How to use the Tiller Community Solutions Add-on

What is the Tiller Community Solutions (formerly Tiller Money Labs) add-on?

The Tiller Community Solutions add-on allows you to easily discover and explore financial spreadsheet templates built by members of the Tiller Community and leverage powerful tools for boosting your financial tracking productivity. You can quickly add a new solution into any Google Sheet powered by the Tiller Money Feeds add-on.

The Tiller Community Solutions Add-on takes a modular approach to experimenting with various financial spreadsheet templates, making it easy to discover, integrate, and manage new workflows and dashboards. Quickly drop a Debt Progress or Net Worth sheet right into your Foundation Template.

  • Discover and easily add compatible single or multi-sheet spreadsheet solutions and workflows.
  • Track and manage solution versioning with easy restore and upgrade workflows.
  • Use tools like splitting transactions, manually adding and reconciling transactions, running reports, and importing CSV line items.

Note: This tool is works best with sheets being fed by the Tiller Money Feeds add-on for Google Sheets. The Tiller Console will indicate whether your sheet is a Feedbot or Feeds add-on powered sheet. Some solutions are not compatible with Feedbot sheets

How to Install the Tiller Community Solutions Add-on

  1. Open the add-on store listing and click “Free” in the upper right corner. A new blank Google Sheet will open in a new tab.
  2. Click “Continue” when prompted by a modal in this sheet.
  3. Authorize the add-on to run with your Google account.
  4. Open a blank Google Sheet or your Tiller Foundation Template.
  5. Open the Add-ons menu and choose Tiller Community Solutions.
  6. Choose “Launch”.
  7. Review and accept the Tiller Community Solutions and Privacy disclosures.
  8. Browse and install solutions.

Included Solutions & workflows

Solutions

You can browse a list of solutions available in the Tiller Community Solutions add-on on the Tiller website at https://www.tillerhq.com/community-solutions/

Tools & Workflows

How to Install a Solution

You can install solutions via the Tiller Community Solutions add-on into any Tiller Money Feeds add-on powered Google Sheet. If a solution is incompatible with the current sheet in which you’re trying to install it, the add-on will let you know.

  1. Open the add-ons menu at the top of your Google Sheet
  2. Choose Tiller Community Solutions > Launch
  3. Choose a tag from the dropdown in the “Explore” tab. Alternatively, you can search for solution keywords using the search feature at the top of the add-on.
  4. Browse the solutions for the tag.
  5. Click on a sheet to review the details. In some cases, a solution may require dependent sheets or columns. The add-on will add dependent sheets & columns if necessary.
  6. Choose “Add to spreadsheet” for any solutions you want to add.

The add-on sidebar will indicate it’s installing the sheet and one or more tabs will appear in your Google Sheet. Post install, you’ll be directed to the “Help” tab for the solution where you can access the support topic in the community as well as existing topics about the solution.

Please note, these solutions are supported here in the Tiller Community and are not supported by Tiller’s success team via the chat tool or support email.

How to supercharge your Google Sheet with automated financial feeds from Tiller

Use the Tiller Money Feeds add-on to feed your daily spending, transactions, and balances into the Google Sheet you’ve been using to experiment with these community solutions in 4 easy steps:

  1. Start your free trial if you haven’t already.
  2. Add financial accounts to the Tiller Console
  3. Install the Tiller Money Feeds add-on
  4. Launch the add-on in your Google Sheet to automated your data entry

How to Update or Restore an Installed Solution

Solutions that you install using the Tiller Community Solutions add-on are “managed solutions.” You can update or restore these by visiting the “Managed Solutions” pane in the add-on. Here you will see what solutions the add-on has installed and also if updated versions are available.

If an update is available, the add-on can update the solution to the latest version. The add-on can also restore a solution for you if you’ve made an edit that has caused an error in a dashboard.

  1. Launch (or Install) the Tiller Community Solutions add-on.
  2. Click the “Manage” tab
  3. Click the dropdown triangle for the solution you wish to update or restore.
  4. Choose “Update Solution” or “Restore Solution”.
  5. Choose whether you want to overwrite existing or create an archive.
  6. Copy configuration data from the archive to the new version if necessary

NOTE: We recommend archiving sheets that have configuration data, especially the Accounts sheets. Other sheets that often contain configuration data are Debt Progress, Statements, Spending Money, and the Holiday Gift Tracker.

How to Learn More About an Installed Solution

You can get more details and quickly access the help content about an installed solution using the following steps:

  1. Click on the installed solution’s tab at the bottom of your Google Sheet
  2. Launch the Tiller Community Solutions add-on from the Add-ons menu at the top of the Google Sheet. You can also choose Solutions > Get Help.
  3. Click the “Help” tab
  4. Click to navigate to the support documentation or recent threads about the solution.

You can review the version history for changes, fixes, and upgrades made to the solution under Manage Solutions in the sidebar.

Troubleshooting & FAQ

Are Tiller Community Solutions add-ons, solutions and templates supported by Tiller?

Tiller Community Solutions add-on installation and mechanics are supported by the Tiller team. The add-on itself is a Tiller product that serves as a delivery mechanism for solutions created by Tiller Community members. Solutions, workflows, and tools installed or managed within the add-on are supported by the Tiller Community.

Why is the add-on asking me to adopt a sheet?

The Tiller Community Solutions add-on uses metadata to read and write version metadata to individual sheets in your Google spreadsheet. Feed Bot powered Google Sheets created prior to August 26, 2019 do not have any version metadata information for Transactions, Categories, and Balance History. The Tiller Community Solutions add-on can understand what these sheets should look like and will ask you to adopt them and assign version metadata upon first startup in your sheet. This helps determine whether solutions available in the Tiller Community Solutions add-on are compatible or not.

How does the add-on use the requested scopes?

“See, edit, create, and delete your spreadsheets in Google Drive”
https://www.googleapis.com/auth/spreadsheets
Allows access to the Google Sheets v4 API to execute batch changes to spreadsheets— like inserting new sheets and updating existing ones

“Display and run third-party web content in prompts and sidebars inside Google applications”
https://www.googleapis.com/auth/script.container.ui
Implements the sidebar user interface

“Connect to an external service”
https://www.googleapis.com/auth/script.external_request
Fetches the Tiller-hosted solutions list

“Allow this application to run when you are not present”
https://www.googleapis.com/auth/script.scriptapp
Loads user-interface code & html assets stored in the add-on

Can I use this add-on if I have Advanced Protection turned on?

Due to the permissions and scopes required for the add-on at this time you cannot use the add-on with a Google account that has Advanced Protection turned on. Our recommendation right now is to install and run the add-on using a separate Google account that does not have advanced protection turned on.

Ask a question or get help

If you have a question or need help first search the community to see if someone has already asked and if not click here to quickly post a question about this tool in the Get Help > Workflows & Tools category.

Be sure to customize the title of your post with keywords about the issue or question so others can easily find the Q&A in search.

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Heather - I am using a sheet from 9 months ago which is Feedbot, not Feeds. I added the Tiller Labs add-on but everything is incompatible since Tiller Labs does not work with Feedbot. It appears I already have everything in my sheet that is in Tiller Labs. It seems you have a new Foundation sheet for new users. For me and other users like me that are using older sheets, should we be migrating away from where we are now to something different?

Amendment - OK, I now see this over in the Help Center:

Regarding bullet point #7, do you have an estimated time frame for the “very likely…upgrade” as you call it?

Good question, @Blake! Newly-created spreadsheets— whether started from empty sheets or from the new Foundation template— have a few key differences from legacy sheets:

  1. They are fed by the Tiller Feeds add-on (rather than the feedbot)
  2. The sheets contain metadata to identify templates and track versioning (for dependency & upgrade/restore management)
  3. The Balance History is keyed on Account Id rather than Index

The fact that your legacy spreadsheet runs on the feedbot (1) isn’t a showstopper for integrating with Tiller Labs… but the other two issues (2 & 3) do need to be addressed.

The second issue is easy to resolve by “adopting” your existing core sheets— Transactions, Balance History and Categories. The Tiller Labs adoption process allows the user to identify sheets with these names as approved substitutes for the versioned masters that the add-on typically inserts. When you open the Tiller Labs add-on, if these core sheets haven’t been heavily modified, you will be prompted to adopt them.

The third issue is the clumsy one. Architecturally, we have moved away from using Index as the unique account identifier. Where many older templates used the Index column to uniquely identify accounts, the new templates available within Tiller Labs expect to find the Account Id with unique keys for each account.

The biggest challenge in migrating your feedbot spreadsheet to Tiller Labs will be retroactively creating a viable Account Id column in your Balance History sheet. @heather has provided a help article with the steps here:

As for the timeline, I’m confident we will get to it, but right now we can’t offer a firm commitment.

Before committing to a migration, consider creating a temporary new spreadsheet with Tiller Feeds and Tiller Labs to give the new platform a try. I think you will like it.

Randy

1 Like

Well, guess what. Today I took the plunge. I migrated over to the Foundations template. I created one this past weekend to take it for a test drive. I was going to toss it and start with a new one but I invested time into it that I did not want to lose. The process went smooth. Really no glitches. I had already spent time understanding how the Accounts and Balance History tabs work. Once you spend the time to understand them, it is really pretty simple. I even brought over all my Balance History data from the legacy product. I have a perfect Balances tab and the Net Worth tab has been cleaned up too. Now I just need to finish bringing over small stuff I had in the legacy product which will take a bit more time. Then, when mine is done, I will move over the sheet I have for each of my two kids. I have learned so much in the last four days. Many thanks to the Tiller team. Blake

2 Likes

Wow, @Blake. So great to hear that the process went smoothly and you are happy in your new sheet.

I went through this process myself about 3 weeks ago. It was kind of daunting, but went smoothly and now I’m very pleased.

If you haven’t given the Tiller Labs add-on a try yet, it is compatible with the Foundations template and a great way to discover new tools and maintain your sheets to the latest, most-robust builds.

Randy

I have already added all the Tiller Labs solutions (as you call them). I believe most of them I am familiar with from the legacy product. Yes, I agree it was daunting but I was well prepared so it ended up going smoothly. Thanks.

1 Like

You’re right that the solutions are refreshed versions from the legacy product. What is new is the integration through the Tiller Labs add-on to discover, insert, restore and update.

For example, we fixed a number of formula hiccups in some esoteric scenarios in the Yearly Budget yesterday. With a few clicks, Foundations template users can update to the latest and greatest.

We hadn’t really considered the scenario of a user adding “all of the Tiller Labs solutions”. There might be some Sheets performance issues in that use case. Let us know how it goes…

Randy

Yes, I saw the yearly and monthly budget updates in Tiller Labs this morning and updated them. Real quick and smooth. When I did the update a message popped up that said I would lose changes made to the sheet/tab/solution when I updated. Is that right? I was wondering about data being lost. But, now that I am thinking about it, I don’t think any data gets input onto those tabs, right?

Regarding possible performance issues, do you mean inherent in the sheet itself, or do you mean computer horsepower?

Thanks,

Blake

The data loss warning is informing you that the solution is being replaced; the script is not (currently) designed to do anything to preserve any user-input cells or user modifications to the sheet. You are correct that, other than period settings, there is really no user-input data in the Yearly or Monthly Budget. This minimal impact to user-data is true for most solutions excepting the Accounts and Debts sheets (which can be updated).

As for performance issues, if you install all of the solutions, you have a lot of formulas always running against all of your transactions and balance history. If those two sheets contain a lot of rows, I imagine you might see some unresponsiveness in Google Sheets.

Best,
Randy

Hi folks - am trying to get the “add a txn manually” feature of the add-on to work. I added the Metadata column as prompted, but now when I click “add a txn” – it doesn’t do anything. Any ideas on how to troubleshoot?

Hey @epeter,

You’ve found a very new feature that we haven’t announced yet. My guess is that the scripts are encountering unexpected compatibility issues with your sheet when rendering the add-transaction sidebar pane. I’ll check out the crash logs and see if I can figure out what is going on.

More soon…
Randy

1 Like

I tracked down the bug in the Add Transaction workflow. I’ve published a fix which should be live in an hour or two.

Be sure to reload the spreadsheet tab in order to get the newest version of the add-on.

Thanks for reporting this issue, @epeter.
Randy

@randy @epeter OK, I just refreshed my memory as to how to get to “add a transaction manually”. I have been adding transactions forever and have never used this before. I just go to the transactions tab and add/insert a row(s). It appears the only difference in using the sidebar tool is an option to flag for reconciliation…whatever that means. Am I right? And, how does flag for reconciliation work? Thanks, Blake

1 Like

@Blake,

Good questions… The add-transaction workflow is designed to simplify pulling in a number of fields (e.g. all the account fields) during transaction creation… but also to prime the transaction for reconciliation when a Tiller-feeds transaction arrives later.

This workflow is great for a situation like paying by check… You want to record a liability that won’t show up in your transaction log until the recipient cashes it. The Add Transaction workflow lets you record the check as you write it. When the recipient later cashes it, the Reconcile Wizard is built to find matches for outstanding manual transactions and then merge the records.

We had a simpler version of this functionality built into the Simple Business tools, but this new version is refreshed and more capable.

I’m hoping to put up some documentation next week.

Cheers,
Randy

OK, I just found this explanation. I am never posting a transaction early that will auto-post later based on the way I operate. As explained in the article, it does serve a purpose in the right situations. Blake

1 Like

@randy,

I understand. However, regarding your paying by check example, I do not believe the system is recording a liability as you say. Rather, the system is decreasing an asset (the user selects the account at the bottom of the sidebar workflow). In essence, the user is recording the expense and reduction of the asset earlier than the system would eventually do automatically. Once the automatic entry comes in, the wizard matches things up and reverses the manual entry and lets the automatic entry stand. There is no liability involved based on the way I understand the system works. Sorry, but this is the accountant inside of me that is speaking and I usually cannot get him to shut up. Thanks, Blake

1 Like

Update - At this point, I have migrated all four of my legacy sheets over to the foundation template. I did the biggest sheet first, the two smaller ones later, and the fourth sheet was a new sheet for me that I started as a foundation template from day one. I did it all manually which I think is easier for me, no migration helper tools or anything like that. Blake

1 Like

I appreciate the accountant-speak correction, @blake. I will try to use your terminology when I write the new features up in the next week or so. Thanks!
Randy

Sounds like you’re on a solid footing. Hoping it all performs well for you, @blake.