Automatic, flexible mobile finance tracking with Tiller Money + Glide

Tiller Money and Glide

Managing financial transactions in Google Sheets on mobile

Note: This article was syndicated with permission from Ian Hyzy’s blog at Ianhyzy.me. He first mentioned this post in the Tiller Money Community. Thank you Ian for sharing your experience with Glide and Tiller Money. We based Tiller in spreadsheets so people could build custom automated personal finance tools. It’s always great to see what people are building.

Tiller Money imports all of your financial data to a Google sheet, and it comes with several great templates to organize your finances. You’ll get an overview of your accounts and transactions, and can add additional templates to budget or track debt. I use a category template to categorize all my transactions about once a day to stay on top of my finances – and Tiller has built-in sheets with functions you can run to see all your category spending in one easy view.

I wanted a way to view and categorize transactions on mobile, but Google Sheets isn’t a great user experience on a small mobile device in portrait mode. This is where Glide comes in.

Glide attaches to a Google Spreadsheet and then creates a mobile web app using the data in the Sheet. I used Glide with my Tiller sheet to design a beautiful and functional app that allows me to stay on top of my finances at any time in just the way I want, without giving data to a third-party like Mint or Personal Capital.

Glide apps are public by default – go to `⚙ Settings > Privacy` in your Glide app and choose another option to secure your financial data.

Here’s what a transaction looks like in the Transactions tab of a Tiller sheet:

DateDescriptionCategoryAmount
10/20/2019Sampay Marianos #538chicago IL x1979🍞Groceries-$55.75

I like to use emoji in category names to make them easier to differentiate, and this also adds an icon automatically in Glide! The category 🍞Groceries is set by me in the Categories sheet, which looks like this:

CategoryGroupType
🍞GroceriesLivingExpense

Category describes what the transaction is – in this case I bought groceries, so it’s easy. Groceries are part of my living group. I also have a discretionary group and a bills group that make up higher-level groups to track related categories.

Here’s what the Transactions sheet from Tiller looks like in the list in my Tiller Glide app:

screenshot of Glide app showing some transactions

Glide can display more than just transaction data, but that’s what’s best suited to display for a mobile device for my purposes. Many of the other Tiller templates are Google Sheets-specific graphs and formulae which don’t translate as well.

Glide can also display the other transaction information Tiller has after clicking on the row. This is configured in the Properties pane on the right-hand side of the screen in Glide:

The nicest part of Glide is that you can interact with the Glide app in the editor to see your changes live. After clicking the row, you can determine what detail appears in the detail view. I choose to display the summary, date, category, and account of transactions to keep things simple.

Be careful. Many parts of the Tiller sheets aren’t meant to be editing. Be sure you only edit fields you’re supposed to be editing when in your Glide app

screenshot of Glide app properties page

I also have editing turned on, so the category of transactions can be modified from the Glide app. You can also modify the edit page – I only edit the Category and Note on mobile, so that’s all I show:

screenshot of Glide app properties page

Develop your own mobile finance dashboardPermalink

I added a page to my Tiller Sheet that takes the values from several pages and puts them on one Sheet, which allows me to create a Glide view that shows that information in one place. You can also link charts from Sheets as images in Glide. I use this in detail views to show how that item changed over time.

screenshot of mobile summary page

As a quick example, Tiller has a built-in graph for Net Worth that I copied. You’ll get the URL to put in Glide by going to the three-dot menu in the upper right of the chart, clicking Publish Chart and then choosing the chart title and selecting image from the dropdown. You’ll also want to check the box that automatically republishes the chart when changes are made.

This isn’t the best type of chart to use on mobile – you’ll likely want to build a new chart and use a smaller date range or use a chart type more suited for display on mobile. To help fix this, I imported just three months of data using the array import feature (put your range in curly braces like this: ={'Net Worth'!AH2:AJ5}) and then built a mobile chart with that data. Be aware it can take a while before changes to your chart are reflected in your published image. Here’s what my mobile summary sheet looks like in Sheets:

screenshot of mobile summary page

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There’s a hidden tab where the chart is pulling data from so Glide doesn’t try to import it. Here’s the detail view of the chart on a mobile device:

screenshot of mobile summary page

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With Glide reading data from your Tiller Sheets, you can build a snazzy mobile app with everything you want to see and nothing you don’t in just a few minutes – for free!

Having trouble?Permalink

You may need to modify references for some formulas to work on a new tab in your sheet, and be aware that adding more graphs or formulas will increase the calculation time of your Sheet. If your sheet takes a long time to calculate, you can try some of the things listed here to speed it up, but any Tiller sheet will require a lot of calculations.

Glide has made performance improvements to handle very large Sheets, but if your sheet gets too big you may want to pull only the data you need with =IMPORTRANGE to a Sheet you only use with Glide.

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