Things to know about Forms collections

Have you tried the Collection option for Forms yet? It is meant to group your Forms together in a meaningful way.  Mike Tholfsen explains it in this video. Microsoft has a support article as well.

It is not a functionality I have ever missed. Until now, pinning the Forms that I need on a regular basis has been sufficient for me. I do not have that many Forms, and I generally delete the ones that are no longer relevant.

So, I thought I’d check out what Collections do and why this is a useful functionality.

When is a Collection useful? 

I can think of the following use cases that could work for me: 

  • As archive for complicated Forms that took a long time to create and that I may want to reuse one day. Simple Forms I discard when done and create from scratch when needed again.   
  • To store templates, so I do not mix active Forms with templates.
    Templates are stand-alone copies, and have everything from the original, except the answers. Templating them adds “Copy” to the title, but that’s it and it is easily removed. Grouping them in a collection would make sense.
  • The same goes for Quizzes. I do not use those very often, and I would not want them mixed up with my Forms either. There is also no visual clue to identify a Quiz.
  • If I had many Forms I could imagine I would want to group them by theme, but right now I do not have enough Forms to have that need. 

What do you need to know about Collections?

a. You only create them in “All Forms” which is one click away from the Forms landing page. If you have not seen the option yet, try your “All Forms” page!  🙂

b. On your Forms landing page you will see all recent forms displayed whether they are in a  collection or not. Collections are ONLY visible on that “All forms” page. This can be confusing as you may accidentally select an incorrect Form.

Forms landing page – all Forms together
All my Forms page. Forms are shown within their Collection (Templates).

c. You can see the images, but not the titles of Forms in a Collection. (See screenshot above.) I would have liked to see the titles. But then, you can only see the first 4 so perhaps that is not a big deal.

d. You can not add a shared Form to a collection. This is sad, as I share many Forms (including templates) with colleagues, for instance for our webinars.

e. You can not add Polls from Teams meetings or from Outlook to a collection. Those polls have very few options anyway, so this was no big surprise.   

Polls (recognizable by the icon) can not be added to a Collection

f. When you show your Forms as a list (instead of Tiles), the Collection is shown on top, and the other forms are called Uncategorized forms, so this implies that a collection is a category. It’s just language, but as we have seen in an earlier post, different wording can be confusing.

The List view of my “All Forms” page.

My conclusion

In case you have many Forms, the Collection option is excellent to categorize your various types of Forms. In my situation, having just a few Forms at any given time, the ability to Pin the most current ones to keep them readily available is sufficient.

How are you using Collections?

4 thoughts on “Things to know about Forms collections

  1. curtica November 21, 2021 / 4:23 pm

    I’m using a Collection to group a bunch of surveys that were sent to users to give a yes/no response as to whether they needed a particular feature (putting them all into one survey would not have worked in my particular scenario). I wish Collections would enable changes to settings – for example, being able to select at once all the forms in a particular Collection and make them anonymous.

    • Ellen van Aken November 21, 2021 / 4:29 pm

      Thank you! Good to know what you use them for, as I clearly have no particular need at the moment.
      Changing those settings in bulk would be nice – it may be a new User Voice request and I would support it! (Not sue if Forms is on the new feedback system yet)

  2. Sam November 25, 2021 / 8:15 am

    Thanks Ellen, I do need to organise all those proof of concepts or templates. I’ll be more excited about collections when they arrive for group forms.

    • Ellen van Aken November 27, 2021 / 11:12 am

      Thanks, Sam! Someone on LinkedIn suggested that option for Group Forms as well. Is it on the Feedback site already?

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