3 (and a Half) Reasons Clasp Helps You Make Money Money and Save Time as a Google App Script Freelancer

Gavin Wiener
4 min readAug 5, 2022


If you code with Google App Script, you probably hate the Google App Script editor just as much as I do.

You’re in the right place.

But let me first add some context.

Being sloppy and making mistakes as a coder costs a lot.

And it feels like the Google App Script editor is literally made to make you sloppy.

Being sloppy costs…

  • Your time
  • Your client’s time, if you’re coding for someone else
  • Money

Money might not be the obvious one, let me explain.

Finding a good coder is hard.

Businesses have been burned many times.

If you’re sloppy and make mistakes, those mistakes might affect your client’s experience, and it might even affect the experience of your client’s clients e.g. you’re sending out automated SMSes, messages, reports, etc.

And then a client is unlikely to work with you again.

Let me introduce Clasp.


Clasp blew my mind when I first came across it.

It was one of those, “Where has this been the last 2 years?!” type of moments.

Clasp allows you to use version control, and your favourite IDE while coding Google App Script.

(My favourite IDE is PyCharm)

I’ll outline 3 quick reasons by you should use Clasp if you code with Google App Script.

  • Navigate through the code like a ninja
  • Become a commenting legend
  • Refactor your code like you’re building a sandcastle

Navigate through the code like a ninja

The Google App Script editor is terrible.

(Sorry, not sorry).

And if you’ve ever used an IDE like PyCharm, VisualStudio, you know the benefits of being able to…

  • Jump to the definition of a function
  • Do a global search across all your files
  • Jump to the top of functions
  • Etc.

This helps you while you’re debugging, cleanly adding new functions, and deciding the best way to structure your scripts.

Using Clasp, you can work on your Google App Script files using your favourite IDE like you would any other project.

(Without having to fight with the Google App Script editor).

Become a commenting legend

I can’t tell if this is just me and I’ve tried different browsers, disabled extensions, etc.

Whenever I add a comment using “#” in Google App Script, it seems to break the editor and I’m no longer able to type.

Comments is something all coders know they should do, but just don’t.

Comments helps “future you” know what’s going on.

And comments help your clients when you handover the project.

Why do comments help?

If you expertly structure your code, and you leave comments, other coders can more easily maintain and understand your code.

Weirdly enough, it works in your favour. Because you’ve given the client a great experience, they’ll want to continue working with you in the future.

Being able to use Clasp to work in your favourite IDE, you’re able to quickly comment, easily comment big sections of code.

Refactor your code like you’re building a sandcastle

Cleaning up your code is a necessarily evil.

It takes time, we’re not adding anything “new” which is a lot less fun, and we’re having to look at the potentially terrible code we created lol (obviously not in my case though 😉)

And improving your code is even harder using the Google App Script editor.

The GAS editor does not have many of the features other IDE’s do.

(or it doesn’t do them well)

Use Clasp, so you can work on your Google App Script using these features

  • Global search to be able to identify all uses of a function or variable in your code
  • Renaming all instances of a function to better reflect the goal
  • Renaming all instances of a variable for clarity

Being able to smoothly move around your code is the key to refactoring your code.

Bonus Tip: Look at expenses from Return on Investment (ROI) frame

If you’re a new developer, you might think, “I can’t spend money on an IDE like PyCharm etc”.

Totally fine. There are others like VisualStudio, Atom, etc. Which are free for the most part.

But there’s an important mindset lesson.

If you want to code, and make money from it, you need to start seeing yourself as a “business”.

E.g. you’re just spending $xx for a PyCharm license, or a tool subscription.

These are business tools that help you make more money.

For example, you might spend $xx on a tool. But if it increases your productivity so much (like a good IDE) that you can…

  • Take on more clients by finishing work quicker
  • You do a better job for each client so they stay longer
  • You enjoy the work more so you actually stick with it longer

…you’re making a positive return on investment (ROI).

And you’re always looking for positive return on Investment with business.


In this post I outlined 3 reasons why any Google App Script developer should be using Clasp. The reason being:

  • Navigate through the code like a ninja
  • Become a commenting legend
  • Refactor your code like you’re building a sandcastle

And these will allow you make more money and save time as a GAS freelancer because they enable you to do a better and more efficient job.

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Gavin Wiener

I'm a coder and freelancer from South Africa with 5+ years experience in automations, integrations and API's using Python and Django.