Automate behaviors: Force people to make a copy of your Google files

  • 19 February 2021
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Automate behaviors: Force people to make a copy of your Google files
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  • Zapier Staff
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Hi there! Deb here, from the Zapier blog. 

We write a lot of Google Sheets tutorials on the blog. Think: pivot tables, conditional formatting, and using Sheets as your to-do list. In each of those cases, we offer our readers a template that they can follow along with. So our readers click the link, make a copy of the template (as we instruct in the article), and use it for themselves.

Sometimes.

More often than not, though, people click the template link, try to use it, and realize they can’t edit it. So they request edit access. This ends with me getting dozens of edit access requests every day, which of course I can’t grant because then the template itself would change.

I even made a Zap to automatically write people back telling them to click “File > Make a copy...”

And then, Tyler, hero to Zapier support and my professional workflows, came along with this tip:

Automatically copy your shared Google files

YOU CAN FORCE PEOPLE TO COPY YOUR GOOGLE SHEET. This is truly the best tech tip I’ve ever learned. Instead of automating my response to requests, I can kind of automate the reader’s behavior. 

That’s all I’ve got. I hope I changed your life for the better. What’s the most life (er, work) changing tech tip you’ve learned? Let me know in the comments, and we might feature it on the blog!

 


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