💡 How to fully automate project management

Hey Makers :wave:

Early September: kids are returning to school, pumpkin spice latte is slowly becoming a thing again and we’re talking to Naveed Anwer about a tubular solution he built for his client.
Come check it out!

:moneybag: Managing a roster of freelancers requires a lot of admin. Let’s say you’d like all of them to have access to your project management portal. Makes sense, right? But in reality, the membership fees for these temporary or short-term contributors can really add up.

:shield: Then there’s also the security of your company’s documents and other sensitive materials. You want everyone to have access to the docs they need at any time which also means you need to be constantly issuing and revoking permissions.

:brain: Make partner Naveed Anwer figured it all out, though. Using the power combo of Make, Airtable, Google Drive, and Freshdesk, Anwer built a system of scenarios that help his client - a document translation agency - automatically

  • track work
  • share documents
  • update projects’ status

Read on and get all the juicy details :arrow_down:

What problem were you trying to solve with your automation?

Working with hundreds of freelancers without paying for each freelancer’s membership fee on a project management tool.

Why did the problem exist?

There are always agencies who’d like to work with a huge number of freelancers, but wouldn’t necessarily want to pay membership fees on different project management portals for all of them. Plus, they would want any and all documents shared with the freelancers to have limited permissions, and also permissions to be automatically revoked and given as and when required, and all the documents to be stored in one place instead of in different parts of any project management tool.

Naveed ready to take up more automation challenges

How did you solve the problem? What does your solution look like?

The solution has multiple scenarios:

:inbox_tray: Firstly, upon receiving a new client request (via filling up a MiniExtensions form on Airtable), it automatically sends in a task request to the preferred translator on Notion, who can then accept or reject the request.

:white_check_mark: If the request is accepted, the original file will automatically be shared with the translator as well as a Google Drive permission. When the translator uploads the translated file, the original file’s access will automatically be revoked, and the translated file will be removed from Notion and uploaded onto Drive. The scenario also automatically keeps the business owner (the admin) and the client up to date with all movements via Freshdesk and Gmail respectively.

:x: If the request is rejected, the scenario will automatically loop through a list of translators, and send in a task request to the next translator who fits the bill. Also, if a translator neither accepts nor rejects for 24 hours, the scenario will do the same and loop through the list to pick out the next one.

:pencil2: If there is a proofreading task following the translation one, the scenario will then send in a task request to the preferred proofreader, and upon acceptance, share the translated file URL with the proofreader. A similar couple of steps will then follow, i.e. revoking permissions, reacting to task rejection and ignorance as it did with the translators.

visualization of the automated processes (click to zoom in)

What did your solution achieve?

  • track work, documents, and status across projects
  • keep confidential documents in one place and provides/revokes permission access
  • keep the admin and the client updated regarding any and all movements

Helpful Resources

:make: Airtable on Make
:make: Google Drive on Make
:make: Freshdesk on Make