LearnPublished May 21, 2024

How to Make a Google Sheets App With No Code

Upgrade your operations with powerful, user-friendly apps complete with charts and graphs, access controls, and mobile accessibility

Wren Noble

Wren Noble

Head of Content

How to Make a Google Sheets App With No Code

Data is the lifeblood of every business. But when managed improperly, it can also be the source of your biggest headaches at work.

Many organizations rely on Google Workspace (primarily Google Sheets and Google Docs) for storing and analyzing data, but as businesses grow and their data becomes more complex, the limitations of spreadsheets become increasingly apparent. To make the most out of your data, you need a tool that combines the flexibility of a spreadsheet with the user-friendly interface and mobile accessibility of a modern app. 

This means…

  • A centralized, single source of truth, ensuring that everyone is working with the same, up-to-date information instead of relying on multiple new spreadsheets.

  • A simple, user-friendly interface that presents your data in a visually appealing and intuitive manner, complete with charts, graphs, and interactive buttons for enhanced data visualization and analysis.

  • Better mobile access, allowing you to view and interact with your data from your smartphone or tablet (on both Android and iOS), whether you're online or offline.

  • The ability to control access and gate/protect sensitive data, ensuring that only authorized users can view or modify specific information.

  • The flexibility to share data selectively, enabling you to share only necessary information with customers or allow them to add data without seeing the rest of your database.

The good news is that no code tools like Glide allow anyone to create a powerful Google Sheets app on top of your existing spreadsheet data, tailored to their specific requirements, without writing a single line of code or undergoing costly development cycles. 

In this article, we'll dive deeper into the benefits of building a Google Sheets app, the many use cases for Google Sheets app development, and provide a step-by-step guide on how to use Glide to build your own Google Sheets app. Let’s get into it.

Why build a Google Sheets app on top of your existing data?

As datasets grow larger and more complex, working with spreadsheets becomes increasingly messy and frustrating. Hours are lost to manual data entry, analysis, and formatting cells, while the risk of errors and inconsistencies increases with each new row and column. Especially when trying to navigate spreadsheets on small mobile devices.

Version control with spreadsheets is close to impossible, leading team members to constantly wonder if they're working with the most up-to-date file. The risk of accidental overwrites is always there, which can lead to hours of lost work and frustration. And let's not forget the dreaded words of "final_final_version3.xls" that clutter up shared drives and email inboxes.

This lack of clarity and control poses significant data security risks. When files are shared via email or stored on shared drives, it becomes very challenging to manage access to sensitive information, potentially leading to serious breaches of trust or legal consequences.

Now, imagine having an app that addresses these challenges head-on, allowing you to visualize your data through interactive graphs, charts, and tables through a sleek and intuitive interface.

"We went from a bunch of data sources (Microsft Excel) that didn't match, to a unified data source that did. One source of truth - and then the teams all viewed and updated that same source going forward.” -CarboNet COO and Co-Founder Bill Schonbrun

With a Google Sheets app, you can easily integrate data from external sources and build powerful visualizations that help you spot trends and make informed decisions, offering a level of filtering, automation, and customization that Google Sheets simply can't match.

Instead of wrestling with version control and wondering who made which changes, your team can work together in real time, viewing and editing data simultaneously from anywhere in the world. And with granular permission controls and activity tracking, you can ensure that the right people have access to the right information, keeping your data secure and organized.

What types of Google Sheet apps can you build with your spreadsheet data?

Before getting started, it's crucial to evaluate the ways converting spreadsheets to an app will most impact your business operations. Take the time to identify which processes you're using spreadsheets for, and where those processes could use improving. Consider these three prompts:

Identify Business Objectives: What specific business objectives does your spreadsheet currently address? Consider how a Google Sheets app could improve your core workflows, making them more efficient and user-friendly.

Understand Your Users: Who will be using the app and in what context? This will influence your design and feature choices, ensuring the Google Sheets app meets user needs effectively.

Plan User Journeys: Outline the user interface and the steps users will take to achieve their goals within the app. A well-planned user journey ensures a smooth and intuitive experience. Now, let's explore some common use cases for Google Sheets apps and how they can benefit various business functions…

Employee portal

HR's employee data can be turned into a searchable employee portal app, fostering connection and collaboration within an organization by making it easy for team members to find and contact the right people. 

Customer portal

Build a customer portal app to manage customer info and updates and provide your customers with all the information they need. Your portal will enable more personalized interactions and better customer service. 

"When you can delight customers, you become sticky. It's not always the best product that wins. There's a world of great products that are on the side of the road because someone with a better experience beat them out. If you have the best product and you have the best experience, you're kind of unstoppable. Our Glide app has enabled that customer experience in ways we never thought about.” -CarboNet COO and Co-Founder Bill Schonbrun

Customer relationship manager (CRM)

Support your customer management process by creating a custom CRM app that allows teams to view all customers in one place, filter them by their customer details (like geographic location or plan type), and add important notes for each customer.

Inventory management app

Build an inventory management app where you can upload product details, attach photos, and update quantities in real time. Scan barcodes or QR codes using your mobile device's camera to keep your inventory organized and easily accessible from anywhere, saving time and reducing errors.

Project management app 

Turn complex spreadsheets containing important project info, including names, budgets, and clients, into a centralized hub for team members to monitor project status, assign tasks, and track ongoing progress. 

Sales pipeline app

Build a sales enablement app to make your sales pipeline more visible. Easily track deals by size, industry, and use case. View deals won and lost and create intuitive dashboards with charts and graphs to help optimize your sales strategies and drive growth.

Build multiple interconnected apps

Besides focusing on a single app for your business, you can also build an entire suite of apps to upgrade your operations. Wherever your data is used, an app can help smooth processes. You can create customer portals to collect data, internal dashboards to visualize that data better, and field team mobile apps to help service those customers more effectively.

How to build your Google Sheets app with Glide

No code technology allows you to create powerful, mobile-friendly apps directly from your existing Google Sheets data without writing a single line of code. Glide apps start with data, connecting with your spreadsheet or database and enabling you to form dashboards and workflows around that data.

This introductory tutorial walks you through the basic steps. Then, when you are ready to add more complex functionality or create additional apps, you can explore the detailed tutorials on Glide University.

Connect your data source

Sign in to Glide, or create an account, and then select Google Sheets as your data source. Next, sign into your Google account with Gmail and select a spreadsheet from your Google Drive to use as the foundation of your app. 

From there, you can either build an app from scratch or choose a customizable template as a starting point. Finally, tailor the app's appearance, layout, and functionality to fit your needs or enhance the app by formatting headings and adding images directly by copying the image URLs from your Google Drive.

Customize your layout 

Once your spreadsheet is connected, it's time to customize your app's layout. Glide offers a variety of pre-built layouts and components, such as lists, tiles, calendars, maps, and checklists, allowing you to build a layout that suits your specific needs. 

You can further personalize your app by adding filters, sorting options, and editable text components, as well as buttons that trigger actions like opening links, favoriting items, or sending emails.

Add advanced features

Enhance your app with advanced features, such as push notifications or barcode or QR code scanners for accurate data input, eliminating the need for manual inventory tracking or sales recording. Now you can quickly scan codes from mobile phones in the field, in a warehouse, or on a salesfloor, simplifying data input and ensuring accuracy, making your app more useful than a spreadsheet.

With Glide AI, you can provide users with AI-powered features to automatically generate customer emails, product descriptions, and summaries, extract data from images, and transcribe audio recordings. You can even transform unstructured data into structured formats using functions like Text to Date, Number, Boolean, or Choice, all without dealing with complex APIs.

Integrate with your software stack

Glide also makes it easy to integrate your Google Sheets app with your existing tech stack. 

The API Connector add-on for Google Sheets allows you to pull data from any API directly into your spreadsheet, while Glide's Actions Editor enables you to send and receive data and integrate with third-party tools like Slack, Outlook, OpenAI, and Zapier. 

You can even unify different spreadsheets into one updated app, link multiple data sources, and build complex relationships between them using computed columns.

Publish & Share

When you're satisfied with your app, simply set your privacy settings, add final touches like colors, dark mode, and your logo, and hit "Publish." Sharing your custom app across desktop, iPhone or Android devices is a breeze—just use a QR code, email, text message, or link to give others access.

Enhance your business operations with Google Sheet apps

By now, you’ve seen the benefits of using Glide to build a Google Sheets app. But these examples are only scratching the surface. Glide's support for various data sources, including Microsoft Excel files, Airtable bases, and SQL databases, means you can create a thriving ecosystem of interconnected apps that upgrade how your team collaborates, makes decisions, and interacts with data.

As you embark on your Google Sheets app creation journey, remember you're not alone. 

Glide's vibrant Community of like-minded professionals is ready to provide guidance, share best practices, and help you maximize the potential of your data. And if you need help creating advanced tools quickly, the Glide Experts network is just a click away.

It’s time to do more with your data, turning it into powerful apps that boost your operations. We can’t wait to see what you build.

Begin transforming your Google Sheets data today

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Wren Noble

Wren Noble

Leading Glide’s content, including The Column and Video Content, Wren’s expertise lies in no code technology, business tools, and software marketing. She is a writer, artist, and documentary photographer based in NYC.

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