Scripting, Productivity and Fun!

Last year, somewhere around August, I found myself creating 50 copies of a google document and renaming each one of them with a different title. I sent close to 2 hours doing that. At the end of the entire activity, I realised that I had missed to add something in the template document whose copies I’d been making.

All that effort went in vain. That is when I first googled to find out if there was an easier way to do this. I found an Apps Script that did exactly what I wanted. I followed the tutorial instructions as is and executed the program. The documents were created in 2 minutes.

That was my Aha! moment and intro to Apps scripting.

Over the next couple of months, I tried tinkering with scripts bit by bit. I wouldn’t be able to figure out most things. Initially, I did not even understand the language. Even though I had some coding background and knew C/CPP, apps scripting was very much foreign.

I was then told that it is based on Javascript. So I took a beginner course on Javascript to understand the basics. This really helped me make sense of the structures.

But even then, I wouldn’t be able to write a program on my own. So I’d google for what I want only to find that it is all there!

StackOverflow has been my primary Guru. Someone would have already tried to do what I’m attempting, encountered the errors I’m now encountering and fixed them as well.

So today, if I need to write a script, I begin by googling. I google for what it is that I want, go through few of the search results, pick up bits and pieces of code from here and there, piece them together to construct the full code.

And then when I encounter errors, all I do is copy paste the error onto the Google search box as it is, hit enter and find the website that helps me fix the issue.

Error in script

Googling for the exact error would throw up results from discussion boards. There is guidance on fixing even the most silly errors! So no worries, we’re all covered!

We heavily use Google drive and the G-Suite elements. As we began scaling our operations, even filtering data from a google sheet became hard. Slowly slowly, I worked my way through apps scripting after a lot of nudges from SKG. I mean I used to try out here and there but scripting was never my Go-to approach. It still isn’t but I’ve definitely become better.

Once we really start using these scripts, start getting desired outputs and feel the difference in productivity, it will automatically nudge us into doing more of it.

Last day, we managed to create a telegram bot also. Finally when I published the bot, asked it few questions and it responded, the feeling that it really drove in was that even someone like me with very little coding experience can do all this.

Telegram Bot

If you ask me, apps scripting and creating a telegram bot is something that everyone should try. Using these as productivity tools is one thing but above all I think you should try it for the heck of it. It is real fun. And that feeling of creating something on your own is irreplaceable!

If you have made up your mind to try out apps scripting, begin by googling for it. There are tons of beginner examples you can start with. If you are totally new, just follow the tutorial as it is and stick with the process. You’ll ace it in no time 🙂

Btw, trying to compile my scripts in a Github Repo here.