You Need a Form, You Say?

Last week I was so excited to create my post!  But, something went awry.  You see, I had this brilliant plan (well, in my eyes anyways) to start post short interviews I conducted with various types of business coaches.  We all hear about them and we might even have a few as clients.  But, for the majority of us, what they actually, do escapes us!  Thus, the idea for the interviews.

Here is where my plan got derailed-my interview form!  I mapped out my questions carefully so that they would be generic enough for all sorts of different types of coaches, yet would allow for the differences to still shine through.  I organized the questions in the order that I wanted and then logged in to Google Docs.  I found a stunning, yet professionally done template to work off of and when it was completed, I was very satisfied.  So, I sent the first one off to a business coach I know (who also happens to be a client) and waited for his submission.  And waited.  And waited so more.  Nothing.  Still nothing.  So, I sent a follow-up email asking if there was a problem.  His answer-“I already submitted it.”  Hmm….where could it have gone?  My post was due and I had nothing.  I frantically logged back into Google Docs to see if I was just missing something.  Maybe I didn’t pull up the right form.  Maybe I didn’t send the correct link.  But, everything was as it should be.  What was I going to do?

First, I took a deep breath and just walked away from the situation.  That’s right, I walked away.  And yes, I missed my post deadline.  YIKES!  However, one of the first things I came to realize about working for myself was that it was better to just take a break from the situation and let it sit for a while than to continue to hammer away at something and become even more frantic and frustrated.  So, that’s what I did.  After coming back with a fresh perspective, I came up with a plan.  I started over.  But this time, I did a bit of research and found a few other options for creating forms.

The first option I came across was Wufoo-which is the one I chose for my particular form.  They offer a free account where you can create up to three (3) forms.  There are over eighty (80) themes and templates to choose from and they are very easy to customize.  The site is easy to navigate through and the Help section is great.  They even included screenshots to help explain what you should be seeing in certain situations.  However, that’s where the fun stops.  With the free account you can only create three (3) forms and these forms are allowed just ten (10) fields.  Not much if you have a detailed form that needs to be created.  In addition, if you want to send your form out to a mass of people at once, the free account allows for only 100 entries per month.  Then you have to upgrade.

My second option was JotForm-which I actually just used for a client of mine.  This too, is a free form site.  However, you are not limited to a few number of forms that can be created or on the fields that can be included on each form.  Both are unlimited!  The monthly submissions are the same (100) as with Wufoo, but if do need to upgrade; JotForm’s monthly rate is only $9.95 per month versus Wufoo’s which is $14.95 per month.  Not only that, you are still limited by how many forms you can have on your account (10 with Wufoo and unlimited with JotForm) and how many submissions are allowed per month (500 with Wufoo and 1000 with JotForm).  But for all its great attributes, I found that JotForm was not as customizable as Wufoo was.  There seemed to be a limited amount of templates available for use.  However, their Help section was very easy to understand and came with screen shots as well.

Whatever happened to my initial form in Google Docs you might be wondering?  Well, I had someone (Amber Whitener-a colleague on this blog) who knew her way around that program take a look.  What she found was some sort of rare glitch.  A new one was created and tested, thanks to Amber and now I am on my way again.  I’m just glad that it wasn’t something that I intentionally did or forgot to do.  :)

In the end, I may not have been able to post my first business coach interview today, but I did find a silver lining.  I was able to find other sources for creating various types of forms that I will now be able to utilize not just for myself, but for my clients, as well.