Read about creative workflows, awesome app tips and interesting use cases.
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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
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?
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
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
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
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
4 ways you can automate your marketing
Hey, Community! Janine from the blog team here with another collection of tips you can use to grow your business. This article looks at marketing automation, and ways you can use Zapier to keep things focused and on track. This article includes Zaps you can use to:Stay on top of new leads from Facebook Lead Ads or Google Ads Use form submissions to automatically build your email lists Connect social media accounts so you can easily cross-post or automatically push new posts on your site to your most important social platforms Keep attendees of your live and virtual events up-to-date on your businessCheck it out! 4 ways to use marketing automation to grow your business
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.
Creating a lookup table with Google Sheets
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
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
Why you shouldn't be embarrassed about using Google Forms
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,
Management automation tip: automate feedback tracking for your directs
I’m one of the Managing Editors of the blog over here at Zapier, and my colleague Krystina recently wrote a piece about how to automate your feedback tracking. Her system is based on a brag sheet, where she tracks all her wins—and not-so-wins. I just recently became a manager at Zapier, and this article made me realize: I need a system for tracking feedback and comments for my direct reports. And not just for performance reviews, but for 1:1s, growth plans, and even just celebrating daily wins. I can only help my directs grow if I can point to really specific successes and areas for growth.At Zapier, most of our communication happens in Slack, but we work in lots of other spots: Google Docs, Coda, our internal blog tool Async, and plenty of other apps. Instead of making a Zap for each of those, I decided to use Push by Zapier.Whenever anything happens that I want to track, I use the Chrome extension to jot it down. (I also have the Push by Zapier app on Slack, which will automatically
How to send emails from updates to Google Sheets rows
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
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!
Automate the awkward out of human connection
Something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently, as my human interaction is at a minimum (to put it lightly): small talk is hard. Even more so when you’re working remotely—my colleague Jusin wrote an entire article about it.The hardest part for me is wanting to help keep morale up for my team but feeling super awkward being like, “hey everyone, let’s talk about...uh, something!” One thing we do at Zapier is let robots do the awkward parts for us. For example, every Friday, a bot sends our #marketing Slack channel a message with a Friday “watercooler” question. That gets everyone chatting without anyone having to awkwardly ask people what they wanted to be when they grew up. Much less weird coming from a robot, we think.If you’re itching for human interaction but don’t want to be the person who starts randomly asking about international weather patterns, try some of the automation suggestions I outlined in this article.Build culture in your remote team with automationWhat did we miss?
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.
Use Zapier to keep track of your leads
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!
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!
3 ways to create line items in your Zaps (perfect for testing)
Neopets, Tumblr, Zapier: What led you to a career in tech?
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.
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!
I was afraid of email parsing. Then I tried it.
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
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!
Organize your cloud storage files automatically
Hi Community! Krystina here from the Zapier blog team!I don’t know about y’all, but when I think of organizing my files on my computer, Google Drive, or other places, I think, “hmmm, I really should do that...but you know what sounds fun? ANYTHING ELSE.”If your cloud storage is a hot mess like mine, you might appreciate our most recent article, rounding up 3 easy ways to keep your Dropbox organized. If you’re always digging through your email for a file attachment, or you forget to backup your files until something catastrophic happens, you’ll really want to take some of these Zaps for a spin. (And of course, you can sub Dropbox for your favorite cloud storage app.)While you’re getting your files in order, you might as well play around with the new Zoom recording trigger and back up your video calls too. 3 ways to keep your Dropbox organized
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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