I had a revelation the other day.
An epiphany on a URL.
It was about 5 in the morning – which is a great time for an epiphany. I was trying to solve a problem for another business I own. Mostly, what I needed was a way to package the power of Google Sheets into a user interface that non-technical people could get excited about.
Did I mention Glide?
Well, Melanie (another Deytah partner and co-conspirator) had been telling me about this new app framework that was Google Sheets powered for a while, but sometimes, I can have a pretty hard filter. I mean, in general, tech is in a spot that’s just amazing to even be alive, amirite? So her saying ‘this is good’ hadn’t been enough to get me to take a look.
However, alone in the dark – I’m the lone early-riser at Deytah – I pondered my options:
- Stay in Sheets – not be able to face the users because of what I was putting them through, especially using Sheets on mobile (just don’t do it).
- Move to Airtable – attractive on a number of fronts, but not as powerful in some ways for this particular project, and not a great mobile solution – anytime you’re talking moving around a lot on big datasets, things get squirrely.
- SmartSheets? Hardpass.
- Wrike? You can see my desperation.
- FileMaker Pro? I *am* going to die on this hill.
Finally, I remembered Glide and Google Sheets got along well, so I figured I’d check it out. A quick page-load later, I’m looking at this:
Talk about a sight for sore eyes. Look at that headline!!
Hitting the “Get Started” button seemed like a no-brainer.
Now, if you’ve been on the internet much, you’re familiar with the idea that most headlines, brand promises, and feature/benefit statements oversell as a baseline. Well, that’s not the case with Glide. Hook up your Google account, choose a Sheet, and you’re arranging tabs, looking at data, and tweaking fields. The app is made and you’re just trying to catch up to what’s been done, how it works, and how to manipulate it.
After a few hours tweaking my app and Sheet to work together, I showed it to the users. They broke out in song – almost. Universally, they were excited by the improved interface, the layout, the ability to see very small slices of data instead of the whole sheet.
In short – Glide is the real deal. A miracle cure in a field of fake gold. An app that’s worth its weight – whether you’re using the free version (up to 500 rows, how is this possible?) or you’re paying the paltry $19 a month to have 25,000 rows of data and some other premium features.
Who is this for?
Well, you need to know Google Sheets and understand how to manipulate data. Understanding how to manage related records and slice data in predictable ways helps too. Beyond that, just go.
Potential use cases?
Data collection. Providing a beautiful front-end supported by a powerful back office system. All sorts of structured data projects that lend themselves to spreadsheets will likely find much to appreciate about the front-end options they find in the Glide app. Take event organizing as an example.
The Best Part
You need a Glide app because when you build this, you’re going to feel so smart. And after all, isn’t that really why we do this anyway? I mean…it’s the ‘I am God’ moment when everything works, nothing is hard, and the possible is all you can see in every direction. Breathe that shit in!