Read about creative workflows, awesome app tips and interesting use cases.
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Bots - they repeat themselves repetitively over and overAt Zapier, we use Slack all the time, and there are a ton of “bots” running via Zaps. By their nature, bots can be a bit repetitive, and repetition can lead to people ignoring important messages. But what if the bot had a lot of different variations to keep people on their toes? And what if you could add that variety very simply using a single step? And this doesn’t have to just be Slack - maybe you send regular emails or texts to folks, and you’d like to give those a little bit of variety too!Well, if you know me, you know that I see a problem and I think “Google Sheets can fix this!” It turns out that every problem truly is a nail when Google Sheets is your hammer. Let’s make a table!First, we need to build a sheet with all of our snippets. Feel free to add as many snippets as you want - and in fact, you can add multiple columns if you want to have more than one snippet per message, like so:(view larger)And that’s our table! Sim
Hi! Deb here, from the Zapier blog. We recently had the managing partner at luxury real estate business Manhattan Miami, Ricardo Mello, write an article about why CRMs are core to any real estate business.How a CRM can revolutionize your real estate businessIt seems like a simple concept—use a tool to make your job easier—but it’s one that’s hard to come around to. No matter your role, it can be exhausting and terrifying to add a new app to your stack. But it’s all about keeping your eye on the prize and coming back to the benefits that will come from it in the long-term (and short-term too, honestly).Ricardo’s CRM automates all the repetitive tasks involved in contact management and even helps him build relationships with his clients. And he uses Zapier to connect it with all the other apps he uses, like automatically creating new contacts whenever someone fills out a lead gen form.As someone who’s been using a combination of sticky notes and Google Sheets as their to-do list for thei
I recently came across a question from a user who was looking to find the State for a New Facebook Lead by using the area code for the phone number the lead entered.Zapier has great tools already in the product for doing this type of data manipulation and addition. Mostly we would find these tools in our Formatter options.If we were to exclusively use Zapier tools here we could set up a Zap that does the following: Trigger New Facebook Lead Ad Formatter > Numbers > Format Phone Number (put the numbers in the same format) Formatter > Text > Split Text (isolate the area code) Formatter > Utilities > Lookup Table (find the state by matching on the 3 digit Area Code) We can also use a Google Sheet in place of Steps 3 and 4 - and my workflow below will step through how to do that - as well as why I prefer the Sheet for this workflow.Step 1 - Trigger Facebook Lead Ads New LeadThis step is straightforward - the Zap triggers when we get a New Lead from Facebook - and pr
Hi there! Deb here, from the Zapier blog. We write a lot of Google Sheets tutorials on the blog. Think: pivot tables, conditional formatting, and using Sheets as your to-do list. In each of those cases, we offer our readers a template that they can follow along with. So our readers click the link, make a copy of the template (as we instruct in the article), and use it for themselves.Sometimes.More often than not, though, people click the template link, try to use it, and realize they can’t edit it. So they request edit access. This ends with me getting dozens of edit access requests every day, which of course I can’t grant because then the template itself would change.I even made a Zap to automatically write people back telling them to click “File > Make a copy...”And then, Tyler, hero to Zapier support and my professional workflows, came along with this tip:Automatically copy your shared Google filesYOU CAN FORCE PEOPLE TO COPY YOUR GOOGLE SHEET. This is truly the best tech tip I’v
Hello! Deb here, from the Zapier blog with some big news: Google Sheets is magic.Zapier Senior Customer Champion Tyler, who you know from his prompt, thorough, and witty replies to your support inquiries, just published an article on the blog about making Google Sheets your browser homepage.Why you should use Google Sheets as your browser homepageThe gist is that Google Sheets can do literally everything your brain could possibly imagine other than give your dog the best belly rub. And honestly, it might even be able to do that.Read the article to see all the bananas things Tyler does with a spreadsheet, but here’s a sneak peek.This is a working clock in Google Sheets. I just...can’t.Imagine combining the power of Google Sheets with the power of automation. Jk you don’t have to imagine—that’s what Zapier’s for. Even if your Google Sheets aren’t quite as luxurious as Tyler’s, you can still create a little magic with automation. Here are a few ideas to get you started:6 ways to automate
There are countless ways to be reminded of important holidays, observances, birthdays, etc. You could use a calendar, assuming you’ve got all of those events added already (but that’s kind of a pain). You could ask your digital assistant of choice to remind you. You could use a good ol’ fashioned paper calendar.Here’s a pretty simple way to receive notifications X number of days before that event takes place.HOT TIP: At the bottom of this post I’ve shared a link to the Airtable base (that you can copy) and a link to some Shared Zaps. That way you can get a head start!The Trigger (what kicks off the Zap)Here we’re going to use Airtable (you could hack your way through it with Google Sheets) because of how flexible it is. The Views feature is what allows us to have a list of events and then to trigger our Zap 2 days before the important date.I’ve got the entire year in my table, and it looks like this: By creating a View in Airtable that has this filter… ...it then allows me to use this
Hey, folks! Janine here from the blog team. We’ve been looking at RSS automation lately, and there are some cool things we’ve put together. If you use RSS feeds (or if you want to but don’t know where to start), I recommend any of these articles. How to use RSS feeds to boost your productivityThis piece is great for someone who’s just starting with RSS feeds. It explains what they are and how they’re used, and shares some examples of how to add Zapier to make RSS feeds even more useful.4 popular ways to use RSS by ZapierThis article focuses on the RSS by Zapier app, and the main ways people use it to automate their work: posting to social media, creating email or team chat alerts for sites that are important to you, adding items to a spreadsheet, and to simplify calendar sharing.Turn any website into an email newsletterIf you’d rather get notifications in your inbox, check out this piece that shares all the ways you can use Zapier to create your own email newsletter. You can pull items
Hi everyone! Clint here again with another Workflow Wednesday.I don’t know about you, but this is what my personal Gmail inbox looks like:I apologize to the inbox zero people for the sudden rise in blood pressureI’m not the most organized person in the world, it turns out. So, it helps to have some extra tools to catch things that I might not catch, even with my highly-tuned system of “reading the subjects of emails, sometimes.”That’s why I set up a Zap that sends me a message in Slack every time I get an email from Jira! I work on a few projects and, from time-to-time, I’ve missed an email letting me know there’s an update. Now, it’s much harder for me to miss since I have a bot gently nudging me about it as soon as it happens.It’s a pretty simple Zap, but not one that would have occurred to me personally! One of my colleagues suggested it, and it’s been tremendously useful. Here’s the setup:Trigger: New Email Matching Search in GmailThis is a simple trigger: when a new email comes in
The trigger is a critical piece of our Zaps - as the trigger tells us when we have a new record to run the Zap for.At the moment there are 3 main types of triggers that start Zaps.Instant TriggersWith Instant triggers - something happens in the Trigger App and they immediately send a notification to Zapier.This notification is what we use to trigger the Zap. (These are webhooks sent by the App to Zapier).With an Instant trigger - your Zap will trigger immediately - regardless of your Zapier Plan. In Zapier we’ll see a Tag identifying the trigger as Instant.Polling TriggersWith Polling triggers - instead of being notified by the App - we go out and look for changes (We ask the App for changes in your account via their API with a GET request).We do this every X minutes based on your plan level. Free and Starter Plans are 15 minutes - all other Plans vary between 5 minutes to 1 minute.With Polling Triggers we also check for records that already exist (or have already triggered the Zap) u
Hi! Deb, from the Zapier blog, here with a very unexciting confession: at least once a day, I copy/paste the wrong thing. It’s generally harmless (a link to the wrong doc) and sometimes embarrassing (a text from my mom), but it’s never disastrous.But if you’re working with data, a wrong copy/paste can be disastrous. One wrong number (even if it’s close) can snowball into all the wrong numbers and, before you know it, all your books are off.Alex Kulbei, the co-founder of Probe, a product that helps companies automate monthly business reviews, recently wrote a piece for our blog about data collection: How to get started with data collection and analytics at your business. And one of his tips? Automate. It removes the possibility human error while also eliminating lots of repetitive work. Here are some tips.Collecting complex data? Here's how to automate it with ZapierHave you made any disastrous copy/paste errors? Or just embarrassing ones? Let me know in the comments, if only to help me
Have you ever wanted to trigger a Zap for a specific field level change in Pipedrive?For example - maybe you want to know when a Contact’s primary email address changes.In Zapier today - we have an Updated Person trigger - but it will trigger on any change to the Person Record (not just for specific fields).Using Pipedrive’s built-in workflow automation - we can focus-in on specific field level changes to Pipedrive records - and trigger Zaps when they change.Step 1: Set Up Pipedrive WorkflowThe first thing we want to do is set-up a Workflow in Pipedrive. This will enable us to isolate field level changes.You can see Pipedrive’s Workflow Documentation here.Our Pipedrive Workflow would work like this. Trigger Person Updated Filter to only Look for Changes to the Primary Email Address - and only when it Exists (if it is changed to Blank we don’t want the Zap to trigger). Create Activity in Pipedrive. Here’s the full Pipedrive workflow.I want to point out a few things in that screensh
Hey, folks! Janine here from the Zapier blog team. We recently published this very cool story about how Zapier customer Jeffrey Sun uses autoamtion to run a customized apparel store. I love hearing about the unique Zaps people set up, and Jeffrey’s is amazing. Using automation, he’s able to generate unique chess-themed apparel, featuring individually generated images of whatever chess position someone requests. Check it out!What Zaps are critical to how your business operates? Do you have a favorite workflow that keeps things going? If so, we’d love to hear about it.
Hello there, Sam from Zapier Support here with a handy workflow idea for you!IntroIn support we sometimes come across apps that require values to be supplied in a certain format that the trigger app doesn’t provide. And when they don’t receive values in the correct format it can cause unwanted errors.In the following example we’ve got client details added via Google Form that need to be added into Wave. The problem is that the country part of their address is specified in full and Wave doesn’t read countries like that; it’s expecting to see a country code instead:You could use a Formatter (Text > Lookup Table) step to convert the country name into the relevant country code. But you can’t make that same lookup table instantly available for other Zaps to use. It’s possible to copy the Zap and tweak the other steps but what if 3 weeks later you spot a typo in the lookup table?Yep, that’s right. You’d have to go into each of the Zap copies and fix the typo in each one. And life is way t
Hi there! This is Deb from the Zapier blog. We’ve been having small business owners share their stories and tips, and one that stood out to me recently was this piece by Matthew Meier.Customer reviews: The most important small business marketing strategyMatthew runs a small tour company out of Las Vegas, and they use customer reviews as the center of their marketing strategy. I’d never really thought of it as a marketing tool before, but MaxTour leans into customer reviews in a massively strategic way. If you try out any of their tips for increasing the quantity (and quality!) of your reviews, you’ll want to be able to wrangle them all. So here are some tips we put together for automating the process.4 ways to automatically gather and track customer reviewsDo you have any creative ways to get customers to leave reviews? Let me know in the comments!
Hi! Deb here, from the Zapier blog. I use Google Forms exclusively when I create forms. At first, I felt a little embarrassed. I chose it because it’s so easy to use—but there are so many other form apps to choose from, and in comparison, Google Forms seems a little...amateur. But when you stop judging the book by its (very purple) cover, you can see that Google Forms is super powerful.Our staff writer Justin just wrote a piece on all the different things Google Forms can do, and how you can customize it for whatever you need.6 Google Forms settings you should know aboutThe bonus is that, when you automate it, you’re automating from a spreadsheet (where your form answers are stored), which gives you so much more control. Send form answers to Trello, Slack, or Mailchimp, or even create Google Calendar events based on responses. I have almost a dozen active Google Forms, and they’re all automated to send the information where I need it.What form app do you use? And with so many options,
Hi! It’s Deb from the Zapier blog, here to talk about how I overcame my severe parserphobia (fear of using email parsing tools). I was a little skeptical about robots reading my emails, but the real fear was just that I would spend hours trying to set it up only for it not to work. That’s hours I could have spent watching back episodes of Survivor (or working or whatever).Anyway, I finally decided to try it. And without going into detail about how many times I swore at the computer, I set up an automation to pull invoicing details from my email into the spreadsheet where I monitor my budget—and I did it in 15 minutes. 15 minutes! Over the past week-ish since I made the Zap, I’ve absolutely already saved at least that much time not having to open multiple documents and copy and paste and all that jazz.So here I am telling you: try an email parser. It won’t bite.Our staff writer Justin did loads of research and put together a list of the best email parsers. Yes, Email Parser by Zapier ma
Hey - Jared back again with another workflow idea for you!I use Trello to manage most of my tasks.There are a lot of tasks I want to run on a recurring basis (every week or month).For example - maybe I want a Trello card to run a full backup of my computer on a monthly basis.I could build a Zap for each Task using Schedule by Zapier - but that would create a lot of Zaps to manage - since each Task would need it’s own Zap.Plus I want to be able to add and delete tasks from this list easily.Google Sheets will enable me create tasks as a row on a Spreadsheet - but how do I get them to run automatically each Week or Month?Make Your Sheet.Step 1 is to make our Google Sheet.I’ve shared a template here you can use to get started. :)Just choose File > Make a Copy - and it will create a copy you can alter for your own Zap.You’ll notice the regular fields you’d expect here when creating a Trello Card like Title, Description, Due Date, Time.I’ll talk about the Trigger Date and Due Date in a bi
Do you use formulas in your Google Sheets like =today()?Google Sheets formulas like NOW, TODAY, RAND, and RANDBETWEEN - will often only update when the Spreadsheet is opened or updated.This can cause issues with Zaps if we expect those dates to be updated automatically to trigger Zaps.In the Sheet itself - we can adjust how often Google updates the values for those formulas.Go to File > Spreadsheet Settings. In the screen that pops up - click on the Calculation tab and change the setting for Recalculation to be either “On change and every minute” or “On change and every hour” - then click Save. With the every minute setting - Google will update the calculations for formulas like today() every minute. Every hour would do the same thing on an hourly basis.This will enable Zaps that use those formula columns to trigger (or find records) without the spreadsheet needing to be opened to update the value.
Hey, Zapier Community! I’m Janine, one of the managing editors of the Zapier blog.As we close out the year, I wanted to ask you a question: What could we write that would help you better use Zapier? My team puts together articles about why, when, and how to use Zapier. We write about ways to automate a specific app, how to set up a specific Zap, interesting ways automation can help you run your business, share success stories from customers, and highlight unique or useful Zaps for you and your work.And while we track pageviews and other traditional audience metrics, there’s really no substitute for hearing directly from the people who use Zapier and read our content.If you have a few minutes, I’d love to hear from you: What would you like to see us write about next year?
Hello! Janine from the blog team here.We’ve written several articles about resolutions on the Zapier blog, like the most common resolutions for 2020 (how did everyone do on these?) and why resolutions are bad, particularly in January.A year ago, we published this piece on productivity resolutions to help you save time at work, and this year, we’ve let the state of things guide our advice. We just published this piece from writer Krystina Martinez on resolutions that help you cultivate habits that help you grow your business—but by taking something off your plate rather than adding more to it. She recommends things like auditing processes, following up with networking contacts, tackling your inbox, staying on top of scheduling, and making it easier to follow up with customers.Check it out, and if you’d like, share what you’re planning to do for you and your business next year.
Hi! Deb here, from the Zapier blog. I recently had a chance to work with Nikki Gusz, the co-founder of Lloyd. Lloyd dubs themselves a Waze for working professionals. It’s a massively valuable service, and the brother-sister co-founders knew they could really help folks looking to find their professional way. The problem: neither of them knew how to code, and they didn’t have the money to hire a developer.So they built an entire product with no-code tools (including Zapier!)—and did it all while spending about $100/month. Not too shabby. Read their story at the link below, and then share with us in the comments: what’s the biggest thing you’ve built with no-code tools?We don't code. But we built our MVP for $100/month.
Hey, folks! I’m Janine, one of the editors of the Zapier blog. You’re on the Zapier site, so you probably already know at least a little bit about automation and how it can help you with tasks in your apps, but I wanted to share a little about what automation can do for you, if you, like many people, are thinking about your next job opportunity.First, automation is a valuable skill, as we learned in our summer Job Seekers Report, where about 70 percent of people looking for a job thought automation skills could help them land their next gig.But automation can also help you with the more practical, hands-on parts of find your next position.Writer Krystina Martinez put together a guide earlier this year on ways to use automation to ease a job search. It includes tips on creating a database of jobs you’re applying to, tracking applications, managing your to-do list, building specific skills, and promoting yourself on LinkedIn.We published a follow-up last month on streamlining job sources
Hello! Janine from the blog team here. Have you ever had a great idea for an app, but not the coding skills required to bring it to life? Check out this post on the Zapier blog from Hiram Nunez. He walks you through the steps needed to get from concept to working app—without using any code. How to create a no-code app using popular tools and Zapier Hiram is the founder of Swyftlight, a digital agency that, among other things, helps businesses create low- and no-code apps. The steps he shares in his post help you break down your idea into steps, find existing apps that can help you along, and then connect them to bring your app to life.Have you built a no-code app? What techniques did you use to get it up and running?
Hi everyone, it’s Deb—one of the managing editors of the Zapier blog. Our mission at Zapier, as you might know, is to democratize automation. One roadblock we run into is that not everyone wants to use automation. According to a survey we commissioned, 11% of people are either afraid of using it or are afraid it will drastically change the responsibilities of their role.And I get it—if I didn’t work for an automation company, I might also be wary. ROBOTS ARE COMING TO GET US. But, as it turns out, automation is a very human thing.In this article on our blog, early childhood expert Colin Johnson talks about how the desire for efficiency—essentially, automating our brains—is at the core of who we are as humans. Have a read.Automaticity: Finding the humanity in automationHow does automation make you more human? Let me know in the comments!
Hey, folks! Janine here, one of the editors for the Zapier blog. We just published a piece about how to use automation to cut off the copy-paste tasks you do over and over again.A personal story on this: I volunteer with a local theater company, and one of the jobs I do for them is put together their programs. Everyone in the cast and crew would email me answers to a set of questions, and then I would copy and paste information to update bios in the program for the latest show. When I started using Zapier, I realized I could stop a lot of that copy/paste process. I set up a Google Forms to Google Docs Zap, and dropped answers to specific questions in the skeleton of a bio. I still have to copy each of those bios into the final document, but now I’m just tweaking a few words rather than copying over lots of info (or retyping answers0. Whether it’s copying files, copying notes, copying information, or sending information between two apps, Zapier can help. Let us know: What would you like
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