How I Automated Google Sheets with Apps Script

I am a big fan of automation and I’ve found myself very frustrated with manual copy and paste in Google Documents. So the other weekend I decided to learn how to automate them – and in particular, Google Sheets! Here’s a little step by step overview of my project.

Step 1: Defining what I want the program to automate

For me, this is the most important step in the whole process. Yes, I knew what I wanted to achieve, but thinking through the types of automation and writing is all down was super helpful. It allowed me to keep functionality in mind when learning all about App Script and how it works.

Step 2: Doing a bunch of tutorials on Apps Script

While Apps Script uses JavaScript, it has its own logic and rules. So I started by getting familiar with those.

Google Developers platform has some great tutorials and I decided to start with the very basics: by learning the Fundamentals. It involved a lot of copy & pasting and looking through the code to understand what it does.

There are also a bunch of more advanced tutorials, for example, you can build your own chat bot – but I’ll leave those for later.

Step 3: Getting my hands dirty and automating Google Sheets

Once I’ve done 3 tutorials in detail, I was itching to start – so I’ve skimmed over the final 2 and started writing my own code. I started with the simplest thing I needed to do, creating a custom menu – which made me feel a sense of accomplishment and gave me a boost of confidence!

The rest of the program was a mixture of reusing and customising code from the tutorials and Googling things. Stack Overflow was my best friend as I ran into issues or simply didn’t know how to do certain things. Watch the video above for more details on what I did/my thinking process!

Next Steps: Adjusting the workflow

I have managed to create all of the automations that I wanted to, but the result isn’t a perfect fit for my current workflow. Which means that I can adjust my normal workflow to work within the automation limitations. Does that sentence even make sense? Basically I need to adjust my processes so that my automation fits it seamlessly 🙂

Let me know what you’re thinking of automating!

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