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Creating documents is something that most businesses do every day, and it can be a time-consuming, manual task which is prone to error when the text or data is input incorrectly. Copying data from one app to another is so inefficient and the time wasted could be better spent on tasks which need human intervention.

Luckily, Zapier can help! Getting robots to do the heavy lifting makes sense and will ultimately save your business money and therefore increase profits – it’s a no-brainer.

Read on to find out how to boost productivity using Zapier to automate Google Docs, and uncover more ways to work smarter, not harder!

 

What can I automate using Google Docs?

We always recommend reviewing and documenting your processes before you start thinking about automation. This includes analysing which apps you use, which will likely include one for word processing, such as Google Docs. One of the benefits of using Google Docs is that it can be automated using Zapier, connecting it with your other apps to streamline your business.

There are many different examples of automating Google Docs for your business, but here are a few ideas to get you started.

 

Onboarding

Whether it’s new customer onboarding, or employee onboarding, you will likely have one or more documents to send the newbie as part of a New Customer or New Employee process. These standard documents are prime candidates for automation, where the same text is repeated each time and maybe personalised for each case using merge fields.

 

Webform entries

If you use a webform app such as Typeform, Cognito Forms or Gravity Forms then you might transfer the data into a document to then edit and share with others. It can be laborious to copy this data manually but using Zapier automation means that you can create a Google Doc for each entry really easily.

Some web form apps have limited storage space for entries so you could copy the data to a Google Doc as a backup, to be able to clear out some capacity for new submissions.

 

Save notes

Do you use a note-taking app such as Evernote? You could create a Google Doc from them, either a separate document for each note or a daily digest of your notes. One of Zapier’s inbuilt functions is Digest by Zapier which allows you to summarise multiple events in one combined action.

 

Create invoices

You can create invoices using a Google Doc template and then populate it from the app where you store your customer data. Or if you use a spreadsheet for your customer list then you can pull in that information from a Google Sheet to a Google Doc and then attach as a PDF to a Gmail email to send to the customer.

 

More ideas

Zapier’s integration page for Google Docs lists many different use cases for connecting different business apps to it. We would recommend checking it out as it might prompt more ideas, depending on which software you use in your own business.

 

How does using automation boost productivity

From the examples above you can see clearly how much time you’ll save by automating Google Doc creation using Zapier. This means your team can work on tasks that really matter, which only a human can do, and these are likely to be things which really move the dial for your business.

 

Business growth concept in shades of blue with arrow pointing upwards and text Automation Growth next to a bar chart.

Not only that, automation will make your team happier, as they’ll be doing more interesting tasks and less boring, mundane ones. There are other benefits for your team which include improving quality and boosting innovation.

 

What is a Google Docs template and how do I create one?

A Google Docs template is a document which you will use in multiple scenarios to avoid creating a new document every time. The template includes standard text paragraphs as well as ‘merge’ fields, which are variables that change for each version of the document you create using the Zap.

For example, if it was a standard letter you’re creating, then you might include a merge field for the addressee so that you can say ‘Dear Mr Smith’ in one version of the document and ‘Dear Ms Jones’ in the next. ‘Mr Smith’ and ‘Ms Jones’ will be passed into the action step by the trigger step so that they can be populated into each instance of the Google Docs document via the template.

A merge field is created really easily using curly brackets, for example {{addressee}}. You can call the fields anything you like, but it needs to be meaningful to make life easier when you configure the Zap to populate them.

So you can simply create your template using fixed text and merge fields so that it has the content you need, and then save it in a folder. Then when you configure the Zap you’ll be able to access the template using your Google account login and connect it with your other apps.

 

How should I organise my templates?

When you’ve designed a few different templates in your Google workspace you may struggle to find them along with all the instances of the documents you create from them. We would suggest creating a folder for each template, and then you can store the resulting Google Docs in that same folder. Each instance will have a unique filename which you can configure within the Zap’s action step from the data you’ve pulled in from the trigger app.

 

Real-life example: how to create a sales proposal Google Doc and email it via PDF using Zapier

We have recorded a video tutorial where Kelly demonstrates how to create a Google doc automatically using Zapier. The example we use is the creation of a sales proposal, and we go on to show how the document can be attached to an email as a PDF and then sent via Gmail. We use Pipedrive as the trigger step, but the workflow would work using any app to initiate the Zap.

Where can I learn more about Zapier?

Our free articles are great for finding out how to get started with automation, but if you really want to dig deeper then our chief problem solver, Kelly Goss, has written a book called ‘Automate It with Zapier’, which is available on Amazon.  It takes you through everything step-by-step and includes some ready-made templates for various examples so you can get started really quickly.

The book is perfect for new Zapier users as well as seasoned pros. Here are links to Amazon (.co.uk) and Amazon (.com) to get yours now.

Check out our automation training programme

And finally, if you’re really keen to transform your business using automation, then visit the Solvaa Automation Academy. Our signature training programme, ‘Simple Automation Blueprint: Zero to Hero’ is aimed at anyone who wants to learn the fundamentals of business process automation from the experts – a sure-fire way to recession-proof your business.

It’s an 8-week blended learning course with on-demand videos, templates, resources and weekly group coaching sessions. And it’s more than just a Zapier course (although we do show you how to use Zapier like a pro) as you’ll learn about Process Mapping, Business Process Improvement and Business Process Management too – principles that can be applied to other areas of business too! 

Whether you are a complete novice or have been using Zapier for a while, our programme is for you. It’s perfect for individuals and teams in micro, small and medium-sized businesses, including solopreneurs, consultants and freelancers. You’ll have access to our experts and can participate in live calls where you can ask all your burning questions, as well as hands-on workshops to keep you on track with implementing your new skills. We run regular cohorts so there will be an opportunity for everyone to participate.

Our head trainer, Kelly Goss, is a specialist in business systems, process improvement and automation, and one of less than 100 Zapier Certified Experts in the world. Kelly has many years’ experience in optimising systems and processes, and implementing automations for clients and is now passing on her knowledge to students through our trademarked ‘4-Step Solvaa Automation Methodology®‘. 

Find out more via our dedicated Solvaa Automation Academy website.

Read more about how our certified experts use Zapier workflow automations to simplify processes and increase efficiency.

Solvaa is a process and automation consultancy specialising in improving sales, operations and financial administration workflows. We help you to simplify and streamline existing processes, integrate your business tools to make data transfer more efficient and automate manual tasks to increase productivity. We are Zapier Certified Experts, Pipedrive Certified Experts and Xero Certified Advisors. 

Contact us today to discuss how Solvaa can help you simplify, improve and automate all aspects of your business with Zapier to save you time, reduce costs and keep you agile as you grow.

 

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