How to build a more perfect workflow for data updates and changes by coding in Apps Script between the Sheets

For well over a decade, Google Workspace (and Sheets) set itself apart by allowing sharing and collaboration in the cloud. I shudder to remember (though my parents still work this way) the life of emailing a file back and forth eternally with INITIALS — FINAL FINAL (2) tacked on the end versus working together at one link.

But what happens when you have a Google Sheet you don’t want to share?

In the Education & IT & HR & Finance…

Quick tech tips and cultural nudges to reduce burnout in this meeting-fueled work-from-home era.

As far back as 2006, the scions of work at Basecamp knew that meetings were “toxic”:

We all agree and yet we all let them keep happening. And that was before the 2020 pandemic sent everyone home to quarantine and live their life in front of a webcam, our collective fatigue lining Zoom’s pockets.

What if I told you that as long as you clicked a few buttons and stayed assertive, you could make your meeting life manageable? …

A couple months ago, a friend in finance taught me what the investment world thinks about Slack, a workplace communications tool I’ve been using since 2016. Something like:

Stocks are not a meritocracy, I get it. In fact, I am writing this out of passionate distaste for the many horrible pieces of user-unfriendly business software that have a market cap in the 10's of billions and CEOs with yachts (plural). I won’t name names, but we the (info-tech) workers deserve better. Work doesn’t have to suck, which is where Slack comes in.

What the wall streeters seem to be missing…

In the last month of quarantine, many office workers have been thrust into a world where all meetings are over videochat, and some non-office workers are learning to use “VC” for the first time as everything from Passover seder to workout classes go online. This grand test of Zoom and Meet and all apps in between has affirmed and furthered for me everything that is wrong with American meeting culture and all of the relatively simple ways we could improve it with a touch of code. Product teams, these are our demands:

Automatic Shutoff

Warning, the following post is aimed at younger workers in the USA without major recurring medical costs.

Every October, in every company I’ve been at, the option to enroll in a Health Savings Account (HSA) comes up and brings with it the same question: “Wait how do those work? Do I want one?”

Employers share lots of FAQs to ease the pain but they tend to be written by biased health care companies or financial firms using jargon unfamiliar to millennials like “tax-advantaged” or “savings”. …

Spoilers to follow

I was unhappy watching Sunday night’s finale of Game of Thrones on HBO — not just because of the cliches, but because it reminded me too much of the management psychology work I’ve been reading about in Jeff Pfeffer’s book Power (and have experienced in real workplaces). I read this book, now my favorite business book, at a friend’s suggestion, and I loved/hated seeing how the world of SVPs and CEOs aligns with that of hands of the king and masters of coin. Here are some of the parallels that jumped out at me:

“Have you considered the best ruler might be someone who does not want to rule?”

The minute I…

I have some bittersweet feelings about one of Google’s newest enhancements to the Sheets product. Removing Duplicates? Trimming whitespace? Amazing, bravo, thank u. But here’s why support for Excel shortcuts scares me (there’s a sentence you don’t hear everyday).

For 4 years, I taught a course on Excel shortcuts at Nielsen and NYU called “Page Down for What”. Not only was this a defining moment for my career, it was (and still is) my favorite pun to date. The title was a reference to the netherworld of the Windows keyboard one could take advantage of when using Excel (like Ctrl…

According to Qualtrics, only 30% of employees in the US think that their feedback influences change at their company. At BuzzFeed, the score is much higher, but still not where we want it to be. This is no good, part because it’s a key driver of employee engagement for us, and in part because feedback is influential here. So what do we do?

For our 3rd year of a People-Analytics-run engagement survey, I spent a year asking how we could raise the bar on signaling to our employees that their time and effort is valued. I knew that:

  • A) I…

Here in HR world 2019, we have a buzzword: Internal Mobility. This is a reference to one’s ability to find and rotate to other jobs within the same organization. It’s buzzy because, in theory, this should be one of the easier ways to build love and loyalty at a company. People quit when they feel their growth potential has hit a ceiling, but the opportunity to try new things in the same building (and as my friends at big tech company’s have explained, “without losing your stock options”), is a saving grace.

On the employer side, internal mobility should also…

Max Brawer

Head of People Analytics @Twitch, formerly @BuzzFeed, Google, Nielsen | Support articles like these by buying Max a coffee @

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