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Workflow Automation: What It Is + 10 Apps You Need

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RevBlogProductivityWorkflow Automation: What It Is + 10 Apps You Need

Work. It’s so much work, isn’t it? Even if you love what you do, there are tedious parts of the job that you dread and wish you didn’t have to handle; Taking meeting notes. Transcribing interviews. Creating processes. Following processes. Whether you’re a content creator, journalist, business owner, or middle manager, there’s no denying your job would be easier if you only had to focus on the big picture.

What if we told you that today’s technology can streamline quite a bit of the day-to-day tedium, letting you worry about the parts of the job that really matter? We’re talking about workflow automation. But before we dive into the best apps to make your day easier, let’s first define the topic itself.

What Is Workflow Automation?

Workflow automation is the act of using technology and software to complete routine tasks without human involvement. Automating workflows can help make your day-to-day simpler in so many ways, from sorting your inbox to automatically sending “thank you” notes after a customer makes a purchase.

Benefits of Going Automated

Think of how much time you spend sorting your inbox. Whether you do it daily, weekly, monthly, or (gasp!) never, you spend a lot of time marking priorities, deleting junk, sorting messages, and responding appropriately. Is that an hour a day? More? What could you do with that hour if a process automation tool just…did it for you? A lot, is the answer.

Workflow automation examples can be much bigger than software that automatically throws the right email into the right folder, though. Entire reports can be created the second data hits an inbox with the right automation software. Hours of meeting notes can just…happen. And in real time!

Letting workflow automation software handle the mundane parts of the job frees your mind to think about the bigger picture. Instead of transcribing interview notes, you can work on how best to use the footage, emphasize the “money” quotes, or jump right into the editorial process. The possibilities are endless when you don’t have to sweat the small stuff.

Business Workflow Software That Makes a Difference

There’s conducting business, and then there’s the business of keeping a business running. You need to send invoices, schedule meetings, track project progress, and hit deadlines. The following apps and workflow softwares are built to help streamline the behind-the-scenes processes of businesses big and small.

1. Tipalti Accounts Payable Software

It doesn’t matter how efficient your business is if you don’t get paid for the work you do. Tipalti automates your entire accounts payable process so that invoices are sent out on time, and when money comes in, it’s recorded and placed accordingly. Tipalti integrates easily with most popular accounting software suites like Quickbooks and Oracle. It even tracks the progress of an invoice throughout various systems, which helps plan your future spending.

 Image of the Tipalti software in action, showing a list of bills.

Cost: $129/month, but the price scales with your usage
Best for: Businesses that send and pay a lot of invoices
Hot tip: Automating your invoicing process saves an average of 15 steps, according to Tipalti.

2. Wrike Project Management

Wrike’s massively adaptable app makes complicated projects involving multiple parties simple. It automatically schedules tasks, sets due dates, adds dates to calendars, and notifies when a project is behind schedule. When a task is completed, Wrike will immediately notify the person in line on the job through email, text, or other notifications chosen by each recipient.

Wrike makes small jobs easier and complicated jobs simple, and can scale from small teams to company-wide initiatives. With dozens of built-in process templates, Wrike can quickly handle any type of workflow. It’ll also track budgets and forecast results.

A screenshot of a creative team dashboard on the Wrike Project Management system.

Cost: $25/month per user
Best for: Teams with many complicated projects
Hot tip: Wrike’s dynamic Gantt charts can make the most complex workflow look simple.

3. Rev AI Transcript Assistant and Summaries

We’ve merged the power of transcript summaries with an intuitive AI Assistant. Now you can quickly generate a summary of your transcript, discover actionable insights, and organize your notes. Rev’s Transcript Assistant also easily integrates with Zoom for live transcription of Zoom meetings. And coming soon is Rev’s note-taker, which will automatically join, transcribe, and summarize your meetings.

Cost: Free
Best for: Teams who attend plenty of meetings
Hot tip: Asking the AI assistant questions generates human-like responses that can help create valuable insights.

4. Ataccama One

Ataccama One’s AI-powered data management platform can understand, assess, monitor,
and improve your data, while improving the efficiency of your data team up to 50%.

But Ataccama doesn’t just manage your data; it’ll create your entire data management process, an effort that could otherwise ensnare an entire data team. Once the process is in place, Ataccama’s AI will sort and analyze all types of data, while pointing out anomalies and even correcting them before your team needs to get involved.

From managing customer databases to supply chain and inventory data, if your company trucks in data, Ataccama trucks in making that data efficient.

A screenshot of the Ataccama software being used.

Cost: $90,000/year
Best for: Data-driven businesses
Hot tip: A comprehensive full-text search is a valuable tool for finding any data point

5. HubSpot

HubSpot’s customer relationship management (CRM) platform can make customer management a breeze. It’s a one-stop app for automated lead gen, email marketing, social media management, and customer data management.

HubSpot’s CRM features a centralized database that manages customer info, tracks contacts and interactions, monitors sales, and automates messages. You can set up automated processes that will automatically reach out to a potential customer in hundreds of different circumstances.

A lead generation dashboard in Hubspot.

Cost: $800/month for professionals, $3,600/month for enterprises
Best for: Generating leads and staying in contact with customers
Hot tip: The free HubSpot academy provides invaluable training for all parts of the sales process.

Process Automation Tools for Storytellers

Telling your story is only part of the story, unfortunately. Conducting the interview, filming the spot, crafting the idea — those are the fun parts for storytellers, whether you’re a content creator, a journalist, or a social influencer. But then there’s all the less-glamorous behind-the-scenes work like editing, note sorting, and posting.

No one wants to turn the creative process over to the robots, but if we can use workflow automation apps to save time in our workflow, we can free our minds to make bigger and better creative. Here’s a process automation tool or five that helps make storytelling easier.

1. ProWritingAid

Writing is fun, until it isn’t. ProWritingAid’s AI-powered editing tools not only catch your typos and grammar mistakes; they offer insights and advice that make your writing more powerful in real time. With easy integration into every popular writing app, including Word, Google Docs, Scrivener, and even Apple Notes, ProWritingAid helps shape your text wherever you’re writing with instant comprehensive story critiques and suggestions.

An image showing ProWritingAid in action, with some text about social media posting getting edited.

Cost: $12/month
Best for: Writers
Hot tip: Automated sensory reports and pacing improvements will help you identify places to further engage your readers.

2. BuzzSumo

The best idea in the world won’t matter if no one cares about the topic. BuzzSumo automates your content research and helps you shape a topic from a loose idea to one that targets your specific audience. Simply by typing in a few words, you can generate angles and ideas based on your initial idea. A single BuzzSumo query can save hours of Googling.

BuzzSumo can also generate your initial idea, if you’re attacking the content creation game from a different angle. Rather than honing your idea for your audience, BuzzSumo can tell you what kind of ideas your audience wants to see. BuzzSumo’s comprehensive toolkit works with you from start to finish, helping you choose and hone your topic all the way through to targeting outlets to pitch.

A screenshot of Buzzsumo being used to monitor Amazon mentions.

Cost: $119/month
Best for: Content creation and idea generation
Hot tip: BuzzSumo’s keyword generation tool can significantly increase traffic to your project

3. Animoto

Not every content creator is adept at Adobe Premiere or other complicated video editing tools. But not every audience wants to read your 1,000-word blog post or look at your static slideshow, either. What’s a creatively limited content creator to do? Animate everything automatically, of course. Animoto automates the video process by transforming written content and still photos into captivating videos.

All you have to do to create snappy, attention-grabbing content is write your words and/or drag and drop your photos into the app and its intuitive AI will create a video that showcases your idea for your ideal audience.

A storyboard on Animoto showing video clips of people doing different adventurous activities.

Cost: $15/month or $39/month for fully unlocked features
Best for: Creators who aren’t expert video editors
Hot tip: Use dozens of ready-made templates for even easier video projects.

4. Rev’s Online Voice Recorder

For the interviewer on the go, Rev’s Online Voice Recorder is an invaluable tool. Not only does it reliably capture your voice tracks, but it easily integrates into every other tool Rev has to offer. But the most useful part of the Rev voice recorder is that it automatically transcribes your audio. This tool is 100% free to use. Simply record your audio and download an MP3 at no cost.

Screenshot of Rev’s voice recorder home screen.

Cost: Free
Best for: Interviewers on the go
Hot tip: You can download the Rev app for easy transcription and 24’7 access to your entire library of recordings.

5. Repurpose.io

The most important part of content creation is getting maximum mileage out of every piece of content. A blog shouldn’t be just a blog, an interview should be seen in multiple formats, and a video should fill emails and social channels alike.

Repurpose.io automates that process. You can automatically turn a single script-based video into a dozen pieces of content, repurpose blog posts into social media posts, and publish everywhere with just a few clicks. Repurpose.io can also pull content from TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Zoom, Google Drive, and Dropbox, optimize it, and push it out to all the other channels.

A screenshot showing the Repurpose.io workflow.

Cost: $20.75/month or $104.08/month for enterprise
Best for: Content creators who work with many channels
Hot tip: Don’t sleep on its text-to-infographic tool for dynamic content.

The Future of Automation Is Here

As of mid-2023, only 4% of businesses had achieved a digitized, fully automated workspace. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but at the same time, 31% of businesses have taken the step to automate at least one function.

That means almost a third of the businesses in the world have decided to automate payroll, content creation, CRM functions, or something else. That’s pretty significant, and the number is only expected to grow as 62% of businesses have identified three or more major inefficiencies that could potentially be solved with effective workflow automation.

When businesses know a type of technology can help the bottom line, it’s not long before that technology is widely adopted. Company automation moves quickly, especially when money is on the line. Remember when it was a big deal to be able to post to both Facebook and Twitter with one click? Look at us now!

Automate the Work, So the Work Remains Fun

Good work will always take work, but by automating the tedium of the day-to-day, we can focus on the best parts of our job. The interview instead of the notes. The filmography instead of the editing. The meeting instead of the planning. Rev’s automated transcription service can be a big part of taking the load off the aggravating busy work, so you can focus on what matters.

Affordable, fast transcription. 100% Guaranteed.