When we talk about digital, there is an endless list of softwares to use, for each of our tasks: updating our website, amplifying our social networks, meeting online, SEO, our own productivity, etc. So we hear a lot about automation, and plugging software. We already know for example that on Linkedin, each time we post something, we can automatically tweet it also. That’s great, right? That’s 20 sec. saved. What if we could do that with any software we use?
That‘s the goal of websites like Zapier: to connect software we use on a daily basis, and to automate these tasks. I heard about it on a recent course about Technologies, by Julien Grossiord.
Of course, different websites can do that, and I could have done a full comparison between each of them, but I personally use Zapier since then, and I will explain to you why.
- The goal of automation is to use it, not to talk about it.
I’ll tell you about one software only because the main goal is to get started, fast. If we want to save time and automate tasks, the good way seems to begin using it. After some tests, if it does not fit, you can still look for another software, you will already know a bit about the subject.
- An API, without coding?
Zapier uses the principle of API (Application Programming Interface), but without the need to code. It’s a user-oriented website, where you only choose, drag, drop. That’s cool.
- The first automations are free.
A good way to get started.
- A huge range of softwares and apps are available
Zapier can do automation on 500+ apps and softwares, among the most famous: Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox, Salesforce, etc.
So what can I do with Zapier? (examples)
You first have to choose a category of apps to automate: social, project management, e-commerce, invoicing, file management, personal, etc.
As there is a huge list of softwares available, we can easily be lost, and not knowing where to begin. So I will give you examples, in some different categories.
- Beginner example: Each time I receive an email with the word “invoice” in the subject line, I save the invoice attached automatically on my Dropbox account, for archive purpose.
- Advanced example: you can create a task list (on Notes, Evernote, Trello, etc.) from Gmail labels. Ex: each time I receive email from La Poste, it adds a task on my “Saturday morning things to do” list on Trello.
- Beginner example : you can automatically post new WordPress posts on Facebook
- Advanced: you can make WordPress post from a Google document or a Evernote note.
- Beginner example: each time I have a new customer on my website, his email is added to my Sugar-CRM (or Mailchimp mailing list)
- Advanced example: you can create a public helpdesk (like Zen desk) from a simple Google form entry
How can I find tasks I can automate in my life?
The secret recipe seems to say this sentence:
“Each time I do this, I want it to do that”.
Each time you can say this sentence about one of your tasks, it means that you want to automate something. And you will save time by doing it.
“each time”: that means you need to automate
“I do this”: this defines the 1st app to connect
“To do that”: this defines the 2nd app
Look for the tasks you do without thinking, only because “you have to do it”. You will find a good way to start.