With the latest Sparrow update, you can now create templates in Google Slides and Google sheets, and use them directly within the Sparrow Web Application.
Creating your first template: prerequisites
To create templates in Sparrow, you first need to get a few things installed.
Make sure you've installed our Google Workspace add-on
Next you'll want to make sure you've connected your Google Drive account to Sparrow as a destination. This allows you to create reports from your template and save them directly in your Google Drive account. To set up your destinations, you can follow the help article here.
Starting from scratch
If you have a Google Slides template (without Sparrow data) already designed, or want to design one as you add data, then starting from scratch is for you.
First you'll want to create a new Google Slide presentation, and make at least one edit in the document.
Next, you will want to open the Sparrow add-on. From here you'll want to click the Quick Insert button (it's the easiest way to insert Sparrow variables).
From the Quick Insert view, you have the option to insert placeholders from your connected data sources, or to use placeholders.
We highly recommend you use placeholder mode when you know your document is going to become a template. That way all the data, charts, and screenshots will look nice.
If you want to manually create a report with client data that might be used as a template later, you can insert data from your connected data sources, and it will insert the live data from that data source directly in your document.
Once you've inserted your placeholders, you can click the Save as Template button on the home view to save the current document as a template.
Please Note: Once you save the document as a template, you won't be able to modify the inserted variables without deleting the template from Sparrow.
Once saved, you'll need to move the template from draft to private (or team if you're on a team plan) and set up a few more template settings to ensure the template works for anyone that might use it.
To do this, click the Update Template button.
This will open up a new window where you'll have the option to set different settings for your template:
Template name: The name of the template shown in the Sparrow web app. Typically just the name of the document
Template description: When and why would someone use this template? Use this field to remind yourself (or educate your teammates) about what this template is for.
Visibility: Who should be able to see this template in Sparrow? Make sure you select Private or Team if you want to be able to use the template.
On the next page, you have the option to see your inserted sources, review the inserted placeholders, and set default options for your sources and content.
Source Hint: A useful hint used to let the report creator know what kind of source they should connect (for example, if the template requires two Facebook accounts, the hint could mention that the first soruce should be the primary account).
On skip: What should happen in the template when the user does not provide this source? You can choose to have the associated placeholders remain within the template, or deleted.
Content: If you've inserted content metrics or a social media screenshot, you'll see options to determine which posts/campaigns should be populated in the template.
You will need to select if each post is populated by when they were created, or by the performance of individual metrics (e.g. Highest impressions, or lowest likes). You can then use the number field on the left-hand side to determine if it's the first, second, third highest/lowest post.
This is especially useful for social media templates, because it lets you create slides that include, say, the top performing social media posts ranked by Impressions.
finally, you can review the template details, then click to confirm.
You can now login to the Sparrow web app where you'll see your created template available to be used as a report.
Want to learn more about creating reports? Check out our article here.
Create a new template from a template
With Sparrow, you can take any generated report, and turn it into a new template.
Step 1: Browse through the templates available
Step 2: Create a report from the template you like
Step 3: After the report is created, open it and open the Sparrow add-on
Step 4: That's it 🎉 You can see all the inserted placeholders and easily add or remove placeholders. Follow the steps for "Creating a template from scratch" to learn how to insert data and save as a new template.
Pro Tip: We recommend creating a dedicated folder for all your Sparrow templates. You don't want to accidentally delete or modify a template once it's created.