Over the past 4 years, I’ve had many visitors come to this site seeking information on how to use Google Forms Choice Eliminator. You see, people want a free digital sign-up form for events like parent-teacher conferences that allows them to indicate how many openings for a certain time and day, and as those times are reserved, the options go away, or are eliminated.
However, the developer of the Google Chrome add-on stopped supporting and updating it. Whether it was to move on to other projects or from being frustrated by the constant changes that Google makes, I don’t know. But I DO know that there was still a demand for its functionality, and it wasn’t working the way it used to.
I imagine that you’re here trying to find an answer to how to make Choice Eliminator do what you need it to. Unfortunately, the app just isn’t going to cut it anymore. You can try to use it but be forewarned that you’ll probably end up with embarrassing glitches and wish you’d never used it.
Here are two great alternatives if you really need the functionality of Google Choice Eliminator.
After a lot of research, I found a great alternative to Google Forms Choice Eliminator: Koalender. It’s a free online scheduling software that does what Choice Eliminator does but in a MUCH cleaner and user-friendly interface. It’s one of the easiest scheduling tools I’ve used, but it’s just as powerful as the big hitters. It also syncs with Outlook, or iCloud Calendars so that I don’t have to hand input the appointments. They have a paid version (who doesn’t these days!), but honestly, the free version is perfect for scheduling needs.
Here’s a quick video on how to quickly get going on Koalender:
SignUp Genius has been around for a while and has really evolved. While I find its interface a little clunky and ugly, it has more options than Koalender. For one, you can do more than just schedule appointments. You can also set up a signup when you have a certain quantity of items, and then send out the form for people to claim theirs (on their site, they have an example of people claiming a t-shirt in their particular size). You can sign up parents to volunteer, or set up a limited number of seats on a bus for field trips. There are ads on the free version, and the free features are limited compared to Koalender. But if your school plans to use many of SignUp Genius’ features, you might be able to convince your school administrator to pay for the Premium version.
Here’s a video on how to get set up on SignUp Genius:
I want to make it clear that I’m not an affiliate for either of these programs. I just wanted to help as many people as possible, especially those of you desperately trying to find a solution to your signup forms. Let me know in the comments below if you ended up choosing one of these two alternatives, or shoot me an email at email@example.com.
OLD BLOG POST PRAISING CHOICE ELIMINATOR
Choice Eliminator solves these problems!
As many of you know, Google Forms is a powerful tool to use in a wide variety of situations. One popular application is using it as a sign-up form or scheduling appointments. Users would simply choose from a list of options, and the answers are recorded in a spreadsheet.
Here’s an example of a form we used for students to sign up to work shifts for our Multicultural Fair:
Since we wanted to evenly distribute the 50 groups among the shifts, I used an add-on called Choice Eliminator. With this tool, you set the number of responses you’ll accept for each choice, and as someone selects it, one spot is magically eliminated. Once all of the spots are taken, that option will disappear from your Google Form.
No more double-booking. No more mixups with busses. You can set the number of times your students can use the bathroom in a certain time period, and track them by having them sign out electronically.
And no more multiple sets of potato salad. Because yours was the best, and nobody ate it.
Choice Eliminator is genius and works really well if you set it up correctly.
Setting it up
You need to start out in a Google Form that is already populated with questions and multiple choices. Be sure to create unique choices, which means you can’t have two different 3:00 PM spots on the form. When the add-on runs, it won’t know which of those 3:00 PM spots to eliminate the choices from!
Get the Add-on
1. While in your Google Form, the three vertical dogs beside your picture or initials. Then select “Add-ons.”
2. You’ll most likely find Choice Eliminator 2 in the top row due to its popularity. If not, just type it in the “Search Add-ons” box. When you see it, click on the blue “+Free” button to select it.
3. Choice Eliminator 2 is now one of your add-ons and can be accessed by clicking on the puzzle piece on the top menu.
Using Choice Eliminator
- In your Google Form, create a question with multiple options (multiple choice works best).
- Click on the “Add-ons” puzzle piece icon.
- Select “Choice Eliminator 2” and then “Configure.”
- In the mini box to the right, click on your first question. Then select “Eliminate Choices.” It will take a few seconds to process.
- Click on the cog to the right for “Choice Options.”
7. Another window will open. This is where you will set the answer limit for each choice. This means that if you only want two people to bring plates, then set it to two (see the example above). Once two people have signed up for plates, then “plates” will disappear from your Google Form, and they’ll need to choose another option.When you’re done, hover your mouse over the green circle, and then click on the red X.
Test it out
1. At the top of your Google Form, go to “Send” and then click on the “Link” icon in the middle. Copy the link and paste it in a new tab or window.
2. Claim one of the spots by completing the form. I usually go into the form again and claim that same spot multiple times.
3. After you’ve claimed all of the spots, that choice should no longer appear on the next attempt. As I explained above, since I only had two spots for napkins, on the third time I completed the form “napkins” didn’t appear.
4. If you follow steps 2-7 above, you will be led back to the popup where you set the limit for your choices. It will indicate that one spot is taken.
Look at your responses
- Go back to your Google Form. You should see a number beside “Responses.” Click on it.
- You will have the option to see a summary or individual responses. If you click on the green rectangle to the right, a spreadsheet with your responses will appear.
Resetting your options
After testing it out, be sure to launch the add-on again and repopulate the choices!
- At the top of your form, click on the “Add-ons” puzzle piece icon.
- Select “Choice Eliminator 2” and then “Configure”
- You will see a note from the author. Close out of the window.
- In the popup window to the right, click on your first question. The select “Eliminate Choices.” It will take a few seconds to process.
- Click on the cog to the right “Choice Options.”
- Another window will open. This is where you originally set the limit for the number of choices available. To reset it, hover your mouse over the green circle, and then click on the box with the arrow. You will see “Restore Choices.”
- Your counts are now set to zero. Hover your mouse over the green circle and click on the red X.
Possible uses for this:
Remember that student who keeps going to the bathroom? I bet you’re wondering how this add-on can help with that!
It can actually help with accountability for all of your students! You can create a bathroom sign-out form with each of your students’ names and then set the add-on for a set number (like three times per quarter). Whenever someone wants to go to the bathroom, they’ll have to sign out, which will eliminate one of their “choices.” After the third trip, they won’t be able to sign out anymore until you reset it.
To set this up, you’d have each student’s name as an “option” in your form, and then after you launch the add-on, set the number of times each student can go per time period (such as per month, grading period, etc.) You can also set the form to collect email addresses (which is especially useful if your school uses Google Apps for Education), so that nobody is “stealing” each other’s bathroom spot.
This also creates a time stamp in a Google Sheet. If you see suspicious behavior happening in the bathroom, you can look at the time stamps to see who was out at that time!
As mentioned above, you can set appointments, especially for parent or in-class conferences. Since you’re using a Google Form, you can also have fields for other information such as parent concerns they’d like to address, if they’re interested in volunteering for the Fall Festival, etc.
Another benefit is if you’re having students do choice projects. You can save your sanity and have them pick from certain topics. This way you’ll only have maybe five per subject instead of 170 of the SAME one!
Finally, if you’re holding a conference or event, you can limit the number of participants in a session based on space and to allow for more individualized attention.
The creator of the add-on has a Google+ community where he answers any questions about Choice Eliminator.