Workflows Jacknife

Workflows Jacknife

An all-purpose power tool for automating Google Admin processes with forms.

This began as a tool I used for keeping track of purchase orders in our school, and has expanded to be an all-purpose google apps script for using forms to drive processes in our domain, everything from approving and tracking purchases to onboarding users to approving and tracking field trips.

The basic concept is this: We use forms as a simple, flexible UI builder + Sheets as a configuration manager. Then, we use google apps script to let Forms-based UIs drive nearly anything google apps script can do.

Different "Blades" of our Jacknife allow us to do different things, such as...

  • Add events to calendars
  • Create user accounts
  • Share a google drive folder/file.
  • Share a google calendar.
  • Add a user to a group.
  • Send emails
  • Log results to spreadsheets
  • Trigger an approval process for any other blade (via a second form)

This add-on has been in-use extensively in our domain for three years now. I haven't attempted to publish it yet due to the huge number of APIs it accesses and my trouble communicating with google about permissions for even the simplest of add-ons, but I'm happy to share source code or work on publishing it if you're interested in using the tool.

Active and well-tested use-cases include:

  • Creating and onboarding new users, so that hiring managers can automatically create accounts, share calendars and folders, and add users to groups, all via a simple form.
  • Managing field trip forms, with an approval process where teachers request field trips and once supervisors approve the trips get added to the calendar and emails get generated to appropriate people.
  • Managing purchase orders, with a form-based approval process feeding a log of purchased items for budgeting purposes and automatically generating PO numbers.


Tech used in this project:
Google Apps Script Productivity JavaScript Library School Vue