Automating Google Sheets – one of the most popular tools in the Google Workspace suite – can help you save time by eliminating repetitive and manual tasks, such as data entry, data cleansing, document generation, and more. Automation will also help reduce errors by ensuring consistency and accuracy across your spreadsheets.
In this article, we will delve into the three proven methods of Google Sheets automation, highlight their advantages, and assist you in making an informed decision as to which option will work best for you.
Google Sheets Automation with Apps Script
Apps Script advantages
Automating Google Sheets with Apps Script offers several advantages, including:
- Full customization: Apps Script offers complete flexibility and customization of Google Sheets automation. You can write code to automate any task, from data entry to complex data analysis. Moreover, it’s possible to create custom functions to extend the capabilities of Google Sheets.
- Seamless integration with other Google Workspace applications: Apps Script allows you to integrate Google Sheets with other Google applications, such as Google Forms, Google Calendar, and Gmail, creating an automated workflow between different apps.
- Free to use: Apps Script is free to use and available to anyone with a Google account as long as you stay within the indicated limitations. This makes it an accessible option for businesses or individuals with limited budgets.
- Access to a large community: Apps Script has a large and active community of developers who share their code and solutions, making it easier for users to find answers to their automation needs.
Apps Script disadvantages
While automating Google Sheets with Apps Script has many advantages, there are also some pitfalls to consider:
- Maintenance: As with any code-based solution, Apps Script requires maintenance to ensure it remains functional and up-to-date with any changes to Google Sheets or other Google Workspace applications. This may require ongoing support from a developer.
- Limited debugging tools: Apps Script has limited debugging tools, which can make it challenging to troubleshoot issues when they arise. This may require users to rely on trial and error to fix issues, which can be time-consuming.
- Limited integrations with third-party tools: While Apps Script can integrate with other Google Workspace applications, it may not integrate as easily with third-party tools or services that a business may use, such as CRM or marketing automation tools.
Overall, while Apps Script offers powerful automation capabilities for Google Sheets, it does require programming knowledge and ongoing maintenance and it may not integrate as easily with third-party tools, so we recommend carefully considering it before choosing this option.
Is Apps Script the best option for Google Sheets automation?
However, if you require quick and simple automation solutions, a no-code process automation platform (which we will discuss in the next section) is a better fit. These platforms offer a visual interface and do not require coding skills, making it easier for non-technical users to automate their Google Sheets.
Moreover, if you rely heavily on third-party tools or services that do not integrate with Google Workspace, you probably will not benefit from using Apps Script.
Google Sheets Automation with No-Code Process Automation Platforms
Another way to automate Google Sheets is by using a no-code process automation platform. These platforms allow users to create workflows that integrate with Google Sheets and automate repetitive tasks without writing code. For example, you can set up a workflow that automatically adds a new row to a Google Sheet when receiving a new Typeform submission.
No-code process automation platform’s advantages
Automating Google Sheets with a no-code process automation platform has several advantages:
- No coding knowledge required: No-code process automation platforms offer a visual interface that allows users to create automation workflows without requiring any coding knowledge. This makes it accessible for non-technical users to automate their Google Sheets.
- Ease of use: No-code process automation platforms are designed to be user-friendly, allowing users to quickly and easily create automation workflows with a few clicks.
- Integration with third-party tools: No-code process automation platforms offer integration with a wide range of third-party tools and services, making it easy to connect Google Sheets with other applications used by businesses.
- Time-saving: Automating workflows with no-code process automation platforms is much faster than with any other automation method.
- Scalability: No-code process automation platforms can easily scale with businesses, allowing them to automate more processes and add more integrations as their needs grow.
- Overall, no-code process automation platforms offer a quick and easy way for businesses to automate their Google Sheets without requiring programming knowledge. They offer integrations with third-party tools and services and can save time by eliminating manual tasks. They are scalable and can grow with the needs of the business, making them a popular choice for businesses of all sizes.
No-code process automation platform’s disadvantages
Automating Google Sheets with a no-code process automation platform has some disadvantages, including:
- Limited customization: No-code process automation platforms provide different levels of customization. With some platforms, users may be limited to the pre-built automation workflows, which may not meet their unique needs. That’s why it’s crucial to do thorough research to ensure the platform meets your specific requirements and regularly expands functionality, as more comprehensive platforms like zenphi offer greater flexibility, customization and sophistication than others.
- Dependency on the platform: Organizations depend on the platform and its integrations when using a no-code process automation platform. For example, if the platform experiences downtime, this can affect the automation workflows, causing delays and errors. The solution here may be considering platforms with live support and customer care options.
- Cost: While some no-code process automation platforms offer free plans, more advanced features may come at a cost. As the number of automation workflows and integrations grow, businesses may need to upgrade to a paid plan. Depending on the platform you choose though, the benefits, including speed to automation, outweigh the costs almost immediately.
How to choose the best no-code process automation platform
There are plenty of options on the market for no-code process automation platforms. For example, if you want to automate simple tasks like moving data from one app to another, you should consider Zapier or Automate.io.
If you are searching to automate more complex multi-step processes such as employee onboarding, invoice approval, quote generation, incident management, and more, check out zenphi – the best no-code automation tool built specifically for Google Workspace apps. With zenphi, you can build sophisticated workflows and connect all your Google Apps and other business tools like Jira, Salesforce, Hubspot, and AppSheet together to streamline your operations.
Is a no-code platform the best option for Google Sheets automation?
No-code process automation platforms can be an ideal choice for organizations that do not have a dedicated IT department or looking for ways to reduce the IT team’s workload. No-code platforms can be used by anyone, regardless of technical skill level, to automate workflows and improve productivity.
Google Sheets Automation with Add-Ons
Google Sheets also supports add-ons, which are third-party tools that users can install to extend the functionality of their spreadsheets. Some add-ons, such as Sheetgo and Supermetrics, allow users to automate tasks such as data consolidation and reporting. You can install add-ons from the Google Workspace Marketplace and use them directly within Google Sheets.
- Easy to use: Most add-ons are user-friendly, and require no prior programming knowledge, which makes it easier for anyone to use and automate their workflows.
- Wide range of options: There is a wide range of add-ons available on the Google Workspace Marketplace that can be used to automate various tasks in Google Sheets. Whether it’s data analysis, formatting, or collaboration, there is an add-on that can help automate the task.
- Cost-effective: Many Google Sheets add-ons are available for free or at a low cost, making them a cost-effective way to automate tasks.
- Security: Google Sheets add-ons are developed by third-party developers, but they are screened and approved by Google before being listed on the Google Workspace Marketplace. This ensures that the add-ons are safe to use.
- Limited customization: Add-ons are pre-built tools, which means that their functionality is limited to what the developer has created. It may not always be possible to customize the add-on to meet specific requirements.
- Integration with other tools: Some add-ons may not integrate well with other tools or services that a business is using, which can limit their usefulness in certain workflows.
- Dependence on third-party developers: When using add-ons, businesses are relying on third-party developers to provide updates and support for the tool. If the developer discontinues support, the add-on may stop working correctly.
Are add-ons the best option for Google Sheets automation?
While the use of add-ons can be a convenient way to automate tasks in Google Sheets, organizations should carefully evaluate the risks and limitations before implementing an add-on to ensure that it meets their specific needs.
Google Sheets add-ons can be an ideal choice for those who have limited technical knowledge, need to automate a specific task quickly, or have a limited budget. On the other hand, those with complex workflows or more advanced integration requirements may need to consider other automation options.
In this article, we have discussed three different ways to automate Google Sheets: Apps Script, no-code process automation platforms, and add-ons. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, and organizations should carefully evaluate which method is best for their specific needs.
Apps Script is a powerful tool for automating more complex workflows. It allows for extensive customization and control over the automation process but can also be time-consuming to set up and maintain.
Add-ons can be a good choice for businesses looking to automate specific tasks in Google Sheets but may not be suitable for those with more complex workflows.
No-code process automation platforms offer a more user-friendly experience and are great for those who are chasing scalability and the fastest ROI.