Free Public Surveys with SkyDrive

The Survey

The Dashboard

Summary

Have you ever wanted to easily collect some data but didn’t want to bother learning new tools? Then today’s blog post is for you! Recently I discovered a cool feature of SkyDrive that I am very excited about. You now have the ability to generate a public URL that will take users to a form they can fill out without logging in. Once they submit their answers, their responses will automatically be inserted into your Excel document in SkyDrive. How neat is that?!

The Discovery

A few weeks ago some friends of mine introduced me to bowling. I’d bowled before, who hasn’t? But I admit I still wished it was socially acceptable for adults to use bumpers. That’s how bad I was. Until my friends took me and my wife out and gave us some simple coaching. We were quickly able to increase our average scores, which quadrupled the fun factor (by my early estimates).

I wanted an easy way for us to keep track of our scores over time to see how we are improving. Enter SkyDrive. Within 20 minutes of discovering this new feature, I had a fully functional bowling score tracker. However, in this post I’ll be creating a new survey that’s specific to Christmas.

Creating a Survey

If you don’t have a Microsoft account (aka Live ID), go ahead and sign up for one along with a free SkyDrive account over at http://skydrive.com.

Browse to a folder where you want to create your new Excel file. Click Create > Excel workbook and give your new file a name.

Create the survey by clicking Survey > New Survey

Create the survey questions, it’s pretty self-explanatory.

Click the Save and View button to make sure it behaves correctly.

Then click the Share Survey button to create a public URL that you can send to whomever!

When someone fills out your survey, it will automatically be inserted as another row in a table on a sheet called Survey1.

I must say, nicely done Microsoft… Nicely done.

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