Tools for Transparency: Use A Cell Phone to Collect Campaign Signatures


While helping out on a recent campaign, I was handed a clipboard to gather sign-ins for an event. Little did I realize how messy the signatures would be when I went to go enter the names into a spreadsheet. It struck me that I could skip a couple of steps and keep the contact info legible by creating a simple Google Form, which automatically creates a corresponding spreadsheet. Once created, all I’d have to do is ask supporters to enter their names on any mobile phone with the link to the Form. Not only does this eliminate the need for paper sign-ins and manual entry, but it also allows us to recruit multiple helpers, to use the data as it’s collected for outreach and to share the form link on social media for increased participation.

So how do you set up a Google Form?  It’s pretty simple, actually.  Log in to your Google Docs account and click on the Create button in the top left corner. Then, click Form.

Fill out the fields you want to track and then save your form.  Once you’ve saved it, go back into Google Docs and open up your document. Head to Form and click on Go to live form.

Copy the url at the top of the live form and send it to everyone who will help sign-in/sign-up supporters at your event.  They’ll be able to open up the form on the mobile phone or tablet.

Do you have any mobile tricks for use during a live event? I’d love to hear more ideas of what works!