Automating proofreading at Netguru

Relieved a manager from overseeing a process
Scaled manual process to work for the whole company
Provided additional, automated analytics


I was approached by Content Manager at Netguru with a task to improve the proofreading process, which was time-consuming and tedious.

The process was a complete mess. Random people pinged Content Manager on Slack using private channels – they would send text snippets and ask for help with their writing. Our external proofreaders were constantly sent materials that they were unable to access. No deadlines were met because there was no transparency and no knowledge about the number, the length and the difficulty of the materials that were being proofread at any given moment.

A quick look at what was going on made me realise that we didn’t actually need a human to oversee the proofreading jobs, as the process consists mainly of moving documents back and forth and asking for more details.

Proofreading problem

Everything that the Content Manager had to do could be automatically carried out by a bot with a little help of the employee requesting the proofreading.

Since the underlying process is simple, I created a proofreading bot in Zapier.

Zap #1: receive jobs and send them to proofreaders

Receive Typeform submissions
I created a Typeform that collected all the necessary details from the employee requesting the proofreading. This step cut all the back-and-forth between the Content Manager and the employee, because it won’t let you post a request unless you fill in ALL the necessary information.

Calculate deadline (Formatter by Zapier)
From the simple “How many days can you wait for the text to be proofread?” to a precise date and time. The Typeform input, for example “3 days”, is added to the current time and formatted into a Datetime variable to be further processed by Trello.

Create new card in Trello
A new card is created on a dedicated Trello board, where our proofreaders can pick up new jobs.

Zap #2: receive proofread text and send back to requester

Trello card moved to list
After a proofreading job is complete, the proofreader moves the previously created Trello card to the “DONE” list, which triggers two new actions.

Get requester’s Slack username
The requester’s Slack handle (requested and saved by Typeform at the very beginning) is extracted from the card and passed on to the next step.

Send Slack channel message
A message is sent to the requester that the job has been completed.


Proofreading outcome

I even managed to include simple analytics. Every month, the script will generate a spreadsheet with all the jobs our proofreaders have completed. This gives us info about how many proofreading jobs each department requests, what the average deadline is and how much work each proofreader does.

The whole process is fully automated. Each employee in Netguru can now request proofreading and get results in a transparent, seamless, and convenient way. No more back-and-forth email drama!

This post originally appeared on Netguru blog.