Usually, “taking a shortcut” implies that you’ve done something half-heartedly and you’ll wind up paying the price for it later. Well… after reading this, you might feel differently about that statement. We’ve all been there: your browser filled with far too many open tabs, painstakingly clicking around looking to pull up basic information, executing mind-numbing tasks you know could be automated – “If only someone could write a line of code and automate this for me!” – and the real thorn in the side of every business professional: forever copying and pasting data.
This is more often than not, a direct result of our apps not talking to each other. Bardeen can change all that!
In this chat, taken from our new series of interviews, Tom sits down with productivity tool expert, entrepreneur, and automation junkie – Renat Gabitov. He and his team at Bardeen are on a mission – to create a world where people leverage technology, by automating and removing boring manual labor with software. Bardeen’s founders are seasoned entrepreneurs with a track record in tech. They’ve scaled companies to over $250m in valuation and built cutting-edge AI products. They also have stellar investors including FirstMarkCapital and Ryan Hudson – the founder of Honey. These guys are obsessed with building the future of automation. And with their no-need-to-code approach, their goal is to bring automation to everyone.
This all sounds very exciting and optimistic, and for good reason, because after you read (or listen to) this, you’ll discover it’s very achievable too!
How to automate your workflows
The first thing people usually want to know when they join the Paperless Movement is: “How can I automate this? How can I automate that?”
Tom always starts people off with: “We don’t automate anything… yet!” First of all, Tom gets a bird’s-eye view of their system(s) and workflows. Then through coaching calls, he identifies bottlenecks and the tasks people tend to do manually and on a recurring basis. Only once Tom has identified really frequent recurring tasks, does he talk to members about automation. And, in many cases what people don’t realize is, doing it manually but consistently is sometimes the solution to their problems.
Spending a minute a day on something small can be far more fruitful than spending hours setting up an automation process that might break in the future due to changes in your APIs. This being said, Tom couldn’t have run the Paperless Movement as a side hustle for three years without implementing a solid automation process that helped him carry the workload.
He also acknowledges that he does have a lot of things connected and automated now too. So if, like Tom, you’re currently at a stage in your business where you have recurring tasks, or perhaps you have a big project that needs to pull a lot of data. Bardeen is here to automate it and here to stay!
The best automation is elimination!Renat Gabitov
Not needing to do something, but it still gets done, is a massive win, but in order to get there, you need to monitor and scrutinize what your repetitive tasks are, and what your day-to-day workflow looks like. From there, you can identify opportunities to streamline your workflows better. But remember, automation is a very broad term and you can apply it in many different ways. So you need to bet on the right horse!
What is Bardeen?
Bardeen is an automation app to replace your repetitive tasks with a single shortcut and to control your web apps from anywhere. Bardeen’s unique feature is that you can take part in your automation. This is known as the “human-in-the-loop” which was previously only accessible to large companies.
There are integration tools out there like Zapier and Make (formerly: Integromat) there’s even Apple shortcuts, but Bardeen is something completely different. Renat believes Bardeen is not even comparable to these apps. And that Bardeen is something new! Renat and his team are building the future of automation! And, with them having recently won #1 Product of the Month on Product Hunt we think they might be onto something.
With Bardeen, you have a powerful tool at your fingertips, that makes automation entirely frictionless, plus it gives you automation whilst staying in the right context, neat huh?! It’s a tool we can all benefit from – I mean, who really wants to spend time on repetitive tasks? It’s also a Chrome extension app that’s free! And, with Bardeen’s sharing capabilities, you’ll be able to use pre-made ‘playbooks’ on all your pages and tabs, essentially being able to start right away!
… 80% of things that we do on our computers are manual tasks…Renat Gabitov
The phenomenal potential of going digital
For many people going digital or ‘paperless’ is simply about switching from paper to iPad. This is a great start, but it’s really just the tip of the iceberg. The power of connecting, leveraging, automating, and utilizing our information has now opened up so much more to us. And with tools like Bardeen, the world of seemingly endless possibilities gets really exciting!
How does Bardeen work?
Once you have the Bardeen extension installed, Bardeen now lives in your browser. Their super-power comes from being context-aware, and as they know the page that you’re viewing, they can recommend the perfect automation for your specific use case or circumstance. Their powerful AI helps you find the right automation for the right context.
A business professional’s workflow typically can involve a collection of micro-tasks that tend to be repetitive. For example, when arranging a meeting, there are numerous tasks associated with it. But, by using Bardeen, you can create a shortcut that creates a follow-up call, and you no longer need to copy and paste links, change tabs or go to Zoom, or your Google calendar. Instead, with Bardeen arranging a meeting becomes a one-time task.
One of their most popular features is the Bardeen Scraper. Think of the Scraper as a dedicated app that pulls data from the web. The scraper can extract data on the currently opened page, enrich data from a list of links, or even trigger an automation when you switch to a new website.
With Bardeen you can:
- Scrape different types of data: extract text, links, images, page titles, and even click on elements.
- Trigger actions if data on a website changes.
- Send collaborated data directly to your favorite apps – the scraped data can go directly into Google Sheets, Airtable, Notion, Coda, and other apps.
- Save the scraper template and use it as a building block in your automation.
All this means no proxies are needed! The scraper runs on your local machine and doesn’t trigger CAPTCHA and blockers.
Is it dangerous to Scrape Websites?
As Renat explains, every powerful tool can be misused for black hat practices. This is clearly not their aim. Their tool is an extension that enables you to manage your micro workloads. It’s about eliminating the tasks that might take a repeated minute or two to do and allows you to get them done faster, more effectively and efficiently, and within a matter of a simple click.
Automation use cases
Sometimes we do repetitive tasks and never think about how much time we spend getting them done, yet, at the end of the day, we wonder where our time went! Within Bardeen, there are hundreds of pre-built templates and integrations for the most common workflows, that you can then customize, add, or use as inspiration. For example:
- Meetings: There are many tasks that need to happen around your meetings. Bardeen can automate tasks such as scheduling, sending notifications, managing recordings, and following up on action items.
- Sales & Prospecting: Retrieve data from a LinkedIn profile search, or perhaps get the social profiles of all email recipients, or save LinkedIn Group members to a Google Sheet.
- Marketing: Copy all browser tabs to Notion, or scrape Google search results for a given query and save them to your Google Sheets.
What repetitive tasks are you doing? How does your day-to-day look? When you can identify those opportunities you can really make your workflows more streamlined.Renat Gabitov
How to Automate your Meetings with Bardeen:
How to collect YouTube analytics with Bardeen:
Bardeen vs Zapier vs Apple Shortcuts
- Zapier: You set up a process with a trigger, and it will run exactly the same way, every time. Useful sometimes but not always. If your process is not fully automatable with a fixed process or a trigger, you are stuck with doing things entirely manually. Zapier is also a static automation.
- Apple Shortcuts: Implementing can be cumbersome for just simple workflows, plus they do not integrate with your web apps.
The big differentiation is Bardeen allows you to participate in your automation! In other words, you can trigger automations manually (with a click), provide inputs, and even use the content from the currently opened web page. Essentially, take full advantage of the “human-in-the-loop.”
How Secure is Bardeen?
Bardeen lives entirely in your browser, this means all your data and communication is directly between your browser and the apps you’re using. Bardeen has been designed so that your app data never touches their servers. The data exchanges happen directly between your browser and the integrated third-party applications.
This is great because it allows them to keep their cloud infrastructure minimal and scalable, and keep your data safe. Bardeen doesn’t store data from connected applications (such as your calendar, email, or any other) in the cloud.
Bardeen and ICOR®
Our ICOR® Framework advocates using the tools that you love. We aren’t searching for the ‘all-in-one’ solution, instead, we understand that our tools and apps are purpose-specific; Notion is brilliant for knowledge management, but far from ideal for project management (as discussed with August Bradley, who has a different perspective on this).
However, having numerous tools can leave us feeling overwhelmed and having to deal with a fragmented workflow. This is where ICOR® Mastery comes into play, helping you to structure your workflow and raising your awareness of the tools you are using for your specific needs. With the addition of using Bardeen, we can further streamline our ICOR® workflow, for example:
- INPUT: Use Bardeen to assist with collecting data from various sources and eradicate copy-pasting!
- CONTROL: Claim control over your digital data, transfer it to the tools, SSOPs, and places you need it the most!
- OUTPUT: Create automations within your tools and avoid context switching!
- REFINE: With Bardeen, we can re-refine our recurring workflows, and implement shortcuts!
They say: “There are no shortcuts to anything worth doing!” Well, after today we feel we can turn that phrase on its head!
Ever sit and wonder how long your micro-tasks take? We love that Bardeen shows you just how much time you’ve saved; whether it is 2 minutes here or 4 minutes on another shortcut, you’ll be stunned by just how much time you can save by the end of the day.
If you are interested in eliminating friction from your daily workflows or looking to add an automation layer to your ICOR® framework, Renat’s masterclass in the community is mind-blowing! He shows us how to build an automation for your own use case. Also, remember: Members – you will get to see Renat’s screen share explanations of today’s podcast too – it’s part of the video in the community!
Bardeen has been a game-changer for many of their users. We highly recommend trying Bardeen. As you can tell Tom has seen the infinite possibilities and potential already. If you are not sure where to start, there are plenty of Playbooks to try, plus if you haven’t found anything suitable, Bardeen are always open to hearing your suggestions of workflows and integrations.
The future of automation is certainly here, and by using tools like Bardeen we can embrace technology and make it work FOR US not AGAINST US.
I guess, the only question left to ask is: “Which tasks will you automate?”