How we use Google Sheets to manage email production

Generated with Speechify Studio

Hello Reforge team. A quick note: I’m playing around with an AI voice generator to make narrating this video faster!

This is how Calm uses Google Sheets to build and track emails.

I’ve created a simplified version of our sheet specifically for Reforge. In practice, Calm’s sheets have 70 or 80 rows instead of the 28 rows in this example.

At right you can see a basic newsletter. We break up each piece of the newsletter into chunks that we map to blocks of rows on the Google Sheet.

We replicate this google sheet column multiple times to represent different versions. In this example I’ve layed out six email newsletters. It could be 6 months or 6 weeks. whatever your newsletter cadence.

We also use the spreadsheets to manage newsletter translations for different languages.

Each section of the spreadsheet maps to a section of the email. Starting with the hero section on the email mockup, we have a header, a paragraph body,  and a call to action link. Each of those elements has a corresponding line on the spreadsheet.

We also have three sections that look the same. Therefore we have  three corresponding sections on the spreadsheet.

Finally, we finish with the email section on the bottom.

Now that the copy has a defined structure and pattern, we can interpret the email easily programmatically.

I connected the spreadsheet to a Google Apps Script that shows a basic preview of the newsletter to make the email easier to review and check for errors.