Read about creative workflows, awesome app tips and interesting use cases.
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Create Weekly or Monthly Recurring Trello Cards with Google Sheets
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
How to Update the Google Sheets Recalculation Setting
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.
What do you want to see on the Zapier blog?
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?
Running a business? Resolve to cultivate habits that help you grow.
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.
This company built their MVP for $100/month. Here's how.
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.
Job hunting? Automation can help.
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
How to create a no-code app using popular tools and Zapier
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?
Finding the humanity in automation
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!
What would you like to never copy and paste again?
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
How a one-woman nonprofit used automation to help deliver thousands of meals to people in need
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
Connect your CRM with Zapier and boost efficiency
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
How one simple Zapier workflow created a multimillion-dollar business
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!
Trigger a Zap from the Shortcuts app in iOS (we’re going to set our Slack status)
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
Use standard operating procedures to find tasks ripe for automation
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!
Job-stealing robots and other automation myths
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!
3 ways to create line items in your Zaps (perfect for testing)
How to run an action at a random times, like creating social media posts (for example)
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
Using your form app for more than just forms
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!
The BlackTies: Making magic with automation
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
Have you tried joining Zoom by phone?
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!
Ways to automate URL shorteners
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
Automation is a habit—here's how to build it
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!
Learn to be a Pro at using the Zapier App Directory
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
As you start to plan for 2021, automation can help you say no
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!
How SheEO uses an 82-step(!) Zap to support women-run businesses
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
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