Google Sheets

Prefer a step-by-step guide to using Google Sheets to build bots? Try our Google Sheets tutorial.

Google Sheets is a free cloud-based tool for creating spreadsheets.You'll probably be used to using Excel as a spreadsheet application - the only difference here is that you'll be creating spreadsheets in the 'cloud', accessed over the internet (just like Flow XO.) This means you can integrate spreadsheets with your other apps through Flow XO and perform special actions like 'lookups'. 

In Google Sheets, you can trigger on:

  • New Spreadsheet
  • New Worksheet
  • New Row
  • Updated Row

The actions you can build into a flow are:

  • Search Rows
  • List Rows
  • Add a Row
  • Update a Row
  • Get a Row
  • Delete a Row

Connecting Your Account

You'll simply need to click to authorize Google Sheets - you'll be given a window to choose which Google account to authorize, or the option to sign into a Google Account.

Step by step video

The video below demonstrates step by step how to connect Google Sheets to your flows:

Special Consideration

It's really important that you set up your Flow XO workflows after you have configured the Google Worksheet you'd like to work with. You should have a worksheet in place that has column headings in the first row (row '1'), that don't change. If you need to change the column headers, you'll need to change your Flow XO workflows completely, and destroy the old workflows. You'll also need to enter a single row of example (or real) data into the first available row which - Which will be Row '2'.

(Of course you might already be working with a spreadsheet that has plenty of data in it - that's fine too.) 

Any changes to your worksheet structure after setting up in Flow XO will break your existing flows. To make sure you don't encounter any strange behavior, always remember:

  1. Configure the spreadsheet you'd like to monitor - put the column headings into Row 1, which don't change.
  2. Set up your Flow XO flow.
  3. Never adjust the structure of your worksheet - no new columns, and never take out rows.

NOTE: If you are creating new flows using Google Sheets, please use the version 4 variant of the Google Sheets Plugin. This will prevent you from having to make changes prior to the cutover on September 30, 2020.


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Known Issues

Generally, when you work with a CRM or developed-database product, they have been designed to operate in a fixed manner - the inputs are defined and the user can't add more and more to the interface, or take away data that might disrupt calculations or the structure of the information you're working with. That's not the case when working with a spreadsheet - it's a giant canvass in which there are very few boundaries - it's very easy to 'break' the flow or structure of information or otherwise upset the careful balance of your integrations. 

But not to worry! If you bear in mind these important points, you'll rarely run into problems:

  • For every method apart from 'Add a Row', the maximum number of rows supported is 1,000. So if you try and use a Flow XO method on a sheet with more than 1,000 rows, you'll instantly get an error: "Your spreadsheet cannot contain more than 1,000 rows".
  • You should always set up a worksheet with columns in place, and the first row of data, before using it in any Flow XO task (trigger or action.) Subsequently, manually altering the sheet in any way will cause unaccepted results in your workflows. So you shouldn’t enter any data by hand, or adjust the rows or columns in the sheet that is active in a workflow.
  • Hyphens and double braces {{..}} in column names have known to cause problems (for example, 'Time-sheet' or '{{timesheet}}').
  • Numbers at the end of column names are also known to cause problems and should be avoided (for example, 'Timesheet1').
  • Numbers at the end of column values are also known to cause problems in some situations.
  • Accents used in column names are also known to cause problems and should be avoided (for example, "cafĂ©").
  • Updating a row can break formulae in a sheet. As a workaround you can use formulae in a different worksheet that references the one you are updating.

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