Google docs and similar file management systems are excellent collaboration tools. They allow us to create, share, and collaborate on files with clients and teams all around the world.

The only problem is, creating and managing sharing links can be time-consuming. It’s not like it’ll take you hours – but it’s an unnecessary nuisance that’s worth getting rid of.

In this article, we’ll look at how you can eliminate manual sharing, and even get the files and folders delivered right to your client’s team. All that can be achieved (and automated) with Zapier.

But, before we start creating the Zap (that’s what Zapier calls their automated workflow), we need to create an action plan!

The Planning: Making Sure You Get the Most Out of Your Automation

Before we get to the questions that help you set the Zap, think about the goal of your automation process.

For example, when setting a Zap to automate your document sharing, you want to consider:

1. What tool do you want to use to trigger the Zap?

Typically, this will be your project management tool – as you’ll see, this makes the most sense. However, this step can be customized, depending on your workflow. In our example, we’ll use ClickUp – one of the most popular project management tools.

2. What cloud document management system do you use?

In this example, we’re using Google Drive. Of course, a similar integration can be set up with other document or file management systems. Two popular examples include Microsoft Onedrive and Dropbox

3. Do you want to share just one file or the entire folder?

Answering this question will help you decide on how you want to trigger the Zap. It’ll also tell you how many steps you’ll need. 

Typically, there are three Zaps you can create:

  • Share just the file you’re working on. Example: a Google docs file with an article you wrote for a client.
  • Share just the folder. Example: you may be working on multiple files for one project and want to share them all at once. 
  • Share both. Example: you may want to share the main file with editing or commenting rights, but restrict the folder (with other files) to viewers only. 

Please note that the sharing options or triggers depend on your document management system.

In this article, we’ll create a Zap that generates shareable links for both the folder and the file. 

4. How do you want to share the links?

Lastly, you need to share those shareable links with the client (or your team – this will depend on the purpose of your Zap). In this article, we’ll look at three examples:

  • We’ll share the links directly on the task in the project management tool (in our case, Clickup).
  • We’ll send the links to a Slack channel.
  • We’ll send an email with the links to selected email addresses. 

Of course, if you’re not using ClickUp, you may use a different project management tool. 

However, it’s impossible to cover all tools in one simple article – that’s why we’ll stick to just ClickUp (it’s also what we’re using ourselves). 

The Set Up: Creating the Zap

Now, it’s time to create the Zap. We’re going to use the following setup:

  • ClickUp for project management and to trigger the Zap.
  • Google Drive for file creation, editing, and sharing.
  • ClickUp/Slack/Gmail to share the links. In our active setup, we use only the former. But, I’ll introduce some changes to the Zap to test all three scenarios. 

And it all starts with the trigger.

1. Use ClickUp Tag to Trigger the Zap

To get started, head over to Zapier and hit Create Zap:

Then, search for your project management tool. In our case, we search for ClickUp:

A create zap button with a red arrow pointing at it

Then, search for your project management tool. In our case, we search for ClickUp:

Then, select the account that you want to use:

Setting up trigger in Zapier

Once you pick the tool, you want to select the right trigger. Here, we’re going to use task tags. They can be set up under the “Task Changes” trigger:

Choosing a ClickUp trigger in Zapier

Then, select the account that you want to use:

Choosing a Clickup account in Zapier

Now, you can start editing the trigger. To get it to work properly, you need to pick the workspace and then the space. You can also add a folder or a list – however, these will narrow the area in which you can trigger the Zap. 

Note: Any changes to the workspace or space name will require you to edit the Zap. 

In our case, we use only two names: workspace (required) and space. In our setup, the space is dedicated to client work. 

To trigger the Zap, we use a “share-in-drive tag.” Of course, you can name the tag however you like. What matters is that you can quickly recall the name when needed.

Setting ClickUp tag change as a Trigger in Zapier

Lastly, you want to test your trigger – make sure that you do this after each step in your Zap. 

Testing a ClickUp trigger in Zapier

Alternative Action #1: Use Different Tags

In this Zap, we use the “share-in-drive” tag, which is our internal way of letting Zapier know we want to share everything. That way, we can create shareable links for both the file and the folder. 

As an alternative, you can set this Zap with “share-folder” or “share-document” tags (these are our internal names for those tags). The naming doesn’t matter. What matters is that, in our internal setup, they’re used to share just the folder or just the document.

Of course, you can also have a tag like “share-document-by-email” which will trigger a Zap that sends the links using a Gmail account. Or you can name the tag “share-document-edit-rights”, to make it clear what sharing permissions are given to the links created by the Zap

Alternative Action #2: Use Zapier Paths

Another thing you could do is combine those custom tags with Paths. That way you can take advantage of custom logic, and create several different tags. Then, you can use them to share the file or folder to different destinations.  

2. Search for a file in Drive

Next, it’s time to add the first action. First, we need to find the folder. The easiest way to do that?

Make sure the name of the folder and/or the main file is identical to that of the ClickUp task. 

In our case, we stick to the following convention:

“Client name – project name”

Then, when setting up the action, select Task Name as the file name:

Searching for a file in Drive using ClickUp task name

Note that you should NOT set the step to be considered a success when nothing is found. You need the data from this step in one of the following steps. 

Alternative Action #1: Use Custom Fields

And what if you want the file to be named differently? In this case, you can add the filename to a custom field in ClickUp. The only difference would be the source of the file (or folder) name that you select when pulling the data.

Alternative Action #2: Search for a folder in Google Drive

This action is almost identical to this entire step. The only difference is that you want to use the “Find a Folder in Google Drive” rather than “Find a File in Google Drive”. In our setup, we use both the file and the folder action steps.

3. Add File Sharing Preference in Google Drive

If you’re searching for both the file and the folder, we need two identical actions – one for sharing the file, and the other for the folder. 

There are four things you need to set up:

  1. Select the Drive

Please note that if you use several different drives, you may need to pull that data from the previous action. 

  1. Select file ID.

This step is critical. Do not try to use the file name or any other value or the Zap won’t work. You can pull that ID from the previous action. Just keep in mind that if you’re setting more than one file sharing action step, you need to be careful not to mix up the file with the folder. 

Finding a File or a Folder in Google Drive
  1. Select file sharing preferences. 

Here, you can choose to allow people to find, view, comment, or edit (or a mix of those):

Setting Google Drive permissions in Zapier
  1. Add the domain for your organization

Lastly, you can choose to share the file only with people at your organization. This comes in handy if you need this for internal use, and not to share files with clients. 

Adding domain for one's organization in Zapier's Google Drive settings

Naturally, you can pick different sharing preferences for files and folders. For example, you can make the main file editable, while only allowing people to view the files in the folder. And if all you do is share either a file or a folder – you only need to set this action once. 

4. Share the link with the client

As mentioned before, there are plenty of tools you can use to share the link to the file. In our setup, we’ll explore three of them – Slack, Gmail, and ClickUp itself. Let’s start with the latter:

Version A: Post a Task Comment in ClickUp

In this setup, we share the links directly to the task that triggered the Zap. To do this, we need the Post a Task Comment option:

Posting a task comment in ClickUp

Then, you need to pull task data from the first step in this Zap. Don’t forget to add the links to documents/folders to the comment itself. You can also customize it, and add a clear message for the team or the client. 

Setting up ClickUp comment action in Zapier

And here’s what the comment will look like once the Zap runs:

A sample of what an automated ClickUp comment looks like

Of course, unless you’re working with the client long-term, it’s unlikely they’ll allow you to connect their Clickup to your Zapier. 

Still, you can use the comment to easily copy-paste the task wherever you need. And, most importantly – you don’t have to restrict this sharing setup just to client work.

Version B: Share the links to a Slack Channel

An alternative to a comment could be a direct message to a Slack channel. However, just like with ClickUp, it’s best used for internal communication or in the case of long-term cooperation. To set things up, select the “Send Channel Message in Slack” option: 

Another Zap automation - sending a Slack message in slack

Next, select the channel and compose the message:

Setting up Slack message in Zapier

Here’s what the message looks like when sent to Slack: 

A sample of what an Automated Zapier Slack message looks like

What’s interesting is that it’s possible to integrate Version 1 with Version 2 using ClickUp automation. Once Zapier automation leaves a comment on ClickUp, you can use ClickUp automation to send it to Slack.

Note: if you have a separate channel for each client or area that the files belong to, you may want to pull the channel name from a ClickUp task custom field. However, to do that, you’ll need to add a separate action and create a lookup table.

Version C: Send the Links via Email

This step is ideal for those who need to share the links directly with different clients. But, to pull this off, you’ll need to add the email address to a custom field in the ClickUp task first:

Note: Keep in mind that it’s possible to automate adding the email to that custom field too. In fact, you could automate everything – from receiving payment to creating fully-filled ClickUp tasks.

To set this up, you first need to add the “Send Email in Gmail” step:

Sending an automated email with Gmail using Zapier

Then, select the Gmail account that you want to use (it has to be a Google Workspace email). In the Set up action, add the email that you want to send the message to. 

In our example, we pull the email from the ClickUp custom field each time this Zap gets triggered. Thanks to that, we’re not restricted to a single client:

Setting up the "Send Email in Gmail" Zapier action step.

Lastly, create a message. It can be as simple as a 1-sentence intro, links, and a short signature. 

Setting up an email with links to Google drive files in Zapier

Of course, it’s possible to customize the message even more. For example, if you add the name of the client to the ClickUp task’s custom field, you could personalize each message that you send.

And here’s what the above message looks like when delivered to the client:

The body of an automated Gmail email with links to Google Drive file and folder.

7. Update the Task in ClickUp

Once you share the links, you can update the task to reflect that. In our case, we remove the tag that triggered the Zap. We then add tags that remind the team to send the links to a client and invoice the work. To do that, we need the “Update Task” step:

Updating the task in ClickUp - Zapier action step.

We then want to search for the task. We can pull task ID and task Space ID from the first step in this Zap: 

ClickUp task and space IDs in Zapier

Then, we can set the tags that we want to add. In our case, we use Version A: Post a comment in ClickUp. 

So, we add a tag reminding us that we still need to send the files to the client. We also add one marking the project as not invoiced. Lastly, we remove the Share-in-Drive tag:

Adding and removing tags from ClickUp tasks in Zapier

And here’s how the complete Zap looks like (ClickUp version – example A):

A full Zapier file sharing workflow

And voila! Now sharing Google Drive files and folders with your clients and coworkers is as easy as adding a simple tag! 

Naturally, as mentioned before, there are several different ways in which you can set this Zap. To find more inspiration on how to set other automations, remember to check out other blog posts

And if you need help setting up a Zapier workflow – visit this page. Let’s talk about your business needs and see how automation can save you time and money.  

Jacek Piotrowski
Jacek Piotrowski

Hey, I’m Jacek. I’m the founder and Chief Automator at

I’m on a mission to help you use automation to reclaim your time and achieve more in your business.

You can find out more about me – and why I started Clickleo – over on this page


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