Building a Kanban System with Google GSuite
Over last 6 months or so I've been playing with Google 's GSuite (disclaimer..I'm a MIcrosoft fan having lived through Windows 3.11 and so many revisiosn of office it's scray) to do a number of things for a client who is a user including building
What we are playing with and showing isn't a final version it's still very much a work in progress but it gives you a great idea of exactly what is possible with the systems available to be able to do this at no or very low cost.
This thing about Googles G Suite product (Sheets, Docs, Slides, Sites, Forms) is the amount of free or nearly free add on's that there are, all available from a simple gallery that is right there under the add on toolbar. These are 3rd party add ons that extend the ability of the G Suite system to make tricky things easy or to interface or automate what you want to do. Here are list of the ones we have used as a few examples.
Copy Down is a little plugin for Google Sheets that you add to google sheets to copy down the values in a cell automatically, we are using it in conjunction with a sheet that we are filling in via a form, once the data is in Copy down will copy all the calculations we have used like simple additions to Vlookups from a master line to the new entry. This means you can get all the data you want automatically without having to continually pop into the sheet and update it. You can also copy down and past as values
QR Code Generator
As the name suggests this is a QR Code generator and works in Google Sheets, we used this to create QR Codes for our prefilled in Google Forms, it'll do a number of things as well as create the QR Code, it'll save it as a document, as a png image, it'll let you create name tags which you can use for scanning anything. We used it for creating Kanban tickets you can use in your lean inventory system.
Ultradox is a major add on for G Suite and is basically a coding system for automating anything you can think up that you would want to do. I'll pull data from a spreadsheet, reform mat it, analyse it, email things out, PDF them, it'll even interface with things like Zapier which is a great system that acts as a connector between all of your systems and lets you move info between them, check that out as well.
We used Ultradox to pull the latest entry in our google sheets, check if it was adding or using stock and if the purchase had been approved. If it had then it would automatically create a PDF and email it to the supplier.
There is also an Ultradox add-in for Docs which will let you create & edit templates used in the output of
Form Approvals basically does what it says on the tin, it creates an approval workflow for your form
Form Publisher is another great
This isn't an add on this is a standard element of Google Forms. A prefilled form is great if you want to code it to load automatically as we did with our QR code. You simply fill the form in as you would want it and in the top right control options for the form select Get Prefilled LInk. This link will show you the form with all the options you have preselected filled in. In our case it was for each of the products being added or used and a qty of 1. This is coded to a single URL link that we converted to a QR code and placed that on the kanban tickets.
As I mentioned at the start I'm a
In this example, I hope you can see how you could easily set up a kanban system in your organisation, probably with a little more work to create a great and simple to use system but then benefits with these systems are huge!
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Great blog John. I've been using GSuite for about 9 years now. You've already discovered some of the real gems and you've also given me food for thought on others - so thanks for that!
For me the best advantage GSuite has over MSOffice is the collaborative real-time interaction. Whilst MSOffice is now a lot better than it used to be in this regard, what GSuite lacks in aesthetics, it makes up for massively in functionality.