Read about creative workflows, awesome app tips and interesting use cases.
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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
Hi there, it’s Deb from the Zapier blog. It’s Thanksgiving week, and it’s gonna be a tough one for almost everyone. I’m feeling especially grateful this year that I’ll be able to spend time with my husband, kids, and dog; that we’re all healthy; and that we can have a meal all together.Lots of folks aren’t as lucky—and not just at Thanksgiving. At the beginning of the pandemic, Rhiannon Menn was looking for a way to support the families in her community while still following stay-at-home orders and keeping her family safe. She decided to deliver meals to local moms who were struggling. From there, thousands of other volunteers joined in to help—and now her nonprofit, Lasagna Love, is delivering meals to families all over the country. In order to scale, Rhiannon used Zapier to automate a lot of the tedious work. Learn more about Rhiannon, Lasagna Love, and Zapier here:How a one-woman nonprofit scaled to deliver thousands of meals to people in needWe have lots of other customers using au
Hey, folks! Janine here from the blog team, to share another automation inspiration tip for you. CRMs help people get work done. They organize and manage leads and contacts, help you track deals as they advance through the pipeline, and make it easy for team members to see information in one place. But keeping them updated can be a daunting task, and if you’re manually entering data, there’s always the chance for human error. Automation can help!Writer Chris Hawkins put together a piece about ways to use Zapier with your CRM to improve your team’s productivity and efficiency. Read the piece for ideas, and to see a hand-selected list of valuable Zaps you can use to:Improve sales workflows by automating parts of your contracting process, tracking leads, and creating contacts Strengthen marketing efforts by connecting your CRM with marketing automation, webforms, and social media Reduce information silos by streamlining notifications in team chat or connecting your CRM with task and proje
Hi! I’m Deb, one of the managing editors of the Zapier blog. I recently had the pleasure of chatting with some folks at Bonjoro, a video email app that helps you connect with leads and customers. I knew about Bonjoro—I’ve gotten video emails from businesses using it, and they’re awesome—but what I didn’t know was that the MVP for the app itself was built using Zapier.Check out CEO Matthew Barnett (aka “Papa Bear”) talking about how Bonjoro came to be, and how one simple Zap helped create their booming business.How one simple Zapier workflow created a multimillion-dollar businessIt continues to amaze me how many projects and apps are powered by automation. Are there any other apps you know that started with a Zap? Let me know in the comments, and maybe we can feature them on the blog!
In today’s post I’m going to show you a basic example of how to use the Shortcuts app in iOS to trigger a Zap. The specific example I’m using is quickly setting a Slack status using a fill-in-the-blank template.NOTE: Yes, it’s easy to open the Slack app and set a status. Even easier on mobile. But 1) not everybody wants to have Slack on their phone and 2) it’s way easier to tap an icon, type a number then press Done.These days, parents who are working from home (and also trying to manage their children) may need to tell their co-workers that they’re going to be away from the keyboard for a bit. With a 2-step Zap and 3-step Shortcut we’re going to set a status that inserts the number of minutes into “AFK for _____ minutes” and uses a particular icon and expiration time (that same number of minutes).Step 1: Build the ZapTrigger — Webhooks by Zapier (Catch Hook)Because we haven’t built the Shortcut yet, you’re going to click on Test trigger then when no sample is found, click on Skip test
Hi! Deb here, from the Zapier blog. We’ve been talking to small business owners across the globe, and we’re learning so much about how you all streamline your work. Recently, business owner Judith Meyer wrote a post on our blog about how standard operating procedures helped her scale her business.How standard operating procedures can help you grow your businessThe gist: standardizing and documenting processes isn’t just a bureaucratic task to check off your list. Instead, it’ll open your eyes to processes that could be better—or could be automated. What other unexpected tasks have given you insight into an automation opportunity? Let me know in the comments!
Hi! Deb here, from the Zapier blog. One of the things we try to do on the blog is demystify the concept of automation. Automation is a tool that can help almost any small business or knowledge worker, but for some reason, it still feels like this weird, intangible thing for a lot of folks.One of the reasons it’s hard to explain—and demonstrate the value of—is that people have all sorts of ideas about what automation means. We’re talking everything from futuristic robots to long strings of code that only big businesses can afford to make. Our staff writer Justin put together a list of four common automation myths, along with some thoughts on how to debunk them. Take a look.Job-stealing robots and other automation mythsDid we miss any automation myths? And how do you explain automation to your friends, family, and coworkers? Let me know in the comments!
Hey hey! Welcome to another Wednesday, and another workflow. This one consists of multiple ways to accomplish the same thing. Let’s say you want to run an action at random times, whether that’s throughout the whole day or even within a range of hours.Why would you want to do this? I can think of a few reasons:You want to create social media posts and make it look more natural and random You’re reposting from one platform to another and you don’t want the other accounts to repost right away You want to send someone messages (maybe love notes) throughout the day but not always at the same time. You want to receive a random cat GIF everyday, again at unexpected times You want the actions to take place during certain hours (maybe 9 to 5) even though the trigger could be earlierNOTE: these techniques can be used regardless of whether you’re using a Schedule by Zapier trigger or triggering your Zap from another app.Method 1: Use a Spreadsheet-Style Formula to Generate a Random NumberOur Form
Hi! Deb here from the Zapier blog with a concept I’m really into right now.The best apps are really good at what they do—you don’t rely on them to solve all your problems, and you can just connect all your specialized apps with Zapier.But sometimes apps have uses you might not think of—and they’re worth trying out. For example, I use Google Sheets as my to-do list. Our staff writer Justin just wrote about another example: using Typeform for memos and tutorials. Take a look.Why you should use Typeform for memos and tutorialsWhat apps do you use for off-use tasks? Let me know in the comments!
Hey, everyone! Janine here, one of the editors of the Zapier blog. In addition to pieces about productivity, apps, running a small business, and using automation, we also highlight ways Zapier helps users succeed. One of my recent favorites features The BlackTies, a group of magicians from Sydney, who found adding automation into their business allowed all of them to focus on their passion.Using Zapier helped them scale, handling five times as many leads with less time by their team.Zapier helps The BlackTies focus on making magic, not managing leads."Our old system was called Julian," said co-founder Scott Zhou. "He was a member of our team, and he literally spent the whole day, five days a week, on our numerous apps, typing away, ensuring we had kept track of every inquiry and performance."He transferred information from email to Trello cards, and updated each card to make sure whoever staffed the event had all the information needed."Julian is a magician at heart," Scott said. "He w
Hi! I’m Deb, one of the Zapier blog editors. The other day, I called into a meeting for the first time in almost three years. By called in, I don’t mean that I logged into Zoom on my phone and looked at everyone’s tiny faces. I actually dialed a number and used my phone as an actual phone to participate in the Zoom call.It was amazing. Give your video brain a break: Join Zoom by phoneNow that Zapier has a trigger for New Recording in Zoom, you can always have someone record the meeting, and it will automatically upload the recording to Google Drive or another app. That way if someone shared their screen or something, you can easily go back and take a look later. There’s really no downside.Have you tried calling into a Zoom meeting? How did it go? Any mishaps I didn’t think about? Let me know in the comments!
Hey, Community members!Janine here from the blog team with another idea for you, this time for how to use Zapier to help wrangle your short URLs.People use URL shorteners for the obvious reason—getting a short, clean link that’s easy to share—but there’s more you can do, especially when you connect your URL shortener with other apps using Zapier. We put together a blog post about Zaps you can use to help with things like:Automatically creating shortened URLs for new content you publish or products you add to your store Send all shortened URLs you create to a Google Sheet or other database for easy tracking Notify your team of new short URLs so everyone uses the same links Monitor link activity, like referrers or clicks Automatically share shortened URLs to social mediaCheck out the article for Zap templates you can use to get started with these workflows!Get more ROI out of your URL shorteners with these 4 workflowsAre there any things we missed in this article? Let me know in the comm
Hi! Deb here from the Zapier blog. If you’re hanging out in the Zapier community, it’s likely because you’re automating things. Or at least automating a thing. But automating something is very different from forming an automation habit. To have an automation habit, you need to be thinking about automation as a potential solution to problems you come across or tasks that are draining you.Then, of course, you need to hone those workflows after you’ve built them. It’s kind of like getting into the habit of exercising: you don’t just start jogging 30 minutes a day and then do that exact same practice forever. You adjust your practices to make it better fit your routine as it develops.Here’s the article our staff writer Justin wrote about developing an automation habit. Automation is a habit—here's how to build itIs automation a habit for you? What kinds of automation-related tasks are second nature for you? Let me know in the comments!
One of the most overwhelming parts of using Zapier is figuring out where to start. Which apps should you use? How do you know what triggers and actions are available for those apps? There’s so much choice!A great place for inspiration is our automation inspiration example Zaps. Here you’ll find a wide range of Zaps to suit your every need — whether you need help with managing projects, your social media, your emails, your calendar, and anything else you might think of.But if you’re coming to Zapier with your workflows already mapped in your mind, you don’t need inspiration, you need to know what’s possible. The good news is that you’ll find everything you need over in our App Directory (or our Zapbook as it’s affectionately known around these parts).The DirectoryLet’s start with the directory home page. Here you’ll see the list of all 2000+ apps Zapier integrates with, broken into categories:You can dig in to each of those categories to find the apps that do what you need. You can also
Hi! I’m Deb, one of the managing editors of the Zapier blog. We’re starting to think about 2021 planning over here, and that means we have all the ideas. It’s awesome because we get to think up pie-in-the-sky plans and figure out how to turn them into actionable projects. But, of course, it’s impossible to do everything we want to do—and that’s where we need to flex our “no” muscles.At Zapier, we always try to build the robot to help us get better at our jobs, and saying no is a big part of doing good work. So we use automation to help us say no, whether it’s to a coworker who needs help, to our manager, to a meeting—or to ourselves.Here’s a blog post I wrote about how we do it.Use this tech trick to help you say noWith that said, what do you think we should do with the Zapier blog in 2021? Are there apps you want us to write about? Zaps you want tutorials for? Roles you want to see some automation inspiration about? Drop any thoughts in the comments!
Hey Community, Krystina here from the Zapier blog! I know our community members build pretty complex workflows to solve work problems. But does your workflow trump SheEO’s 82-step Zap?That’s not a typo. SheEO is building a $1 billion fund to support women-run businesses, so they need to automate whenever possible to reduce errors. Check out how they do it, and use their visualization of their monster Zap to inspire you to push the limits of what’s possible in Zapier! How SheEO uses automation to support women-run businesses
We recently had a community member who presented us with a bit of a tricky issue:I would like to have weekly zapier rollups created using the information in this view but ONLY for items which are currently in the view – NOT for items which may have passed into and then out of the airtable view sometime over the course of the week. So, in other words, they’d like to get a digest of items that are in a particular Airtable view at the time of rolling up those digest items to send.This one stumped me at first because we’re not able to remove items that have been added to a digest. So triggering on a record being added to a view won’t help us because once it’s in the digest, it’s there permanently, regardless of whether it has since left that view in Airtable.My next thought was to use Storage by Zapier, adding child values for each record, then removing the value when that record entered another view (that would, by definition, mean it had exited the other view). This didn’t work out becau
Hi Zapier community! I’m Deb, one of the managing editors of the Zapier blog. We recently chatted with someone who attributes her career in tech to Neopets, Tumblr, and Zapier. A motley crew of apps, for sure. Here’s the fascinating (and vaguely unbelievable) story.How tinkering with Neopets and Zapier led to a career in techIf you work in tech (or even with tech, which most everyone here does), how did you get to where you are? What weird path led you to your role? And how has Zapier influenced your journey?Let us know in the comments or respond to our staff writer Justin on Twitter.
Hey there! Janine, here, one of the managing editors of the Zapier blog, with a recent piece we published about some of the ways you can use Zapier to help you keep track of the leads coming in to your business. You can set up a Zap to send names, contact info, and other details into your CRM or a spreadsheet, without you having to copy and paste.In 3 ways to automatically keep track of your leads we offer examples and advice for how to:Track leads that come in through email Track leads you get from forms Track leads you get from advertising campaignsIs there a way you use Zapier to help with lead tracking? Reply and let us know!
Hey Community!Krystina here from the Zapier Blog. Many of us have at least one Google Sheet where there’s hundreds of rows of detailed information, but you may only need notifications for changes to specific columns. (Yes, the blog team has one and I try to avoid it when I can.) Or, you need to send emails using specific information from that gargantuan spreadsheet. I know we have a ton of Google Sheets power users in the house, so you may appreciate this latest tutorial from the blog on how to send an email from updates to specific Google Sheets rows. There’s also a workaround to get your Zap to trigger when you change a cell between two values often. Give it a try! How to send an email when updates are made to Google Sheets rows
Hi! Deb here from the Zapier blog with some thoughts on two apps that, until recently, very much confused me: Google Drive and Google Photos. Why are there two apps that do the same thing? Answer: there aren’t. They’re very different. I know this because I asked our staff writer Justin to write about them. Google Drive vs. Google Photos: What’s the difference?What I found super helpful about his explanation was that Google Drive is best for professional use and Google Photos is best for personal use. There’s more nuance than that, of course, but it was a helpful first step to figure out what should go where.Because Google Drive integrates with Zapier, it ends up extending its professional benefits too, making hs argument even stronger. For example, if you have a designer who emails you assets, Zapier can automatically upload them to Drive. Or you can automatically save all your business’s Instagram posts to Google Drive so you have them backed up. Which do you use? Google Drive or Goog
We have all sorts of diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts going on at Zapier. Everything from unconscious bias training to allyship keynote speakers to KRs that reflect our D&I goals.Since we spend all our days thinking about how we can make apps work best for us, my colleague Dannielle thought about how folks could use Slack to help promote inclusive language. These days, most of us are living on Slack or another team chat app, so it’s a great opportunity to take advantage of its features to add to D&I efforts.Take a look at this article she wrote for details on how it works—and why.Promote inclusive language on your team with a simple SlackbotNow we’re on the hunt for other apps that have features that might help with D&I efforts. Any suggestions? Drop them in the comments so we can check them out!
Automate Airtable and automatically track information, be notified of changes, and back up your data
Hey, Community! It’s Janine, one of the managing editors here at the Zapier blog. Airtable is a popular app on Zapier, and one that gets asked about fairly regularly here in the Community. We recently published a piece that goes through some of the ways people use Zapier to automate their Airtable bases. Get some inspiration for workflows that let you:Track important information in Airtable, like importing contacts, form submissions, or information from emails or RSS feeds. Be notified when things change in your base, by getting emails, notifications in a team chat app, or a text message. Automatically back up your data by sending new information from Airtable to other spreadsheets, or vice versa.Do you have a favorite Airtable Zap, or would you like us to go into more detail on how to set up one of the Zaps in the article? Let us know!
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