Google Sheets are used for the same reason as apps: to grant easy access to data, and to make performing actions related to that data effortless and quick. The former is used by businesses of any scale daily, whereas the latter is thought of as only achievable by huge organizations with the financial resources to build software and applications. In 2021, this is now a pretty big misconception.
Developing your own app doesn’t have to be a dream: it is now possible to create an app in a few hours from start to finish, without having to write a single line of code. There really is an app you can create for every single element of your daily workflow, which could save you hours every week – never again will you have to manually create and maintain dull, monotonous Google Sheets. Let’s talk about how you can build an app from Google Sheets using Glide Apps.
What are Glide Apps?
Glide Apps is a no-code tool that allows users to create an app by uploading a spreadsheet onto a platform. Within minutes, using a seamless drag and drop builder, Glide transforms the data on the spreadsheet into a well-designed and responsive app.
Glide Apps makes it incredibly easy to assemble a customizable data-driven app that users can share and input information into. Spreadsheet data no longer has to be dull, and apps no longer have to be inaccessible. The possibilities are endless: you can create any app you want, to fulfill any purpose, without knowing code.
How do Glide Apps work?
Glide apps are what we call progressive web apps, which means they’re compatible with any device and operating system. You can choose from whichever app template you want, input your spreadsheet data, and the platform will automatically create an app for you, in less than seven seconds.
There are 407 templates available presently, ranging from inventory apps to property management, CRM, employee directory, expense reporter, delivery, planner, meal plan, or even booking system apps. You can browse through all the different app templates on the Glide website.
Once you’ve built your app, you’ll just have to copy, paste, and send your app’s link to anyone you want to share it with. Because Glide apps are PWAs (progressive web apps), users can access your app from anywhere.
When should you use Glide Apps?
Thanks to the huge range of different app templates available, there really is no limit to what you can achieve with Glide apps. Glide Apps is a truly convenient platform for users who want to build apps for business, travel, leisure, or to track goals such as finance and fitness.
However, it is particularly convenient for small to medium businesses looking for custom solutions to common problems they face in their daily workflow. It is especially useful for businesses that have inventory issues, HR/operations specialists, educators, and startups.
In short, you should use Glide apps if you need an easy-to-use, easy to maintain, custom-built app – really fast (it takes between three and nine months to build a traditional app, whereas it takes a few minutes to build a Glide app).
Step 1: Gather and organize your data from Google Sheets
The Glide Apps platform uses Google Sheets as a source of data input to create apps, using the template you choose to determine how the data will be laid out, and which functions will command it. The easiest way to think of Glide apps is by imagining that every line and column of your Google Sheet will be translated into components of your app.
That’s why the first step to building your app from Google Sheets is to pull all your data and organize it throughout your Sheet. This will be the most time-consuming part of the process, and it will be much quicker if you already have a spreadsheet you’ve been working on for a while. This is the case of many users who want to access and control existing data in a fully optimized way.
Step 2: Build the main functions
Glide’s drag and drop interface makes manipulating your data an easy feat. Click on the New App button towards the left side of the home screen to start creating your app. Your Google Drive account will appear – choose the Google Sheet that contains your app’s data by double-clicking it. You’ve got the information that your app is going to contain, so now you’ll just have to play around with the platform to design your app. It usually takes users a few minutes: the hardest part is making the decisions regarding how your app will work. There are many functions and layouts to choose from, so it might be difficult to decide which you want to utilize in your app.
Once you’ve uploaded your Google Sheet into Glide, the platform will automatically create a functioning app for you based on your data. You could actually use it as is, though we’d recommend spending a bit more time fully personalizing your app first. You’ll be able to choose from the many different ways of displaying your data in the form of checklists, calendars, tiles, and more. You can also decide:
- Whether or not you want users to be able to edit and add data directly from the app based on their role
- Which type of navigation you want on your app
- Add logic (if-then-else), math calculations, send emails/texts based on actions or triggers…
- Add any features like contact lists, audio/video files, statuses…
Step 3: Take care of the design
The design of your app is really important, especially if you’re going to be using it throughout a team. You probably want your app to look good, and to be cohesive with your brand, for a bit of added flair! Thankfully, Glide apps provide lots of creative ways to personalize the design of your app. Let’s go over a few.
If you click on your app’s name (which will be the name of your Google Sheet), you can access a toolbar that will allow you to personalize several settings. You can change:
- Your app’s icon
- Your app’s name
- Your app’s accent color
- Your app’s theme (light or dark)
- Your app’s unique URL
- Your app’s description
- Your app’s privacy settings (public, public with e-mail, password-protected, and e-mail whitelist)
Step 4: Publish your app
Well, that was quick. You now have your own app. The only thing left to do is to publish it so anyone you’d like can access it, anytime. To do so, you can click on “Share app” in the left toolbar and get a link which you can share to Twitter, email, and Facebook, directly from the platform. You can also get a link that you can put onto your website or share.
You can draw inspiration from traditional app development processes, whereby creators share what we call a beta version of the app for feedback. Ask users of the app what they think of the design, the core functions, and the usability of your fresh new app. This will allow you to make some tweaks if needed. To do so, you’ll simply have to go back into the platform and edit anything you want to.
From Sheets to App with Glide
As you may have noticed by now, building an app from Google Sheets using Glide is easy, cost-effective, and rewarding. It’s truly astonishing that nowadays, anyone can create an app in a few minutes by uploading a Google Sheet to a platform.
However, you may find yourself with no spare time to deal with the many decisions that go into building your app. Even though Glide makes it a straightforward process, some business owners don’t have the time to think about their app or want an app that’s way more powerful than the available templates. They need a quality, fully-functioning solution without having to contemplate the many options available. That’s where we come in.
Transform your Google Sheet into a powerful app with the help of our Glide Agency! As certified Glide experts, we have successfully completed over 273 projects, showcasing our experience and expertise in the field. Let us turn your data into a fully functional app tailored to your needs. Don’t wait any longer—book a free discovery call with us today and take the first step towards converting your Google Sheet into a dynamic, user-friendly app!
Jesus is the founder of Low Code Agency: a low-code development agency that allows small business owners to get their mobile and web apps done fast and cost-effectively while maintaining quality.