Technology

Best Form Builder Apps for Small Businesses

Paul Sharpe, CPA, CA
/
September 12, 2022

Affiliate disclosure

In this article, we will look at the best form builder apps that can benefit your business. We give our verdict on the best overall form builder, best free form builder and best basic option. 

Best Form Apps for Small Businesses

In this article, we will look at the best form builder apps that can benefit your business. We give our verdict on the best overall form builder, best free form builder and best basic option. 

If you’re not sure how you could be using form builders, check out the use cases section at the bottom of the article. There are so many great ways to use them in your business.

Avalon's Top Form Building Apps

Start here to see our best overall form builder, best free form builder, best basic form builder and prettiest form builder.

Best Form Building App - Jotform

This was a difficult choice because all of the form builders on this list are excellent. You really can’t go wrong with any of these options.

However, our overall favorite form building app for small businesses is Jotform.  

Jotform Logo

Jotform is a well established form builder with literally thousands of templates you can use to create forms in minutes.  It is reasonably priced (Link to pricing TOC section), easy to use and is amazingly versatile. 

The versatility of Jotform is off the charts when you add in Jotform Tables and Jotform Apps to the mix. Gather information with forms, organize the responses in tables, then use that data to build powerful no code apps with the Jotform app builder.

Check out Jotform’s free version for a no commitment way to get a sense of how it can help your business.

Best Free Form Building App - Tally

If you’re looking for a full-featured, innovative, easy to use and free form builder, look no further than Tally.

Tally Form Builder Logo

Tally is a truly excellent form builder that offers a unique “edit like a word doc” method of building forms.  We’ve been playing around with Tally a bunch lately and are very impressed with it.

If you’re new to form builders or just like new tech, you may want to jump in with Tally.  The interface makes building forms a breeze and the free featureset is unmatched.

If we had a category for “Form Builder We’re Most Excited About,” Tally would win that one too!

Best Basic Form Builder - Google Forms

If you just need a basic, free form builder that you probably already have access to, check out Google Forms.

Google Forms Logo

Google forms is super simple to use and you have it already if you have a Gmail account or a Google Workspace account.

Create forms quickly, share them with a link or via an email and collect responses within your Google account or in a G Sheet.

We’ve found Google forms to be a slightly better option than Microsoft forms, but that’s mainly due to the fact that we run a lot of Avalon through the Google Workspace.  

If you’re using Outlook and Microsoft Office, Microsoft Forms is probably a better basic form builder for you.

Prettiest Form Builder - Typeform

For the best looking, most “wow” inducing forms, check out Typeform

Typeform Logo

You can get really creative with the appearance of your forms and there are some great question types too.

Typeform Question Types

Typeform is great.  We’ve been using it at Avalon for years and the amount of things we use it for grows every month.

If you’re looking to get creative with your forms and make collecting data actually interesting for people, check out Typeform.

What are Form Building Apps?

A form builder app helps you create forms online to collect various kinds of data. Form builders can be used for collecting customer profiles, gathering feedback, taking orders, conducting surveys, and much more. 

The data you collect can allow you to make better decisions in your business, help keep your employees happy, or help you to improve customer experience.

It’s amazing how many different ways that form builders can be used in small businesses.  There are a lot of online form builders out there and we’ve chosen our favorites to review for you in this article.  We’ve chosen form builders with specific qualities:

  • User-friendly - intuitive interface for both businesses and form users
  • Accessible - can be used across multiple devices and platforms
  • Customizable - flexible templates for numerous use cases
  • Attractive - easy-to-follow form templates and simple user interface 
  • Integration - sync up with other tools such as spreadsheets, payment gateways, CRMs, or analytics apps

There are other features to consider depending on your needs. Some form building software includes conditional logic that directs the respondents to a question based on their previous answer. We’ve used this feature in a lot of our forms and it’s a super powerful tool.

Some form builders let you set up payment collection directly in the form which is also handy for a lot of different purposes..

The form builders listed here have their own strengths and drawbacks, but they are all options that could serve your business well depending on its needs. 

Jotform

Jotform is a free cloud-based form building application that offers over 10,000 templates in many categories. It is one of the most well known form builders out there and has over a million users.

Jotform Logo

The Jotform form builder has a drag-and-drop interface that is easy to use when creating and customizing forms. It works well on any mobile device as a mobile app but is the easiest to use within a desktop browser.

With Jotform, you can access high-quality templates across different industries and form types. There are numerous types of questions that can be added to your forms. They pretty much have every type that you could need plus some other interesting ones such as:

  • Fill in the blanks - create a sentence and leave a word or words blank.
  • Signature - this allows respondents to sign the form to provide consent or agree to something.
  • Appointment scheduling - allow your respondents to schedule a meeting or appointment directly within the app. 
  • Image choice - this offers a multiple choice selection, but the responder chooses an image instead of text.
  • Captcha - keep the bots at bay by adding captcha to your form.
  • Emoji slider - a new way of sending a satisfaction survey - push the slider from 😭 up to 😁... or get creative and go from 💩 to 💎?...
  • Star rating - If you’d rather go with the classic star rating field instead of the emoji slider.
  • Product list - a powerful ecommerce function that allows you to display your products, prices, shipping rates, sales taxes and a lot more. People can order and pay directly from the form.
Jotform Store Product Listing

There are many different ways that Jotform (or most form builders for that matter) can be used.  Jotform has included a nice list of examples for us within their FAQ.

Jotform Uses

If you navigate to their FAQ page, each of those categories is a link that takes you to MANY different form templates of that type!

Jotform Pricing

Jotform provides several plans tailored to different business needs. The differences mainly relate to usage limits like number of forms, users and form responses each month.

The pricing tiers are:

  • Starter - Free always
  • Bronze - $39 USD per month
  • Silver - $49 USD per month
  • Gold - $129 USD per month

Starter - Free Always

Jotform offers free access to most of its features but has lower usage limits.

  • Includes 1 user
  • Create up to 5 forms
  • Up to 100 fields per each form
  • Up to 100 submissions per month
  • 100 MB total storage space
  • Stores up to 500 total submissions
  • Up to 1,000 views per month
  • Up to 10 monthly payment submissions

Bronze - $39 USD per month

The Bronze plan upgrades the usage limits of the Starter plan:

  • Create up to 25 forms
  • Up to 250 fields per each form
  • Up to 1,000 submissions per month
  • 1 GB total storage space
  • Stores up to 10,000 total submissions
  • Up to 10,000 views per month
  • Up to 100 monthly payment submissions
  • Remove Jotform branding

Silver - $49 USD per month

The Silver plan upgrades the Bronze usage limits significantly for growing businesses:

  • Create up to 50 forms
  • Up to 500 fields per each form
  • Up to 2,500 submissions per month
  • 10 GB total storage space
  • Stores up to 25,000 total submissions
  • Up to 100,000 views per month
  • Up to 250 monthly payment submissions
  • Remove Jotform branding
  • HIPAA Compliance Available

Gold - $129 USD per month

The Gold plan upgrades usage limits even further:

  • Create up to 100 forms
  • Up to 1,000 fields per each form
  • Up to 10,000 submissions per month
  • 100 GB total storage space
  • Stores up to 100,000 total submissions
  • Up to 1,000,000 views per month
  • Up to 1,000 monthly payment submissions
  • Remove Jotform branding
  • HIPAA Compliance Available

Enterprise - Contact for Pricing

The Enterprise plan removes any usage limit in Jotform and unlocks several features:

  • Add multiple users with roles and permissions
  • Unlimited usage - forms, fields, submissions, views, payment submissions and storage
  • Includes a custom domain - www.form.[yourcompany].com
  • Available Service Level Agreement and Business Associate Agreement upon request

Benefits of Jotform

Jotform includes tonnes of templates, integrations with many payment processors and comes with Jotform Apps and Tables.

10,000+ Templates

Jotform boasts a huge selection of form templates to get you started quickly. You can search for a keyword and Jotform will suggest templates. You can also search within different categories and sub categories to find the form template that works best.

Jotform Templates

Integration with Payment Gateways

Jotform has a long list of payment processors that can be included in your forms, including:

  • Square
  • Paypal
  • Stripe
  • Authorize.net
  • GoCardless
  • 2Checkout
  • Venmo
  • Moneris
  • Cybersource
  • BluePay
  • BlueSnap

There are no additional transaction fees added when you collect payment through your forms. Some other form building applications allow for payment processing within the forms, but they add a transaction fee on top of the payment processors’ fees.

Mobile App for Android and iOS

The Jotform mobile app is available for Android and iOS.  It’s pretty great to be able to create forms or check responses on the go.  It works surprisingly well but you’ll still likely want to save the complex form building for the web application.

Jotform Apps

Jotform Apps is a seriously impressive product that’s included in all of Jotform’s pricing tiers.  It allows anyone to build a mobile app for their business quickly and without the need for coding or design skills of any kind.

There really is a huge number of ways that small businesses could use the Jotform app builder. Once you see a few of the app templates, it can really get you thinking on how a mobile app could be used.  

Use an app to connect with your customers, increase sales, collect data, organize employees, build checklists, book appointments, share a food menu, sell things online. So many options! 

Jotform App Builder

Check out our YouTube video below on how to build an app for your small business using the Jotform App builder.

Jotform Tables 

Jotform has built up its product offerings to include Jotform Tables 

Jotform Tables provides a database system similar to AirTable.  It’s an excellent addition that allows businesses to organize and manipulate data within an easy-to-use interface. 

You can collaborate with your team in Jotform Tables to work on databases together and share data within your organization.

Jotform Tables

Disadvantages of Jotform

Jotform does have a few drawbacks, including its usage limits and less flexible collaboration options in the lower pricing tiers.

Multiple Users Only in Enterprise Plan

The Jotform plans don’t include team collaboration until you reach the Enterprise plan. This may be the biggest drawback for businesses that need multiple users to create, manage, and edit their forms.

We would love to see this feature implemented in the lower packages with the ability to track form creation and changes by user.  Jotform is constantly improving, so we may see this added in the future.

Usage Limits in Lower Pricing Tiers

The usage limits within the free version are likely too limiting for businesses past the start-up stage.

Even the Bronze plan at $39 USD per month has slightly higher usage limits with up to 25 forms in storage, 1,000 form submissions, and 100 payment submissions per month. However, even this may need to be upgraded before too long if you’re collecting a lot of data.

The Silver plan feels like a reasonable level for many small to medium sized businesses. It’s functional for businesses needing more than a thousand form submissions and more than a hundred payment submissions on a monthly basis.

Third Party Reviews of Jotform

For some additional context, here are a few third party review scores for Jotform.

  • GetApp Rating: 4.6 / 5
  • Capterra Rating: 4.6 /5
  • G2: 4.7 / 5

Jotform Summary

Jotform offers a massive selection of high-quality form templates to get you started or get you thinking about ways it can benefit your business. 

The form editor is easy to use and accessible on mobile devices as well. Jotform integrates with numerous payment gateways and doesn’t charge you any commission fee.

The main disadvantages of Jotform are that it limits team collaboration to the highest pricing tier and the lower level pricing tiers may be too limiting for some businesses.

The addition of Jotform Tables and Jotform Apps makes Jotform stand out above the other form builders.  If you think that these features would be useful for your business, then I would suggest checking out Jotform first. 

Typeform

Typeform is a web-based form app that allows you to create beautiful forms with hundreds of different purposes such as surveys, quizzes, and order forms. 

It includes a drag-and-drop form builder interface with an intuitive design. You can create smart, interactive forms that look amazing without the need for coding or design skills.

Typeform Logo

Typeform allows users to build the most eye-pleasing forms compared to the other offerings. The interface for the form editor is very intuitive and well-designed. 

However, the vast feature set means that it can be a little daunting at first if you are used to a more basic form builder like Google Forms.

With Typeform, you can insert basic question types such as short answers, long answers, paragraphs, multiple choice, and drop-down. 

You can also use some really powerful logic in your forms to create branching paths and insert previous answers into new question fields.

There are also some more advanced or more interesting question types, including:

  • Schedule with Calendly - an integration with Calendly, an online scheduling software. This field or question type lets your respondents book an appointment directly in your form
  • Payment Collection - a secure way of asking for payments or collecting donations with Stripe
  • Legal - allows you to add a legal note or disclaimer if you need to ask for consent from your respondents
  • Welcome Screens - these are pages that you can customize to properly introduce your form
  • Ending Page - Typeform has a default ending page that you can also customize
  • Statement Page - Add a statement to explain something, make the form more fun or keep your users’ attention.

Here is the list of question types that Typeform provides. Most have their own customization options.

Typeform Question Types

Typeform Pricing

Typeform offers most of its features for free but with some limitations. 

The paid plans unlock advanced features and provide greater usage limits:

  • Free Version - Free 
  • Basic - $29 USD per month
  • Plus - $59 USD per month
  • Business - $99 USD per month

Free Version - Free Always

  • Includes 1 user
  • Create unlimited forms
  • Up to 10 questions per each form
  • Up to 10 submissions per month
  • Logic jumps or conditional logic - set up the next question depending on a previous answer. 
  • Calculator - useful for calculating scores in quizzes, item prices in the shopping cart, or discount rates
  • Form templates
  • Embed your forms on your web page
  • Download your data
  • Integrations with Zapier, Automate.io, Slack, Mailchimp, HubSpot, and other tools

Basic Plan - $29 per Month

The Basic plan includes the same features as the free option, plus a few more and increases the usage limits.

  • Includes 1 user
  • Create unlimited forms
  • Set up unlimited questions per each form
  • Up to 100 submissions per month
  • Automatic email notifications to respondents
  • Collect payments in your form via Stripe
  • Unlocks the “file upload” question type
  • Includes 1G total storage to store file uploads from submissions
  • Custom link and previews - Edit the form titles and descriptions as they appear when you share via a link

Plus Plan - $59 per Month

The Plus Plan includes the same features as the Basic Plan but adds additional users and increases the form usage limits.

  • Includes 3 users
  • Up to 1,000 submissions per month
  • Includes 2GB total storage for file uploads from submissions
  • Custom link and previews - Edit the form titles and descriptions as they appear when you share via a link
  • Redirect your respondents to a custom URL upon form completion or from the ending screen
  • Remove the Typeform logo from the footer and add your own logo

Business Plan - $99 per Month

The Business Plan increases the user count to 5, increases the usage limits and adds analytics and priority customer support.

  • Includes 5 users
  • Up to 10,000 submissions per month
  • Includes 4GB total storage for file uploads from submissions
  • Insight and analytics integrations - See what questions your respondents drop off from the form. Integrate with Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Facebook Pixel, and Salesforce.
  • Live chat and priority support

Benefits of Typeform

Typeform's biggest benefits relate to how flexible and customizable it is and how you can really create forms that wow respondents.

Impressive Form Building

Typeform has the most attractive interface compared to other form builders on this list. The drag-and-drop feature is impressive. However, this might not work smoothly on all platforms. It works neatly on my desktop browser but can be laggy on a mobile phone or tablet.

The look and feel of the forms are highly customizable so you can really impress your form respondents.  

It can be a lot of fun building forms with the creative freedom that Typeform allows.

Powerful Form Logic

Typeform’s form builder includes some really powerful logic that can be used to build interactive or branching forms.

Branching Question Paths

For a basic example, if you’re asking a Yes or No question like “Do you have a dog?”

  • If they answer “Yes,” you can then follow up with “What is your dog’s name?”
  • If they answer “No,” you can move on to the next question.
Use Responses in Later Questions

You could also take their responses and add them as part of later questions.

If they responded to your question saying that their dog’s name was Fluffy, you could then ask them “How old is ‘Fluffy’?” in the next question instead of “How old is your dog?”.  

“Fluffy” in that case, came from their response to the previous question.

Qualify Your Respondents

You can also use the branching logic to do things like qualify your respondents.  For example, we use Typeform in our hiring process to collect applications.

We often require applicants to have a certain type of experience to apply for a job.  We can ask them something like “Do you have at least one year of accounting experience?”

If they say yes, they can move on to the rest of the application.  If they say no, we can skip to a custom ending that says we require at least one year of accounting experience to apply for this job

The use of logic when building forms is such a powerful and versatile feature. 

Reasonable Limit on Payment Submissions

If you’re accepting a lot of payments through forms, Typeform has a very reasonable payment submission limit.  The number of payment submissions accepted is equal to the number of form submissions in your current account. 

This is better than Jotform which limits the payment submissions to 10% of the number of form submissions.

This may not be useful for everyone, but if you’re using a form builder to sell goods or services, Typeform is a good place to look.

Team Collaboration

Typeform allows you to access team collaboration on the Plus Plan and Business Plan. Multiple users in a workspace can help to fast-track form creation and editing and improve the overall functionality of the form builder. 

Disadvantages of Typeform

Typeform's disadvantages come in the form of a limited trial version and steeper learning curve than other form builders.

Stripe Payments Only

Typeform only accepts payment through Stripe’s payment gateway. They do integrate with Square’s online store, but payment processing through the forms are limited to Stripe. 

The Free Plan is Basically just a Trial Version

The usage limits on the free version are made so that it can really only be used as a trial version. Although you can create as many forms as you like, you are limited to 10 questions per form and you can only accept 10 submissions per month.

The free version is a good way to get used to the interface and try many of the features, but probably isn’t functional enough to be used within your business.

Many Features Mean it Can be Overwhelming

The interface of Typeform is intuitive and powerful but some users might be overwhelmed by the many features and branching logic path configurations. 

It’s great once you get used to it, but you may need a bit longer to get used to the interface compared to the time needed to learn Jotform, Google Forms, or Microsoft Forms.

Also, the app builder is pretty tough to use on mobile as there is also no mobile app version at the moment.

Third Party Reviews of Typeform

For some additional context, here are a few third party review scores for Typeform.

  • GetApp Rating: 4.7 / 5
  • Capterra Rating: 4.6 / 5
  • G2: 4.5 / 5

Typeform Summary

Typeform is an impressive form builder that uses a drag-and-drop interface. The forms are the most impressive visually compared to other form builders and the use of logic makes it a very powerful tool for businesses.

Typeform allows you to create beautiful and professional-looking forms but still remains intuitive to use. Many small businesses could make good use of the Plus Plan at $59 USD per month and still find it worthwhile.

If you’re looking for inexpensive, you may need to look elsewhere (see Tally or Google forms below). The free plan is more like a trial version because of its very low usage limits. 

We’ve been using Typeform for Years here at Avalon.  It’s deeply ingrained in our processes from marketing and sales to operations and HR.  It’s a bit too integrated for us to consider switching to Jotform or Tally right now, but I don’t know if I would change to another provider anyway.  

Typeform is an excellent tool at a reasonable price.

Tally

Tally is a newer form building application that was founded in 2020. We are starting to love Tally because it’s a no-code app that is user-friendly and freely accessible for small businesses.

Tally.so Logo

One of the biggest selling points of Tally is that almost everything that they offer is free. There are no usage limits in the free version and it also includes features that are only offered as premium features in other platforms. 

Tally Form Builder Free Features

With Tally, you have access to:

  • Unlimited usage - this means an unlimited number of forms, submissions, views, questions, and more.
  • Integrations - connect popular apps to help streamline your data collection.
  • Payments - Tally lets you accept payment submissions without limits. A 5% commission fee goes to Tally when using the free plan.
  • Custom branding - add your own logo and banner and remove Tally branding in the Pro plan.
  • File upload - let your respondents upload files up to 10 MB. Upgrade to Pro plan removes file size limit.
  • Partial submissions - get access to unfinished forms. This is only available in the Pro plan.

Tally also takes a bit of a different approach to form building that works like editing a text document. Check out this video for a demo.

Once you see how the process works this method is quicker and easier to use than some of the other drag and drop options. I know my inner nerd is showing when I say this, but it really is a joy to build forms using Tally.

Tally Pricing

Tally offers two straightforward pricing tiers, the free version and the paid “Tally Pro” version.

  • Free - Free
  • Tally Pro - $29 USD per month

Free Version 

The free version of Tally gives you nearly everything that you could want from a form builder:

  • Includes 1 user.
  • Create unlimited forms.
  • Set up unlimited questions and get access to all question types.
  • Receive unlimited submissions.
  • No form storage limit.
  • Collect payments with a 5% commission fee paid to Tally.
  • File upload up to 10 MB per file.
  • Email notifications to you, but not to respondents.
  • Add your logo and banner.
  • Embed your forms in your website with customization included.
  • Answer piping - use respondents' answers in later questions.
  • Schedule a form “close date” or close the form to responses when you hit a number of submissions.
  • Integrations - Connect Notion, Airtable, Zapier, Make, Google Sheets, Slack, Soda, or use custom webhooks.

Tally Pro - $29 USD per month

Tally Pro is made for teams and business owners who want to include their branding on forms. 

In addition to the features in the free version, the Pro plan unlocks additional features, including:

  • Add multiple users and workspaces for team collaboration.
  • Collect payments with a 0% commission fee.
  • Automatically send fully customizable email notifications to you and your respondents.
  • Removes the 10 MB file size upload limit to receive larger files from respondents.
  • No Tally branding.
  • Custom URLs, metadata titles and descriptions.
  • Access to partial submissions - capture unfinished forms.
  • Analytics integrations - access to Facebook Pixel and Google Analytics integrations.
  • Custom CSS - for businesses that want to have full control of the form design. Allows your web developer or coder to customize forms using code.

Benefits of Tally

The benefits of Tally relate to its unparalleled free feature set and its innovative new way to build forms.

Unlimited Free Access

Tally is one of the few feature-rich form builders that offers a completely functional free version. You get nearly all of the features that are offered in the pro version here and you can create unlimited forms and receive unlimited responses.

There’s no downside to trying out Tally with their free version.

User-Friendly

Form building with Tally works like a text document instead of the drag-and-drop model of other form building applications.

Tally Form Builder Create Forms Like a Word Doc

This makes it accessible for most users, even those with only basic computer skills. With Tally, you can simply type forward slash “/” to access all possible blocks or fields. 

The user interface is straightforward for both the form builder and the respondent.  It’s not quite as pretty as Typeform, but the minimalist design is still really pleasing to the eye.

If you need theme customization, you can use Tally’s custom design feature. 

Tally Forms Custom Theme

You can apply an existing theme (light or dark) or create your own custom colours for the background, text, buttons and accents.

Affordable Paid Plan

Tally.so offers a very reasonably priced premium tier compared to other form builder apps. For $29 USD per month, you can access premium features that are sometimes only accessible at much higher cost with the other form builder apps.

Disadvantages of Tally

The disadvantages of using Tally mainly relate to how new the software is.

Fewer Templates

The templates page only has 100 templates as of writing. Users can opt-in to sharing their templates with others, so we should see that number increase pretty quickly.

Only Accepts Stripe Payments

Another disadvantage of Tally is that it only accepts Stripe to collect payments whereas other platforms offer a wider range of payment processing options.  

This could be limiting if you don’t use Stripe to collect payments. However, it’s pretty easy to set up a Stripe account and it’s an excellent payment platform as well.

Not Quite as Pretty as Typeform

I do love the minimalist design of Tally, but it doesn’t quite offer the impressive design capabilities that Typeform offers.  If you’re running a creative agency or just want to really wow your respondents with the form design, you might look at Typeform instead.

Early Stage Software

It’s still pretty early on in Tally’s software development so you don’t get as many product features compared to some other form builders like Jotform.

We also don’t see quite as many templates or question types with Tally as we do with more established systems like Jotform or Typeform.

Third Party Reviews of Tally

For some additional context, here are a few third party review scores for Tally.so.

  • Product Hunt: 5.0 / 5
  • G2: 4.4 / 5
  • Trust Pilot: 4.4 / 5

Tally Summary

Tally is a truly excellent platform that offers a unique “edit like a word doc” way to use the form builder.  We’ve been playing around with Tally a bunch lately and are very impressed with it.

The biggest win here is that Tally is totally free to use. The free tier includes features that are considered premium features in other form builders. Plus, the premium tier is reasonably priced and offers many great features. 

Really, the main drawback is that Tally is still pretty early on in its development and we don’t get as many templates or design features as other systems.  Form building with Tally is certainly not complicated, but you could still save a lot of time by using pre-built templates.

Tally is an excellent choice for those who want a simple user interface but still with rich features.

You absolutely can’t go wrong by trying out Tally’s free version.  We also recommend Tally Pro to businesses looking for a premium form builder without usage limits at a very reasonable cost. 

Google Forms

Google Forms is a free form building software included in the Google Workspace or with Gmail. It’s free and very simple to use. It lets you create forms as easy as creating them on a piece of paper.

Google Forms Logo

Google Forms is totally free without usage limits. It is mostly known for its simplicity but it shouldn’t be overlooked. The functions are basic but still very useful.

Google Forms comes with all of the basic form fields you might expect like short answer, paragraph, multiple choice, and document upload, etc.  It also has some slightly more advanced features like:

  • Custom theme - choose your main colour and Forms will also provide a related background colour to create a simple theme for your form.
  • Custom text - typesets or fonts can also be changed with direct integration with Google Fonts so you can access thousands of free fonts.
  • YouTube plugin - Search for any video from YouTube and embed it directly into your form by clicking the add video button.
  • Insert photos - Upload photos from your device, Google Drive, camera, or image search.
  • Record responses - responses are recorded in real-time and can be imported to a new or existing Google Sheet. Once you set up the destination of the responses, the spreadsheet is automatically updated. This is actually a really powerful tool that can be the start of a database, app or CRM.
  • Automatic email notifications - you can configure this function so that your respondents may receive a copy of their responses
Google Forms Demo

Google Forms Pricing

Google Forms is accessible to all personal Google accounts and included in the paid Google Workspace. The differences between plans are mostly related to your storage limit, Google Meet features, and security:

  • Free - Included in every personal Google account
  • Business Starter - $7.80 CAD per user per month
  • Business Standard - $15.60 CAD per user per month
  • Business Plus - $23.40 CAD per user per month

Most people are purchasing this software for the other business functions like Gmail, Google Docs and Google Drive. Forms is just a bonus that you get with Gmail or Google Workspace.

Benefits of Google Forms

Google Forms is a basic form builder, but it is still fully functioning platform that any business could make use of.

Built Into the Google Ecosystem

Google Forms is built directly into the Google ecosystem.  If you’re already using Google for your business, then you already have access to Google Forms.

You get a lot of functionality for something that’s just included.  You might not even know it exists until you do a bit of digging into the Google platforms. 

Some of included features are:

  • Add unlimited collaborators - Just like any file in your Google Drive, you can give access to other Google accounts to edit your form
  • No usage limits - unlimited number of forms, questions, views, and submissions
  • Storage limit based on your Google Drive storage limit
  • Multiple question types such as drop-down choices, linear scale for rating, or file upload
  • Turn forms into quizzes - useful for employee training, assessment, and simple contests

Unlimited Free Access

Google Forms lets you create unlimited forms and receive unlimited responses.  There really is no paid version, so you get everything that Google Forms offers no matter how you access it.

Seamless Integration with Google Products

Another benefit of using Google Forms is the seamless integration with Google Workspace. It conveniently connects with YouTube, Google Sheets, and Google Drive.

All online form builders rely on spreadsheets in one way or another to store data. This means that once you push the responses to a Google Sheet, they can be integrated with almost any automation tools or platforms.

Google sheets easily turn into databases which are quickly turned into apps, dashboards or CRMs with the use of simple No Code tools.

Accessible to all Platforms

Google Forms is optimized to run on almost any device. It is lightweight and does not have complicated animations or effects that can slow your device.

Disadvantages of Google Forms

Google forms' main disadvantage is that it's fairly basic compared to other form builders.

Limited Appearance Customization

Google Forms only provides basic appearance customization. You can add images and choose custom colours.  

This is about as fancy as Google Forms gets.

Google Form Demo

It’s a far cry from the design freedom that Typeform provides, but the price is right!

No Direct Payment Collection

Payment collection is not available in Google Forms. The way to request payment is to insert a link into the form.

Limited Templates

The form templates are pretty basic within Google Forms.  This is pretty weak compared to Jotform’s 10,000+ templates spanning hundreds of use cases.

Google Forms Templates

Limited Logic-Based Form Building

The ability to use logic to create branching questions or interactivity in your forms exists within Google Forms, but it’s a basic version of it.  

You can jump to form “sections” based on the answer to a preceding question. 

This is ok for general data collection, but doesn’t allow for quite as extensive customization as something like Typeform’s branching paths and conditional answers.

Third Party Reviews of Google Forms

A few third party review scores for additional context.

  • GetApp: 4.7 / 5
  • Capterra: 4.7 / 5
  • Software Advice: 4.5 / 5

Google Forms Summary

If you’re looking for a totally free form building application that provides enough functionality for most businesses, then Google Forms is a good option. The features are very similar to other platforms but the delivery is lightweight and accessible to most devices.

The main disadvantage is the lack of customization. The look remains pretty basic even if you have access to custom fonts and theme colours. 

Overall, Google Forms works well for small businesses because it’s free and easy to use. 

If you’re already using Google Workspace and need to send a few simple forms, then we recommend jumping in to Google Forms for quick results.

Microsoft Forms

Microsoft Forms is a free form builder that allows users to create and manage forms. It is included in every Office 365 for education and business customers and any personal Microsoft account. 

Microsoft Forms Logo

The functionalities of Microsoft Forms are pretty basic but it’s really easy to use and reliable.  It’s comparable to Google Forms and is a good option for those using Microsoft office more than Google’s Workspace.

To get started in creating a form in Microsoft Forms, you have an option to choose a New Form, a New Quiz, or choose any of the few basic templates. The New Form and New Quiz options are both blank forms that you can build out from scratch.

Microsoft Forms Templates

There are only a few templates available in Microsoft Forms. The templates are pretty random, with things like  “t-shirt sign-up,” “University student exit survey,” and “Parent satisfaction survey.”  Feels a bit out of touch and pretty much useless for my needs.

However, because of the simplicity of the form builder, it’s not difficult to start from scratch. Build your form with the any of following question types:

  • Multiple choice - a basic multiple choice question with options that can be shuffled. You can also allow respondents to choose multiple answers.
  • Text field - text question that you can configure as either short or long answer.
  • Rating - an interesting take on the rating question that lets you customize the answer to use numbers, stars, thumbs-up, smiley faces, or hearts. 
  • Date - a simple date question with a calendar field to choose from.
  • Ranking - ranking question to rank options from top to bottom.
  • Linkert - a classic slider style question to assess the opinion of your respondents on a certain topic (very dissatisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, etc. etc.)
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS survey) - an easy way to ask for customer or employee satisfaction
Microsoft Forms Example

While it’s nothing fancy, there are some positive features that Microsoft forms provides.

  • Branching - conditional logic function to direct your respondents to a specific section depending on their answer
  • Custom Themes - choose a theme from the presets provided or choose an image from Bing Search, OneDrive, or your computer
  • Add Images to Questions - applicable for questions made directly in Microsoft Forms  
  • Survey Polls within Outlook - directly in your email, you can create and distribute a survey to email out to people.
  • Direct integration with Powerpoint - this allows you to insert a form directly into a slide. You can create a new form or quiz or insert an existing form you’ve created
  • Insert multiple choice question on Teams - insert a choice question type within your Microsoft Teams platform.
  • Collaborate With Others - invite other Microsoft users to collaborate with you

Microsoft Forms Pricing

Microsoft Forms is included with all personal Microsoft Accounts and commercial Office 365 accounts.

It’s not really free because you’re paying for the software suite. However it feels like a bonus because it’s probably not why you purchased Microsoft Office in the first place.

Benefits of Microsoft Forms

The biggest benefit of Microsoft Forms is that it comes included with Office 365.

Free Access to All Microsoft Accounts

Microsoft Forms is included in the Office apps. It is accessible without charge to all personal Microsoft accounts and Microsoft 365 users. This also means that there are no usage limits besides the storage limit set on your account

Integrations with Some Office Apps

Microsoft Forms can be accessed in Powerpoint so you can create and distribute forms into slides. You can also create survey polls in Outlook email and Teams chat.

Immersive Reader Feature

Microsoft Forms has a built-in Immersive Reader feature that respondents can use. This feature will read the question and options out loud. This is useful for respondents with visual impairments or for those who might be doing other tasks at the same time. 

Disadvantages of Microsoft Forms

Microsoft Forms' disadvantages relate to how limited the features are.

Limited Theme Customization

The user interface is lightweight and intuitive but lacks customization. You can only choose from the preset themes that may include an image or just a colour palette.

You can also choose to add an image within your theme. Microsoft Forms then will automatically choose the appropriate accent colour to be used in the rest of the theme.

Payment Collection not Supported

Payment collection is currently not supported in Microsoft Forms. If you want to add a payment option, you can always include a link to your preferred payment gateway.  It’s not ideal, but it works fine.

Lacks Advanced Question Types

The question types in Microsoft Forms are quite basic like what you might typically see in a school quiz. 

It also lacks data validation within the responses.  For example, you can’t set up questions so that only a true email address can be entered or so that a phone number has the right number of digits.

Third Party Reviews of Microsoft Forms

A few third party review scores for Microsoft Forms for some additional context.

  • GetApp: 4.4 / 5
  • Capterra: 4.4 / 5
  • G2: 4.4 / 5

Microsoft Forms Summary

Microsoft Forms is a basic yet intuitive form building software that is easily accessible to most people. The interface is simple and does not have complicated features. 

It has direct integrations with Powerpoint, Outlook, and Teams. There are only a few question types but it can work pretty well if partnered with branching or conditional logic.

The main drawbacks are that the software is quite simple and basic, it lacks significant appearance customization, and it’s missing some important question types. 

For example, it does not have the basic email or phone number question type that will only accept answers with the correct email or phone format.

Microsoft Forms is still a decent option for those within the Microsoft ecosystem that only need basic form building functionality. It works well to conduct basic surveys within an organization or send simple customer satisfaction forms.

Use Cases for Form Builder Applications

Let’s talk through some business use cases for form builders.  We’ve used Typeform over the last few years and we just keep implementing it in more parts of the business. 

Uses for Form Builders

We currently have forms in use for:

  • Marketing - Lead generation on the website (provide pricing info, download PDF guides etc.)
  • Sales - New client intake forms
  • Operations - Gathering year-end information from clients
  • Operations - Various forms to take notes at specific meetings (new client kick-off for example)
  • Operations - Tax information forms to gather general info before preparing tax returns
  • Operations - Customer satisfaction surveys
  • HR - Setting up employee benefits
  • HR - Job application forms
  • HR - Aptitude tests (Accounting, bookkeeping and general admin)
  • HR - Silly questionnaires or quizzes to send to the team to add to our website once filled out.
  • HR - Nominating a superstar Avalonian (Team member of the month nominations)
  • HR - Check-in forms that team members fill out before having a 1-1 with their supervisor

That’s just what’s in use right now.  We have another 30 forms sitting in an archive that we no longer use but did at one point.

There are so many great uses for form builders.

Collecting Information on Your Website

One way of implementing forms is by embedding them on your website. An embed is a way of adding content to your website or other platforms instead of just adding a link.

By embedding your form, you accomplish two things. First, you make it easy for your viewers to respond to your form. Secondly, you keep them on your website so they can continue what they need to do after responding to your form.

Collecting Information within your organization 

You can use online forms to collect information within your organization. Send an email containing the link to the form. This is useful when collecting information such as

  • Who’s going to the company offsite gathering
  • What food to include in the cafeteria (or ask who’s allergic to what?)
  • Availability of your employees to work onsite
  • Employee satisfaction surveys
  • Reports on missing equipment or accessories, maintenance needs, or defects in tools

Customer feedback surveys

One important use of online forms is by sending customer surveys. Here are some ideas on how to implement customer feedback forms:

  • Set up an automated email campaign to your verified customers that includes a link to the survey.
  • Create a QR code and print it on your product packaging or thank you cards.
  • Integrate your forms to your ecommerce website after product checkout.
  • Add a link to your invoice to the survey form.

Employee feedback surveys

You can use an online form to give your employees the opportunity to rate their experience with the company and provide feedback. 

You can ask them questions such as how they feel about their job and ways that things can be improved. This information is so valuable for establishing a healthy workplace.  

These can include employee information or can be anonymous feedback to encourage more open responses.

Job applications

Using online forms makes it easy for you to collect applicants’ information and even helps to qualify applicants by using logic within the form. 

Most form builders have ready-made job application templates you can choose from.  You can also set them up so that the form asks about any prerequisite experience or skills.  

If the applicant doesn’t have the required experience, the form can jump to an end page that says you only accept applicants with ____ amount of experience.

Collecting Information from Clients

We use this a lot when gathering information about new clients or to prepare tax returns. 

Send a link to a form that includes as much information as you want to gather from your clients.  

We often have a lot of information that we like to gather for new clients so it helps to have a progress bar and a way for them to pause and continue filling the form at a later time. 

Quizzes or Skills assessments 

Many form builders allow you to create quizzes that calculate the score of right answers automatically.  

We use these for aptitude tests when hiring bookkeepers, accountants and administrative staff.  

It’s important to take the quiz results with a grain of salt and to use the scores just as another tool to narrow down the applicant pool.  We’ve found that a great quiz result doesn’t always result in the best applicant for a given role.

Event Registration Forms

Whether you are a business or a non-profit organization, form building software can help you prepare for an online or in-person event. 

In organizing an event, you can use forms to collect the following from your invites or attendees:

  • Contact details - email, telephone number, mobile number
  • Names - first and last name, salutation marks, nickname
  • Location - where they’re located generally or more specifically
  • Company name - what organization they work with

This information can help you in building a database of potential leads or of customers that you may want to notify when future events happen.

Other Use Cases for Form Builders

If you want a more exhaustive list of ways to use form builders, I suggest checking out Jotform’s template library.

You’ll see form templates for things that you may not have even considered.

Article by
Paul Sharpe, CPA, CA
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Originally published
September 12, 2022
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