the form, and the person completing your escape room won’t be able to move to the next section until they get the answer right. 

Make a customized gift for someone 

You can use the above escape room idea to make a puzzle with clues about a specific person. For instance, I made an escape room for Mother’s Day and used inside jokes and memories of my mom and me together. The cool thing with Google Forms is it’s easy to embed photos, so you can add pictures of you and your special person together. You can ask clues like “I’ll always remember the time we went to _____ together” or add fun facts that only the two of you know. It might be a little sentimental, but it’s definitely a unique gift that lets you relive your experiences together. 

Start a challenge with your friends 

Building habits is hard, so why not try doing it alongside friends? A quick seven-day challenge could get everyone motivated to start. Whether the habit is to drink more water, exercise, take photos, get homework done, or practice self-care, you can use a Google Form to keep everyone checking in. Every time someone submits a response, Google Forms timestamps the response, so this keeps everyone accountable to check in and check off “I drank my 8 glasses of water” or “I went outside today,” depending on the habit. You can also add an option in Google forms for a file upload. So, if the challenge is to practice a small act of self-care every day, you could challenge everyone to send a photo of what self-care looks like to them.

Manage your finances 

Who says Google Forms are only for other people to fill out? You can make an easy budget tracker in Google Forms — just make a regular form, add questions for what you want to keep track of (ex: cost and category of expense), and fill it out with purchases. It sounds crazy but I like to track my expenses this way for a couple of reasons: 1) a Google Form is more straightforward than a spreadsheet, 2) Form responses that get sent to a spreadsheet are already formatted for you, so no need to fuss with keeping a spreadsheet tidy, 3) It’s very satisfying to click “submit” at the end of a form, which makes me want to continue keeping track of things.

Like I mentioned, you can link your form to a spreadsheet and filter it to see the money you are earning and spending — where it’s going and when you’re spending it.  

Make a mood tracker 

Bullet journal mood trackers are popular, but you can also make one in Google Forms! A simple form with questions like, “How do you feel on a scale of 1-5?” or “What was your high and low of the day?” can help you visualize your mood over time. 

When you look at your responses, you get a sense of what activities and events make you happy (and which don’t). Maybe you start to notice that on days you go outside, you’re always happier, or on days when you were alone most of the day, you felt pretty blue. You could also turn this form into a group journaling exercise with friends, where everyone answers the questions and can view the responses of everyone else.

Even though the word “forms” has a pretty formal (pun-intended) ring to it, Google Forms is a versatile program that you can use for many purposes. From making sign-up forms, RSVPs, surveys, to more creative uses like escape rooms and habit trackers — the sky’s the limit on what new and unique uses you can find for forms.

I'm a proud Knight who graduated summa cum laude in Spring of 2023, with a bachelor's of science in communication sciences and disorders, minor in psychology, human resources certificate, and leadership studies certificate. In undergrad I volunteered at UCF Aphasia House's program Aphasia Family to facilitate a community group for adult stroke survivors with aphasia, an acquired communication disorder. I also worked at the UCF Aphasia and Related Conditions (ARC) Research Lab and at the ASD Adult Achievement Center during college. Building meaningful connections with others through all forms of communication (the spoken word, prose and poetry, music, art, and theater) is my passion. My articles on Her Campus focus on mental health and self-care, minimalism, and using personality assessments (like MBTI and enneagram) to foster a deeper understanding of others and yourself. Currently I am taking a gap semester and plan to return for my master's degree in 2024.