7 Great Google Sheets add-ons to increase your productivity

Google Sheets is the holy grail for data organisation, collaboration, and automation.
September 4, 2021 9:44 am

Google Sheets is the holy grail for data organisation, collaboration, and automation. It can also be daunting for many users, until they realise how useful it is. It’s just a matter of time until they start relying on it for every task.

It does most of the “empty” work you’d otherwise have to do by automating repetitive processes. If you had to send a lengthy invoice, for instance, you wouldn’t have to keep retyping a dollar sign, and calculating GST over and over again.

There’s no need for a calculator, either. Google Sheets will do all of the addition for you. That means less tabs open, less work, and more time to do what you’re getting paid to do.

Can I use Excel, instead?

Well, yes. Here are 3 reasons why not:

  1. We are all about Google and Google Sheets can open and edit 95% of Excel files with no extra software.
  2. We’d advise caution when opening Excel files from others: Excel 4’s (released in 1992) outdated macro sheet — the small programs anyone can create inside the software to automate repetitive actions — hasn’t been fully replaced. Users may be running the most recent version of Excel, but the macro sheet is still in operation, and it’s still the starting point of malware coders.
  3. Cost. Excel costs money for each user, and Google Sheets is bundled with Google Workspace.

If you think you’ve seen everything Google Sheets has to offer, let us show you a new world. None of us have tried all of the numerous extensions available at Google Workspace Marketplace, and we never will. We’ll only install the add-ons that can help our businesses move forward, fast.

With that in mind, here are 7 Google Sheets add-ons we’ve used at SixFive, which boosts our sheets and helps us stay productive. All of them are free, some with premium versions available.

Coupler.io 

This 4.9 star-rated data integration software allows users to synchronise their data from other apps to Google Sheets without the tedious task of copying, pasting, and potentially losing information along the way.

Not only that, but you can schedule the day and the time you want the data you’ve imported to start running. From the moment you import data using Coupler.io, you can trust it’ll update any documents you create automatically, which will save you a lot of manual work.

All documents can be shared with your colleagues, who can all join in at no additional cost. Anyone can get started with Coupler.io for free, and invest up to $99/month for companies with multiple teams. However, the software works just as perfectly for small startups and small to medium-sized businesses.

Portant

Portant removes manual data entry from your life, saving you the time and effort of copy/pasting or retyping. Some businesses spend up to 70 days per year on admin, much of which could be automated. Portant is a document automation solution that enables efficiency gains so you can get back to the important stuff.

Portant allows you to take document from a Google Sheet and merge it into a Google Doc and then send it to an email address once done. Using the premium ($7/month) you can also automatically get a PDF generated. For us the best thing here is that Portant allows you to group rows in a spreadsheet and create a table inside one document. For example when we run reports for our customers where we have multiple rows for each domain, this allows us to group the data so we get one document with multiple rows.

Doctopus 

Get it? An octopus for docs.

Here’s what justifies this title:

Imagine having to copy a single template multiple times, only to individually share it with dozens of students or clients. Talk about busy, unnecessary work. That’s the reality of professionals who work without the Doctopus script, which automates the document distribution process for an easy workflow.

Like AutoCrat, Doctopus is a free script originally created for teachers, but it’s also a favorite of consultants with lots of client engagements on their plate.

Build an app

No one needs to learn how to code to build a high-quality app today, thanks to platforms like AppSheet and GlideApp.

Anyone from your team can create apps from spreadsheet data, with no code, in as little as five minutes. The information and structure of your sheets will be extracted and converted into the app, staying in sync with your sheet in case you modify any data.

Both AppSheet and GlideApp let users start with a template, so the scaffolding is all set for customisation. It’s exactly like customising a website’s theme: you’ll combine elements and colours until you’ve created a fully responsive, secure, and professional-looking app.

When you’re done, you can start testing your new app on mobile, tablets, or desktops. If it’s all looking good, you’re ready to distribute it. If you have data from Google Forms and Google Calendar you’d like to sync, go ahead and do it!

Document Studio 

With Document Studio, you can use Google Sheets data to create professional, customisable documents you need on a frequent basis, such as report cards, certificates, invoices, contracts, and more.

You’ll create in bulk what you’d otherwise be copying and pasting like crazy, which increases the margin of human error. Let’s all try to stay away from that as much as possible.

If you’re using a free account, you can create up to 20 documents in 24 hours. In order to create more than that (over 1500 documents) on a daily basis, you’ll have to upgrade to a premium account.

Every file you create is automatically saved to Google Drive and ready to be shared, if you need to. You can also configure Document Studio to send the documents you’ve created to colleagues via email, thanks to the Mail Merge feature.

Hunter.io 

Hunter.io is by far the easiest way to find email addresses online.

Let’s say you’re trying to get in touch with the CEO of an agency, but all you can find on the website is a generic contact email. With Hunter, a simple domain search lets you find and scrape the most important professional email addresses behind the website.

How does it work? It’s simple:

Just like Google indexes websites, Hunter.io has indexed over 100 million email addresses in their database. The ones you need to reach are most likely a part of that number.

If you’re using the free version, you’ll get 25 free searches a month. It’ll be enough for some businesses, whilst others may require an upgrade. As a caveat, avoid sending emails via your Google Workspace account — otherwise, you may hit your daily sending limits

Template Gallery 

No matter how easy drag-and-drop platforms today make it, not everyone wants to create templates from scratch.  Why would anyone want to, if choosing professional templates from a wide gallery is so much easier?

Template gallery features professional templates for any document you need, whether it’s an invoice, a spreadsheet, a resume, a financial calculator, a sales letter, a report…anything at all. If you’re short on time or just like to get stuff done quickly, this add-on is perfect for you.

Just search for a keyword (e.g. financial calculator) and find multiple pre-built templates in seconds. All you have to do is pick and choose.

How do I add add-ons to Google Sheets?

Adding add-ons is a piece of cake. Just follow the instructions below:

  • First, open Google Sheets, and click the “Add-ons” tab. 


  • After you click “Get add-ons”, the Google Workspace Marketplace will pop up. 


  • Next, all you have to do is browse for the add-on you’d like to add, then click “Install”.


  • The next step is to give the extension permission to install. Once you have, just click “Done”.


  • Finally, click “Allow”.


  • Voilà.

Click done, and you’re all done. 

If you’ve never used any add-ons, you’re about to see how much easier your experience with Google Sheets will become.

If you have, hopefully you’ve learned something new today. The above are just seven of our favorites, compared to a vast library with a ton of add-ons for a variety of purposes. Get browsing, and you just might find your new favorite.

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