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4 min read

6 Google Docs automation ideas

By Hannah Herman · June 21, 2024
A hero image of the Google Docs app logo connected to other app logos on a light purple background.

If you're a knowledge worker, Google Docs is probably at the center of a lot of what you do. So you know better than anyone that creating and managing your docs can quickly become tiresome—especially if you create docs for repeat events like meetings, weekly recaps, or sales agreements. It's so easy to promise to create or update a doc and then just…forget to do it.

Instead of trying to manually wrangle your documents, you can use the Zapier Google Docs integration to streamline how you create and manage that content. Here are a few of the most popular ways to automate Google Docs. 

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Table of contents

  • Create new documents from a spreadsheet

  • Turn form responses into documents

  • Get notifications for new documents

  • Create custom automations with webhooks

  • Turn emails and messages into documents

  • Save other content as Google Docs

To get started with a Zap template—what we call our pre-made workflows—just click on the button. It only takes a few minutes to set up. You can read more about setting up Zaps here.

Create new documents from a spreadsheet

If you work in sales or marketing, you have to respond very quickly to new customer sign-ups or demo requests that come in through events and other marketing channels. Otherwise, you can miss out on a potential sale—and the revenue that comes with it. 

Those leads often get stored in a spreadsheet. That means you'll need to check for a new row and then manually create an onboarding doc, sales agreement, or whatever else you need—all before you can even reach out to the lead. 

To make that prep work easier, you can use Zapier to automate the process. Every time there's a new or updated row in a specific spreadsheet, the Zap will create a new Google Doc using a template and include the data from the spreadsheet. 

Create Google Docs documents from new or updated Google Sheets spreadsheet rows

Create Google Docs documents from new or updated Google Sheets spreadsheet rows
  • Google Sheets logo
  • Google Docs logo
Google Sheets + Google Docs

Copy data from new Google Sheets rows to a Google Doc template

Copy data from new Google Sheets rows to a Google Doc template
  • Google Sheets logo
  • Google Docs logo
Google Sheets + Google Docs

Create Google Docs from a template for new Airtable records

Create Google Docs from a template for new Airtable records
  • Airtable logo
  • Google Docs logo
Airtable + Google Docs

Generate Google Docs from templates for new or updated Airtable records

Generate Google Docs from templates for new or updated Airtable records
  • Airtable logo
  • Google Docs logo
Airtable + Google Docs

If you need a little more flexibility, you can use a Zap to create a Google Doc using just the text in a new spreadsheet row—no template needed.

Create new Google Docs from text with new rows in Google Sheets

Create new Google Docs from text with new rows in Google Sheets
  • Google Sheets logo
  • Google Docs logo
Google Sheets + Google Docs

Learn how to create and autopopulate a Google Docs template

Turn form responses into documents

Online forms are everywhere. Your sales and marketing teams probably use them on your website and ads to collect leads, demo requests, and product feedback. Or maybe your HR team uses forms internally to collect new employee information or employee satisfaction data. 

Whatever you use forms for, automation is a great way to make following up on the responses much easier—especially if you get a high volume of submissions. 

For example, you can use a Zap to automatically create new Google Docs whenever there's a new form response. To make sure everything is formatted correctly, the documents can follow a specific template.

Create Google Docs from template for new Google Forms responses

Create Google Docs from template for new Google Forms responses
  • Google Forms logo
  • Google Docs logo
Google Forms + Google Docs

Turn new Typeform entries into Google Docs (from templates)

Turn new Typeform entries into Google Docs (from templates)
  • Typeform logo
  • Google Docs logo
Typeform + Google Docs

Or, if you want more flexibility, the Zap can simply create a Google Doc with the text from the form response. 

Create Google Docs documents from text for new Google Forms responses

Create Google Docs documents from text for new Google Forms responses
  • Google Forms logo
  • Google Docs logo
Google Forms + Google Docs

Create documents in Google Docs from new Typeform entries

Create documents in Google Docs from new Typeform entries
  • Typeform logo
  • Google Docs logo
Typeform + Google Docs

Learn more about creating Google Docs templates from form responses

Get notifications for new documents

We've all been there: Someone on your team creates a brief, a draft, an agenda—and you totally miss it. If you're working with a large number of documents, you might think that's bound to happen. But it doesn't have to!

You can create an automated workflow that notifies you when a new doc is created. And those notifications can reach you wherever you spend most of your time, whether that's email, Slack, or another chat app. 

Send email via Gmail when there is a new Google Document

Send email via Gmail when there is a new Google Document
  • Google Docs logo
  • Gmail logo
Google Docs + Gmail

Send messages in Slack for new Google Docs documents

Send messages in Slack for new Google Docs documents
  • Google Docs logo
  • Slack logo
Google Docs + Slack

Create and send Microsoft Teams messages for new Google Docs documents

Create and send Microsoft Teams messages for new Google Docs documents
  • Google Docs logo
  • Microsoft Teams logo
Google Docs + Microsoft Teams

You don't have to be notified for every new document, either. You can use a Zap that triggers only when there's a new doc in a specific Google Docs folder.

Send Gmail emails for new documents in folders in Google Docs

Send Gmail emails for new documents in folders in Google Docs
  • Google Docs logo
  • Gmail logo
Google Docs + Gmail

Send Microsoft Teams chat messages for new documents in Google Docs folders

Send Microsoft Teams chat messages for new documents in Google Docs folders
  • Google Docs logo
  • Microsoft Teams logo
Google Docs + Microsoft Teams

If you need a little more privacy—or just don't want to disrupt a whole Slack channel of people with constant "new doc" notifications—the Zap can let you know via Slack DM.

Create direct messages in Slack for new Google Docs documents

Create direct messages in Slack for new Google Docs documents
  • Google Docs logo
  • Slack logo
Google Docs + Slack

You can also use the Zap to create Slack reminders for new docs instead of just sending a notification, which is a great option if you need to contribute to those documents but might not have time right away.

Create Slack reminders for new Google Docs documents

Create Slack reminders for new Google Docs documents
  • Google Docs logo
  • Slack logo
Google Docs + Slack

Create custom automations with webhooks

If you need a little more flexibility with how Google Docs are created, you can use automated workflows that trigger whenever Zapier catches a new webhook. These webhooks can come from a lead source, a custom form on a website, a digital product, or any place you might get info that you want to save.

Catch new webhooks and create Google Docs from a template

Catch new webhooks and create Google Docs from a template
  • Webhooks by Zapier logo
  • Google Docs logo
Webhooks by Zapier + Google Docs

Catch new webhooks and append text to Google Docs

Catch new webhooks and append text to Google Docs
  • Webhooks by Zapier logo
  • Google Docs logo
Webhooks by Zapier + Google Docs

Turn emails and messages into documents

We already covered why sending notifications for new Google Docs can be invaluable—but what if you want to save email and chat messages as documents? 

With Zapier, you can also create an automated workflow to do just that. Let's say you use an email alias to accept story pitches or comments from customers, for example. Whenever there's a new email in that Gmail inbox, the Zap will save the email's text as a Google Doc. 

Create Google Docs documents from new Gmail emails

Create Google Docs documents from new Gmail emails
  • Gmail logo
  • Google Docs logo
Gmail + Google Docs

Create text files in Google Docs for new Gmail emails that match a search

Create text files in Google Docs for new Gmail emails that match a search
  • Gmail logo
  • Google Docs logo
Gmail + Google Docs

You can also use a Zap to append chat messages from a specific channel to an existing document, which is a great way to save internal content like employee feedback.

Append text from new messages posted to a channel in Slack to documents in Google Docs

Append text from new messages posted to a channel in Slack to documents in Google Docs
  • Slack logo
  • Google Docs logo
Slack + Google Docs

Save other content as Google Docs

So far we've covered a lot of ways to save content that's coming to you, whether through email, Slack, forms, or webhooks. But what about content published elsewhere—like press mentions or content from video calls?

The good news is that Zapier is flexible, so you can also automatically create Google Docs for those items. Here are a couple of popular examples, but they're by no means the limit of what you can do with Zapier and Google Docs. 

Create Google Docs from new RSS feed items.

Create Google Docs from new RSS feed items.
  • RSS by Zapier logo
  • Google Docs logo
RSS by Zapier + Google Docs

Add new items in RSS by Zapier feed to Google Docs documents as appended text

Add new items in RSS by Zapier feed to Google Docs documents as appended text
  • Google Docs logo
  • RSS by Zapier logo
Google Docs + RSS by Zapier

Create Google Docs documents from text for new tl;dv transcripts

Create Google Docs documents from text for new tl;dv transcripts
  • tl;dv logo
  • Google Docs logo
tl;dv + Google Docs

Upload new Zoom audio transcripts to Google Docs as documents

Upload new Zoom audio transcripts to Google Docs as documents
  • Zoom logo
  • Google Docs logo
Zoom + Google Docs

Do more with your docs

Written language has existed for roughly 6,000 years, but it's time you bring your documents into the 21st century. With automation, you can turn Google Docs into a powerhouse app for managing content and saving things that might otherwise be overlooked or lost.

And this is just the start of what you can do with Google Docs and Zapier. What will you automate first?

Related reading:

  • Automatically create documents from a template

  • How to improve document control with automation

  • Add document automation to your business workflows

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A Zap with the trigger 'When I get a new lead from Facebook,' and the action 'Notify my team in Slack'