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Google Forms vs. Playground: The Cost of Free


1/14/2022 | Evan Klinger

“Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing.”

― Albert Einstein

Are you still living in a physical world?  Schools that are using online forms to gather information are stuck in an old cycle.  They will gather the information via an online form, and then proceed in one of two ways: 

  • Print the document on a physical piece of paper and have an employee manually input the information into their secure system. 
  • Have the employee copy/paste the information from Google into another piece of software. 

Neither of these are the best practice because they use a lot of valuable and are prone to mistakes where data can get transposed or be incomplete, leading to inaccurate information that needs even more time for correction.

Most of this happens with one culprit: Google Forms.  Many educators and staff feel trapped in the “Google-verse” and don’t know how to escape.  They started working with Google Forms because they were free, but now they are looking for so much more and don’t know how to get away from the system that has just been “alright” for all these years.

Playground is here to rescue educational staffers and teachers alike! Google Forms does not support customization at all.  You will not be able to put your brand specific logo, fonts, images or even colors in the Google Form.  This means that all of the branding that you have worked so hard to design on your website and Social Media pages now looks like an ancient legal document at the moment it matters most: enrollment.  

Playground ensures that the forms are living, breathing customizable digital documents.  How can you convince a family to enroll with your school when they see the same pre-designed themes that Google Forms has been using since its inception?  Playground will give your forms continuity within your entire online world.

Your information on Google Forms are only as secure as your Google Account credentials. Since Google Forms is an open-source platform that lets you build surveys, its security standards are pretty basic.  Playground has robust security and will ensure that your information submitted through forms will stay secure by only existing inside of the Playground app and administrator web dashboard.

Playground has conquered the albatross that has been hanging around Google Form’s neck: incomplete forms.  Gone are the days of lost forms or unsubmitted information.  With Google Forms, if you don’t sit down and fill out the entire form in one sitting, you will lose all of the information that you put in any of the fields.  Playground’s software has instant status visibility.  You will always know what stage of completion you are at as you navigate a document. You can set automatic reminders to come back later and finish a form.  You can even receive a notification, a nudge to remind you that it is time to go back and finish what you started.  

Google Forms tells the user: let’s do this now and if you don’t do it ALL now, you will lose all of your hard work and have to start over at a later time.  Playground lets you complete forms on your terms and offers a flexible, compelling experience that will enable users to be productive and reach form completion.

For administrators, you have peace of mind that not only are you saving time in collecting data, but it is complete and accurate when families fill it out. No more chasing missing forms or calling/emailing families to get corrections. You’ve also made it a better experience for those same families who now get an app notification of forms to complete (or documents to upload) and they can do it when it’s convenient for their schedule from any smart device or computer!

Getting unhooked from Google Forms usually happens when the hiccups start.  If you change a part of a form, you can disrupt the entire flow of the form and never receive any information.  Even worse, there is no error notification to let you know that you broke your own form.  Playground’s forms have customer service available (when was the last time you picked up the phone and called Google?!) and the form can have a help document within the process to enable the user to make good choices.  There are even instructional videos on how to use Playground’s already easy to use forms to make them even more navigable!

Google Forms is free because it wants you to build a basic car to get you where you might be going.  Playground is the low cost alternative that will transform your document capturing experience.  Stop being taken for a ride with Google Forms and start driving!

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