What we’re going to discuss today is a little more complicated process, but when it’s done, it’s going to save a lot of time for you. We’re going to talk about how you can automate the entire process of turning a video tutorial into an article. There are quite a few processes related to this concept, so things are not as simple as they looked in our previous post.
What We Normally Do
Under normal circumstances, things would look like this:
- Step – 1: Save the video tutorial file in a specific Google Drive Folder
- Step – 2: If you have tons of videos you would ideally create sub-folders for each.
- Step – 3: Move the video file into the specific folder, and sub-folder, if necessary.
- Step – 4: Create a Google Doc with by the same title of the video so that the blog post will have a separate place.
Everything fits together like that.
You can see that it’s a multi-step process, and a little more complicated than any of the previous tasks we have done. Automating these tasks is going to be challenging because synchronizing all the related processes would require a lot of brain exercise. But it’s definitely worth it since above-mentioned steps eat up a lot of time. This task will also give you some ideas as to how you should go about creating your own Zap.
Not to mention that we have Zapier as our favorite platform where you can synchronize different apps and automate the processes to be more lazy. We have shown how you can create folders and sub-folders within those folders through Zapier, without relying on manual assistance. Zapier lets you choose from more than 1500 pretty useful apps and connect them to automate your day-to-day tasks.
If you have a Google account, you can create your Zapier account in just a few seconds. Zapier offers both, free and paid versions, but we recommend that you should go for the basic (paid) version that will open up access to some really helpful apps. Plus, you can create multi-step Zaps to practically implement automation in your routine tasks.
So, let’s go over and have a look at how we can save video files in our Google Drive folder, and simultaneously create articles in Google Docs.
How to Automate Video-Saving and Document Creation Tasks
So, the entire process of creating a Zap starts off by placing a new video file in the Google Drive folder, as seen below.
A Quick Look
The video will go in there. Then it triggers the Zap. Then comes the first Action…
Step – 1: Stripping out the video title
The first action that’s triggered is that we strip out the title of the video. For our own convenience, we want simple, text-based titles for our folders. We don’t want the folder and everything to have the same extensions as the video has (.mp4 and things like that on the back of the file names and everything). So, we are going to strip it out so that we don’t have the MP4, the .mp4 for instance in the title.
Step – 2: Create a folder (Title should match the video title)
Then we create a folder with the title name same as that of the video, without any extensions and everything.
Step – 3: Saving the video into the new folder
Then we take our video that should be converted into an article. It’s in that folder and we move it into the folder we’ve just created.
Step – 4: Create a Google Doc (with the same video title)
Then we use that same title to create a Google Doc for where the blog post will be written.
Now, you can see that there are quite a few things involved. From simply adding the video into the specific folder in Google, to stripping out the name, followed by creating the folder and moving the video into that folder, and then creating Google document for the written post. As always, these things are repetitive and should be done whenever the video is added into the specified folder.
When we create a video tutorial, it should become a blog post and be syndicated out on social media, and emailed to our subscribers. At the same time, we need to make sure that this entire process should happen automatically, every time instead of relying on our team.
Why you should automate instead of assigning these tasks to your team
Obviously, it’s an additional task that our team should remember performing.
- Firstly, it is a time-consuming job and the team members could have utilized this duration on something really profitable for the company.
- Secondly, there is always a risk that a team member responsible for performing a task or two may be unavailable or missed out on something really important (like saving the video to an unspecified destination, or something like that).
So, it would be much more feasible if we automate these steps to prevent any risk of missing really important information as well as save our team’s productive time.
Now, let’s go and look at the detail of that.
So, here we are in our Zapier account. We have set up Google Drive and we have chosen New File in Folder as our trigger. That means it’s a new file in a specific folder that you should be looking for.
The options need a little editing though. In our Google Drive, the Folder is titled as “Videos.” It is the most basic folder for us where we use to upload all types of videos. The Zap process kicks off right here.
Again, you need to give Zapier a sample of the last video so that it can test whether the Zap is working or not. While you are setting it up you can see the sample, choose it, and click on continue.
And obviously, you need to make sure that as you set up this thing – putting a new file in the folder – so that there’s a sample to pick up.
In the second step, we want to isolate the video title from extensions and other irrelevant-looking details.
For this purpose, we’re using the formatter by Zapier.
Formatter supports many actions, including the following:
- It offers number formatting and lets you work with numeric data,
- It features utilities such as “lookup in the table” and “Choose value from the list” etc.
- Date/time feature allows you to change or add/less time
- You can use the Text feature to format text-based data (find & replace, Capitalize, Remove hyperlink, etc.)
In short, Formatter by Zapier offers four Actions (Date/time, Numbers, Utilities, and Text).
Coming back to our main topic, since the video title has text, we are choosing the Text option. Then we go ahead to edit the template. For this purpose, what we’re using is a function called Split Text.
Splitting the Text
The video file we have has got numbering, title, and it also has .mp4 at the end. And we want to get rid of that. So, what we’ll do is, split that text – the title of the video. This is basically the title that we picked up by going back to Google Drive in the first step and getting the title of the video.
The title will be split right at the “full-stop”. We know, there’s a “full-stop” in .mp4. Now, the entire title is divided into two segments, both separated by that “full-stop” symbol. We’re not interested in the second segment, so we want the system to return the text in the first segment. As we continue from there, the formatter gives us the title minus the .mp4 which is exactly what we were looking for. Now we can go and use that as the title of the folder that we’re creating.
In this step, we refer back to Google Drive. We need to create a Folder – a New Empty Folder.
From there, we have to edit our template.
For this purpose, we go to Google Drive, into the parent folder titled, “Videos.” But this time, since we’re creating a new folder, we need to be specific about its name. To do this, we’ll get the folder’s title from the Zapier Formatter. Since it’s the title we’re looking for, so, there will be no .mp4 extension that should be formatted, like we did in the above step. The title is nice and clear to choose. So, we’ll move on from there.
What we’ve done so far
Throughout this process, what we’ve done successfully is, we’ve seen that there’s a new video in the folder. We’ve stripped out the name and created a new folder, a subfolder with the same title as the video. And now we are going to put the video in that folder.
Now, the video file needs to be moved to that sub-folder. This time, the action is Move file from one folder to another. The template needs to be edited and we pick the option File to Move.
Which file should we move? To answer that, choose Custom again. That’s because we want to move the same video file that we’ve used in the first step. So, go on and choose New File and Folder. You need to tell your zap that it’s the file that you’ve found here. There’s the file ID to show (pick the ID from the drop-down menu).
Now, comes the stage in which we’re saying, “Where do we want our video file to go?”
In the action tab, we have chosen a New Folder option. So, it’s going to be a different folder whenever a video file has to move. So, we’re using custom value again.
This time, we are referring to the step in which we created the folder, and ask Zapier to move our video file to that folder. Now, continue with the proceeding steps to move on to the final step.
In this step, we want to prepare a Google Doc, but at the same time, we have to tell right off the bat. So, in the action tab, we go and choose the option, “Create a Document from Text”.
Here, we are using Google Doc connection so, we choose it as our document. Then, we are going to edit the template. Now, we need to choose the document name. For this purpose, we take the document name from the Zapier Formatter to avoid the .mp4 extension in the title.
We want the content in that document. The document already has a title and it is already saved in exactly the folder where it should be. Pick, Custom Folder so that every time the document is created, it should be saved in a different folder. And that’s exactly what we have to tell the Zap, that we want the same folder to save this document which was just created.
Time to Recap
Just to recap that a bit because there are a few moving parts here and there.
- The trigger is a new file in a particular folder in Google Drive.
- Strip out the name of the video file without the file extension, to make it look neat and nice.
- Create a folder with that same name as that of the video file.
- Take the original video and put it into the folder you’ve just created.
- When all is done, create a new Google document ready for the blog post to be written. It should have the same name as the video originally had, but without the file extension.
So, that’s how the process runs. You can see how you can make something similar happen consistently, and it will be really useful for you. Everything is completely organized and there’s no mess up. If you want to do these things manually, there’s a likelihood that you’d miss a few things here and there and things start to go wrong.
With a proper automation process in place, it would be much easier for you to carry out your activities. It’s far more reliable and pretty quick as well. Plus, there’s no need to use a skilled person’s time to do these mundane things manually.
If you’re interested in video captioning, or transcribing this video blog post to further automate the process, we recommend checking out our previous blog post, Automating Video Captioning Using Zapier. You’ll still need to edit the text, of course, so it will read more like a blog post than video captions, but it’s a great next step in further automating this process.
As always, I’ve been Pieter, from the Lazy Entrepreneurs, helping you to be More Lazy