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How do you Create a Fillable Template in Google Docs?

How to Create a Fillable Template in Google Docs

By Matthew Guay · May 19, 2017
A hero image for Google Docs app tips with the Google Docs logo on a blue background

Google Docs includes a handful of templates—but what if you want to make your own document template for meeting notes, company letters, or anything else you need to make on a regular basis?

Here's how.

Create a Template Document in Google Docs

template meeting notes document
Build your template document in Google Docs

First, just make a new document as normal in Google Docs. You can start from scratch with a blank document, open a document you'd made in the past and copy it into a new document, or use one of the pre-made templates that comes with Google Docs.

Google Docs doesn't include placeholders for the text you'll replace in the template. Instead, just type something you'll remember to replace—perhaps XX for dates, NAME for a spot where you'll type in a name, or lorem ipsum for areas where you'll type longform text.

Save the document with a unique title—we'll need that in a minute.

Tip: Want to make sure you don't forget to replace any of your placeholder text? Try a journalist trick: Use the text TK as your placeholder, as it appears in very few words. Then search for TK before saving your document each time, and you can make sure you've replaced all of your placeholder text.

Save That Document as a Template

Add template to G Suite
A G Suite account lets you share the template with your whole team

Now, if you have a G Suite account, you can save that document as a template in your Google account. Just open, click the Template Gallery button in the top right, and select your company's name.

Then, click the Submit Template button. Select the document you just made, add a title and category for it, then click Submit. That'll add the template to your entire company's G Suite account, so everyone can reuse the template document anytime they need.

Learn more about setting up a G Suite account in Zapier's free eBook, The Ultimate Guide to G Suite.

Make a copy
To use your template in a standard Google account, just make a copy of the document

If you are using a standard Google Docs account, you can't save the document as a template. What you can do instead is open your template document, then click File -> Make a Copy to make a new document from your template.

Fill in the new document, and next time you need to use the template, just repeat those steps to create a new copy.

Looking to use Google Docs templates with Zapier? Learn how to create and autopopulate templates with Zapier.

Create a WebMerge Template, and Save the Document to Google Drive

Or, there's one other option: WebMerge. This app lets you make templates for anything you want, including your meeting notes or important documents. It can then save the completed document to Google Drive, where you could edit it in Google Docs later.

All you'll need is a way to get your data in the document template. A great option is to make a Google Form, via the free form tool that comes with your Google account. Fill in the fields, then Zapier can copy the data from your form to WebMerge—and WebMerge can save that finished template back to Google Drive for you.

Merge new Google Forms responses with Formstack Documents

Merge new Google Forms responses with Formstack Documents
  • Formstack Documents logo
  • Google Forms logo
Formstack Documents + Google Forms

Learn more about WebMerge in our WebMerge review.

And with that, you'll have a new meeting notes template in Google Docs that you can share with your team or re-use anytime you want.

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