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Car pooling via SMS

  • 30 June 2022
  • 3 replies
  • 58 views

Hi all

I’m not technically the most able, looking for advice.

I’m starting a carpool system, and in the past we’ve used a google form. I’m wondering if it would be possible to set up a template/system whereby you would send a message, either by SMS or whatsapp or email, and the data you send would generate a google excel sheet. 
For instance I text “Nathan, to the city 10am, home again 4pm” to a certain number on whatsapp, or SMS, and my number and the content of my message appears in a live spreadsheet.

Thoughts?

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Best answer by Danvers 7 July 2022, 15:31

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3 replies

Userlevel 5
Badge +7

Hi there @nathanbrownfax . I’m happy to help you think through some ideas!

 

One option here would be the “New Email Matching Search” trigger in Gmail, with the Action of Create Speedsheet Row: 

 

However, I’m wondering if you could maybe give us some more details on what you’re trying to accomplish. Is this carpool group already communicating with any other tool, like maybe Google Calendar? I’m wondering if there isn’t a more efficient way to get that data from the folks you are connecting. 

 

Hope this helps, and we can keep thinking through ideas of what can make this zap work for you!

 

Best, 

Rachael

Hi 

At the moment we communicate via submitting a google form twice a week. It’s ok, I’m happy to stay with it if need be, but at the moment the results come out looking like this

It’s in Hebrew, but the main point is that it’s rather unwieldy, I have to decipher where they want to go and then match it against other trips, and each person is using rather idiosyncratic language [ie not saying what time they want to leave, not saying what time they want to arrive, using certain acronyms etc.]

 

 

Whereas I think my image is someone sends 3 SMS’s and it appears in Excel as

Monday 8:00 Travel to school
Monday 10:00 Travel to Work
Monday 12:00 Travel to Doctor

 

and then I could copy and paste each request straight into a spreadsheet

Userlevel 7
Badge +12

Hi @Nathan Brown!

I don’t think you’ll be able to do this by SMS unless you pay for a text app, but you can absolutely do it via email. 

Your Zap will need to look like this:

  1. Trigger: Email Parser new email
  2. Action: Excel - add row to sheet

The key to this Zap is setting up the email parser. Email Parser by Zapier allows you to extract text from emails to use as separate fields in your Zaps.  To get you started with Email Parser, check out the following guides:

https://zapier.com/help/create/email-and-text-messages/set-up-your-email-parser-account-in-zapier

https://zapier.com/help/create/email-and-text-messages/trigger-zaps-from-new-parsed-emails

When you send an Email to the Email Parser, it’s important that it’s always set up in the same way. For example, you could ask people to always use the following format:

Date:

Time:

From:

To:

Then every time an email is sent to the Parser, the Zap will catch it and give you the date, time and from and to location as separate fields. The Zap can then add automatically add these to your Spreadsheet.

I hope that’s clear, let me know if you have any questions!