Our team is not only building the spreadsheet with superpowers, we use it ourselves. Every day. And knowing our product down to its bits and pieces we’re eager to put all the cool features to use. This includes our integrations and automations.
Built-in integrations are at the core of Rows - they connect business tools directly to a spreadsheet to import and export the data. With them, you can easily build entire workflows getting data from one tool and sending it to another all in a spreadsheet.
And with automations - functions that automatically update your data in a spreadsheet - these data syncs can run by themselves, without manual input.
Just as any startup, at Rows we get swamped with repetitive time-consuming tasks that only got harder when our team went remote. To free some time up and make sure everyone is on board, we created a few spreadsheets to run some of our team’s processes.
Today we’re showing you three use cases where we outsourced repetitive tasks to the automated spreadsheets:
Track Twitter mentions with Slack.
Automate birthday messages on Slack.
Manage paid subscriptions.
These tools now save us hours of work. And you can use them for your work too!
Let’s dive in.
Rows & Twitter & Slack: never miss a tweet
Henrique Cruz joined Rows three years ago as the first Product Manager, but soon after moved onto helping the business grow. Now he is leading the Marketing and Growth team, and bouncing between Berlin and Porto.
“It was a problem for our team to keep track of what the Twitterverse was saying about us,” Henrique says. “It’s impossible to respond quickly and engage with our followers unless Twitter is always open and we’re constantly checking in.” But even this had two issues:
Delayed responses: we would often miss mentions, and as a consequence, be late to respond.
Notifications overflow: on days when we tweet more and receive higher engagement, we would miss notifications about mentions of Rows.
After adding Twitter to our integrations gallery, we started thinking how we could use it to improve our work.
We quickly landed on the idea of receiving Slack alerts when our brand was mentioned on Twitter. So we build a spreadsheet that automatically checks Twitter for anything Rows related (tweets or replies) and sends alerts to our dedicated channel on Slack.
Slack channel #alerts_twitter_mentions
The spreadsheet automatically checks every 10 minutes the most recent tweets with our Twitter handle @RowsHQ. If there are new tweets that mention us, it adds them to the table and sends a message to our Slack channel called #alerts_twitter_mentions.
“The tool works great. Now whenever we get a notification on Slack, we know it's Twitter time,” says Henrique.
The rest of the team also enjoys receiving good reviews and mentions of our product. And our Product and Engineers teams are able to join the discussion if there are technical questions.
Rows mentions Twitter tracker spreadsheet
Henrique shares that this spreadsheet is easy to maintain - “In terms of effort it works great. Having set it up once, I never have to go again to this spreadsheet, and it works every time.”
Actually we liked it so much that we turned it into a Track Twitter mentions with Slack template. You can set it up in minutes to track your brand or product onTwitter.
Give it a try and let us know on Twitter how you like it. We’ll be sure to get your feedback on our #alerts_twitter_mentions channel 😉.
Rows & Slack: happy birthday to… YOU
Addi Rodrigues is part of the HR team at Rows. She manages all team related matters. She also takes care of the team events and celebrations, including birthdays.
Though this sounds like a fun job, it comes with challenges too. Our team is split between Porto and Berlin, with several team members based elsewhere. And it’s vital to maintain a sense of closeness and belonging even though most of us rarely meet in person.
“We try to create a nice team environment and we love celebrating our team members' birthdays,” Addi says. “But with the team growing fast and most of the staff moving to remote work keeping up with these celebrations got challenging.”
That’s when Addi decided to use Rows to solve this problem. She built a spreadsheet with everyones’ birthdays, and set it to send Slack reminders on the day someone has a birthday.
Rows #social channel on Slack
It’s a very simple tool, but it saves the HR team a lot of work.
Once there is a date match, indicating it’s someone’s birthday - it will send a message to our #social channel on Slack, and will alert everyone on the team that someone has a birthday. It opens a stream of birthday wishes from the entire team. And from then on it’s time for confetti sprinkles!
“In times when we can’t always celebrate with each other in person, we still want to make sure we are there to hug (even if only virtually) our teammates and wish them all the best.” Addi says.
Birthdays tracker Rows spreadsheet
We created a template Birthday Messages on Slack, so you too can use this birthday tracker for your team. A step by step tutorial that comes with the template will help you set it up.
Sit back and enjoy your new birthday tracker reminding you when it’s time to put your party cones on!
Rows & Slack: paid subscriptions management
Do you also have a bunch of tools in your company? Then you know that managing paid subscriptions can easily get out of hand. For Ildiko Majoros, Finance Manager at Rows, letting unwanted payments slip her attention didn’t feel like an option.
Ildiko’s responsibilities range widely from accounting, budgeting and cash controlling to payroll and contractual tasks. But cost control and cost optimization are amongst her favorites.
“It's common sense to avoid unnecessary expenditure for startups at an early stage. But you’d be surprised that it includes even the smallest subscription costs - left unattended, they can quickly accumulate and bleed you of cash”, Ildiko says. “I’m keen on optimizing where it is possible.”
After putting together an overview of business tools and licenses Rows purchased, Ildiko saw a lot of room to cut unnecessary costs - for example old subscriptions.
Since day one of her career as a finance professional Ildiko worked with spreadsheets. At Rows she stepped up her spreadsheet game with functionality Excel and Google Sheets couldn’t offer her.
So naturally, Ildiko grabbed a spreadsheet to tackle the issue. She built a spreadsheet automated to detect upcoming renewals. Once a renewal is identified, the spreadsheet sends Slack alert to a responsible manager to align before a subscription gets renewed.
Paid subscriptions tracker spreadsheet
How this spreadsheet works:
The overview contains all details of the subscriptions Rows purchased, including the renewal date.
Once a subscription renewal is approaching the spreadsheet automatically sends a direct message on Slack to the responsible manager.
Once a team member receives a Slack notification, they have a few days to mark in the spreadsheet whether they would like to renew, renegotiate or terminate the subscription.
Now Ildiko only has to act once she receives the feedback from the owner. No more checking deadlines and manually chasing the team.
“Within the first few weeks after implementing this spreadsheet we saved over 15.000€,” Ildiko says. “The number speaks for itself, we see that this tool works great.”
You can easily build such a spreadsheet to manage subscriptions in one place. Head to our templates library to start using the Contract Tracker template.
These three spreadsheets - thanks to build-in integrations and automation functions - lift some work off our shoulders. We hope they will improve your workflow too, and help you focus where it matters most.