Maximize your time with Google Add Ons for Free

There is only so much time in one day

Google Add Ons have become part of my everyday routine. I spend a lot of time inside spreadsheets and documents.  Since I work in a school that uses Google Workspaces for Education, most of my time is spent in the Google ecosystem.  A big part of my job relies on building and maintaining systems for teachers and administrators.  

I need to be able to maximize my time and automate tasks in order to have systems that work efficiently.  This is one reason why I love Google Add Ons for Google Docs, Sheets, Forms, and Slides.  

There are many, many add-ons out there. In this article, I’m going to share how I use Alice Keeler’s Template Tab. You can always find more approved add-ons in the Google Workspace Marketplace.

Template Tab by Alice Keeler

First off, if you are in education and you don’t know Alice Keeler, you probably should.  She is a high school math teacher and she is also a developer that has mad coding skills.

Alice Keeler Logo

I create a number of spreadsheet templates that I need to create for teachers.  I work in a school where we have over 100 teachers in our elementary school.  Creating a spreadsheet or tab for each teacher can be a daunting task.  If you have ever had to duplicate a spreadsheet on mass, you have felt my pain.

That’s why I was so happy when I came across Alice’s Template Tab add-on.  This add-on has literally saved me days worth of work.

duplicate tabs

What does it do?

According to the description in the app, Template Tab makes a copy of a template for each student or teacher on a roster. The first tab in the spreadsheet is where the roster is placed. The second tab is the template you want to be duplicated.

Once you run the add-on, it will proceed to create new tabs for each item on the roster. All of your formulas, dropdown menus, colors, etc will all remain the same across the tabs.

When finished, the add-on will hide the roster and template tab automatically. 

How do I use it?

I have various spreadsheet templates that I need to duplicate for multiple teachers.  On each of these spreadsheets, I have a variety of settings such as conditional formatting, formulas, and data validations.  Now, I could go through and duplicate a tab each time for a teacher.  Sure.

The downside to duplicating is that I have to go back and spend more time renaming all of the tabs.  When doing this for multiple grade levels with up to 14 teachers in a grade level, this becomes extremely time-consuming. 

The add-on allows me to set up the tab names already in the Roster tab.  I can also add in a CONCAT formula if I want to have a teacher name with a specific title before or after the teacher name. 

What I like the most

The really neat thing about this add-on is that it actually renames the tabs to what you have on the roster tab.  No need to go back and rename your tabs.  This is a huge time saver.

Another really handy feature is that if you have colored your template tab, each copy will retain that color. I like this because I make different colored tabs in the same spreadsheet. 

Wrapping up

Alice Keeler has a ton of other add-ons for many of the Google products that educators use every day.  Check out her scripts library on her website. I’m sure you find one (probably more) that you’ll be able to use right away.

In my next article, I will show you how I use the add-on by New Visions Cloudlab called Form Ranger to automatically update Google Forms questions. Do you have an add-on that you find particularly helpful?  Please let me know.  I’d love to be able to “add-on” to my list!

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