Read about creative workflows, awesome app tips and interesting use cases.
- 296 Topics
- 487 Replies
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! Deb here, from the Zapier blog. Our staff writer Justin recently discovered Google Calendar’s out of office feature. This was the first time in history I knew about an app feature before him. After a mini-celebration, we realized it’s a pretty underutilized feature. Here, Justin talks about how it works and why it’ll save you a lot of grief whenever you’re planning a vacation or just a day off.Why everyone needs to use Google Calendar's out of office featureThe coolest part (wethinks) is that it connects with Zapier, which means you can use the OOO feature in Google Calendar to create out of office actions in any other app. Automatically update your Slack status, send a text message or email to remind people, or even create a task in a project management app letting people know what they need to cover for you while you’re out.All you need to do is use the Advanced Mode when setting up your Zap, and use the search term eventType:outOfOffice to only trigger for out of office events.W
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!
Background InfoHave you ever found yourself sending the same reply to a wide variety of emails? With this workflow, manually adding a label in Gmail will send an automatic reply containing text you’ve programmed to the sender.ExampleLet’s say I’m frequently getting emails from new clients who want to know more about my product or service. These emails will of course come in a wide variety of formats with different subject lines. I can create a label in Gmail called “Leads” that will kick off this workflow. If I get an email inquiry that I would like to send my standardized response to, I can manually add this label to start the Zap. (view larger)We’ll add a Filter as Step 2 that only allows the Zap to continue if the From Email field does not contain our own email address. This will prevent the Zap from accidentally triggering on replies in the same thread! (view larger)For the Action step, we’ll use Reply to Email in Gmail: (view larger)In the Reply to Email template, we’ll map the Th
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,
IntroSometimes we get data from a previous Step that contains multiple fields as as an array/line-item of names and values instead of individual values with their own unique names that we can map into later Steps. The source of the data could be any app, but more commonly it would be from an advanced action such as a Webhook Step. Let’s take a look at how we can make these values mappable.For exampleWe may want to map a value called firstname from a set of custom values but instead of being able to map that, we have data that looks like this:When we try to map that into later Steps, we see a line-item value of all the different custom field values instead of just the one we want - email:SolutionWe can solve this problem by using 2 Steps: A Formatter by Zapier Step followed by a short bit of Code in a Code by Zapier Step.The Formatter Step will be the Utilities Action and the Line-item to Text transform. The reason that we want to start with this is to make sure that if there are any co
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
Let’s say you want to send someone a coupon code when they sign up for your mailing list. You’ve generated a list of coupon codes, downloaded a CSV...but now what? How do you find out if a coupon code has been sent out before? And how do we send a brand new one every time?Well, with a couple of Google Sheets steps, we can both get the first unused code, and mark it as used so it never comes up again!The first thing to do is to get those coupon codes into a Google Sheet, and make sure it’s set up properly. We only need two columns: Coupon, and Used. Coupon will track the coupon code, and then Used will track whether or not it has been used before. Make sure to put “no” into the Used column, so it looks like this:Now that your Sheet is set up, let’s take a look at an outline for the Zap that will use these:Step 1 Trigger: Anything you like. Maybe someone signs up for a list, or they write into a contact form - it’s up to you!Step 2 Action: Lookup Spreadsheet Row in Google Sheets. Search
We have an existing help doc for the Line Itemizer, and it does a great job of breaking down how to use it. I wanted to present a practical use case (inspired by a question from one of our Community members, actually).ExampleUsing the example above, let’s say you had a lead generation form and when someone submits their information you’d like to create an order in something like WooCommerce, or QuickBooks Online.For each submission, it’s always going to be the same items and quantity. These are free items, so you don’t have to worry about having a cost affixed to them. But you’d like to keep track of those, maybe to provide an invoice to the person (“here are your freebies, thanks for giving me your information”) or for your own accounting.The ObstacleThe tricky part is that WooCommerce and QuickBooks Online support line items, but you don’t have data in that format when the Zap triggers from your form.You could use a Code step, assuming you’re familiar with how that works, but there’s
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 - 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
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?
IntroductionHi there, this is Erin Oz from the Zapier Support Team with another workflow idea to share. Background InfoHave you ever wanted to create a Delay in your Zap that lasted longer than 30 days? Or, have you ever wanted to make changes to your Zap but you can’t, because you’ll break Tasks that are currently in a delayed status?Here’s how you can use Google Calendar to create better, more flexible Delays. Workflow ExampleA Zapier user would like to send a followup email to their clients booked through Acuity. They’d like to email to go out 45 days after the appointment took place, in order to prompt their client to book again. The user has created a calendar on their Google account called “45 Day Followup Email Calendar” that will only handle the events created for this workflow. This helps keep the Zap from triggering on other events by mistake and cluttering other calendars. This set up will require two Zaps: Zap 1Trigger - Acuity, Appointment StartFormatter - Set the Event St
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.
Whether you’ve been a Zapier user for a long time or just started recently, there’s a good chance that you’re not super familiar with the Zapier Manager app. We don’t really talk about it much, but it can come in handy!You can check out the list of Zap Templates in the Zapier Manager directory listing, but I thought I’d do some brainstorming and come up with some ideas for how each of the triggers and actions could be used. Hope you find these helpful!TriggersBelow you can see that there are 9 triggers available, 2 of which are instant. Only the New Team Member trigger requires a Zapier for Teams account. The rest of them can be used on any plan.New Public AppTriggers whenever a new public app is added to Zapier.Ideas for how you could use it:Be on the cutting edge by sending yourself (or someone else) a notification as soon as new apps are added. Use Digest by Zapier to create a weekly (or maybe monthly) email digest of all the apps that were added. Keep an eye on apps that you're int
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
Tim here from the Zapier Support Team with a workflow idea!BackgroundIf you’re familiar with the Code by Zapier app, you’re probably used to working with all kinds of values, including arrays. In Zapier, arrays are generally called “Line Items” and sometimes it can be tricky to get them into a Code Step unscathed to run them through some custom process.Why is it difficult? All values added to the `Input Data` fields of a Code Step are converted into Strings and sent into the Code Step in that format. Arrays / Line Items get converted into Strings that are comma separated values. While it’s definitely possible to split those comma separated values back into arrays inside the code, we run into problems if the values themselves contain commas.To further complicate things, if we’re sending multiple properties of line items (multiple arrays that relate to each other) and some of the arrays have `null` or empty values, those will be completely dropped, so it can cause our input data to becom
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!