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5 popular ways to automate spreadsheets and make them work for you

By Tyler Robertson · March 26, 2021
Hero image with an icon of a spreadsheet, database, or list

Spreadsheets are great. They can be used to store data, of course, but also used as to-do lists, a browser homepage, and even for games. But eventually, it starts to feel like a bad relationship: You put so much work into your spreadsheets, is it really too much to ask that they just do something for once? You're not asking for much, just for a spreadsheet to take care of a little of the work on its own sometimes.

With Zaps—our word for Zapier's automated, no-code workflows—your spreadsheets can do a lot more than help you keep track of data. They can update themselves, send information to your team or customers, and give you back hours in your day. Below are five of the best and most popular ways to automate spreadsheets. Click Try this Zap on any of the pre-made Zap Templates to get started.

Create tasks from your spreadsheet 

Whether it's keeping yourself on track or organizing your team for the week, to-do lists are an essential part of getting things done. Using these Zaps, you can take advantage of the organizational power of spreadsheets, and turn rows into easy-to-use to-dos in apps like Trello, Asana, and Todoist.

Send tasks from a spreadsheet to Trello

Create Trello cards from new rows on Google Sheets

Create Trello cards from new rows on Google Sheets
  • Google Sheets logo
  • Trello logo
Google Sheets + Trello

Send tasks from a spreadsheet to Asana

Send tasks from a spreadsheet to Todoist

Visit the App Directory to learn more about the project management and task management tools available on the Zapier platform.

Keep your spreadsheets in sync

Do you love Google Sheets, but Marsha in Accounting insists on using Excel? End the spreadsheet debate once and for all by linking everything together with these Zaps.

You can also use Zapier to send information from one sheet to another, if you keep one sheet for personal or team use and then need to send specific information to a shared sheet for wider use.

Note: Two-way syncing between apps might result in a "Zap loop," check out this guide on how to avoid them.

Send things to Google Sheets

Send things to Excel

Send things to Airtable

Logging form submissions

When you're receiving feedback, putting together a newsletter, or just trying to get everyone's lunch orders, using a form is a great way to make sure everyone gives you the information you need. With these Zaps, you can send that information to a spreadsheet automatically, so it can be sorted, organized, and acted on efficiently.

Save responses in Google Sheets

Save responses in Excel

Save responses in Airtable

Notifications for new and updated rows

One major benefit to collaborative office platforms like OneDrive or Google Drive is that you can collaborate on spreadsheets and documents with your team. If you need to know when changes happen or if it's important to share updates with others at your company, adding custom notifications with Zapier helps you keep an eye on what's happening without sitting in the file all day. 

These Zaps keep you posted on new and updated rows, so you're never out of the loop.

Be notified of updates to Google Sheets

Be notified of updates to Airtable

Be notified of updates to Smartsheet spreadsheets

Create calendar events from a spreadsheet

If you're putting on a big event or scheduling shifts for your team, looking at everything in a calendar can get confusing pretty quickly. Using these Zaps, you can add each event's information to a nice clean spreadsheet, and let Zapier fill out the calendar for you.

Looking for more help with this? See our tutorial on how to create Google Calendar events from a Google Sheets spreadsheet.

Make your spreadsheets work for you

Spreadsheets are powerful tools that help you organize and analyze information. Add automation to make it easier to collect the data that matters for your business and keep you and your team informed about changes.

Related reading:

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mentioned apps
  • Google Sheets
  • Airtable
  • Asana
  • Trello
  • Todoist
  • Smartsheet
  • Microsoft Excel

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