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What is Zapier and how do you use it?

John Sherman
2017-08-14

Technology was meant to make life easier. When machines automated our daily chores, we’d have more time to sit back and relax. That was the dream, but the reality has turned out a little different…

Today technology tends to take over our lives. We’ve got mobile phones that beep every time we receive a message through any one of our numerous communication platforms, as well as whenever anything happens in our favorite sport, as well as world news…

You get the picture. Instead of allowing us to control our lives more easily through technology, technology has gained the upper hand.

So how do we regain a balance again?

How do we save time through technology use, instead of losing it? Well Zapier might just have the answer.

This handy little tool saves you time to hand you back control of your life so that you can focus on the more important things. But what is Zapier and how do you use it?

Luckily for you, we’re here to help.

So what is Zapier?

As I’ve just mentioned, Zapier is here to help us save time and focus on what is important to us.

To do this, Zapier automates our lives. Our lives with apps, that is. It acts as a puppet master that pulls endless strings to improve communication between each tool and reduce our workload.

And the beauty of this is that you don’t need to know any coding or have any serious technical knowledge. In fact, it’s simple enough to use that anyone can use it.

The idea is this. By creating a “Zap”, users are able to automate tasks that involve two or more applications. The Zap defines the action that an app will take when it is triggered.

Five minutes here and ten minutes there throughout your day can really help to save time and make your working hours much more productive. And we all want that, don’t we?

How to Use Zapier 

Let’s delve a little deeper into the fun we can have with Zapier, and how we can best use the app to make our lives easier.

Zapier is very useful when connected to other helpful apps that can be used to manage projects and communicate like Todoist, Asana, and Slack. Because programs like these are often the managerial system between teams, Zapier can connect to them and insert helpful shortcuts that will reduce heavy labor for you.

But Zapier has many, many uses and can be used with workflow apps like Trello, sales and CRM software like Pipedrive, and information gathering apps like Typeform.

If you’d like a full list of the hundreds of different software products that Zapier can work with, then click here.

  • Organize Dates and Deadlines

An enduring problem of working online is the ability to properly communicate – and make sure they are stuck to – deadline dates and times for meetings, calls, or other daily business.

Zapier can help make this much easier. There are a variety of ways and means to help you and one great Zap is for this is the Asana Tasks to Google Calendar Zap. This clever innovation connects deadlines and important dates created in Asana and adds them to Google Calendar. So, for teams who share Google Calendars, each member will receive updates and changes automatically giving you the freedom to set it and forget it, rather than manually reminding each team member.

This means less fretting and chasing down work for you when deadlines are approaching, and team members can always stay informed. This is a perfect tool for making team working that bit easier.

Though this Zap is for Asana Tasks to Google Calendar only, there are a whole host of Zaps to connect with Google.

  • Sharing Important Content

Zapier can also help to shift files from email to online and cloud storage automatically, helping save precious working hours. Though useful for all teams, if you’re involved in industries like design, or perhaps a freelancer wanting to share timesheets, this Zap will be a particular joy.

With the Gmail to DropBox Zap, emails that are received in a specific Gmail account can be automated so that they are saved in their original format and uploaded to DropBox. Triggers can be specified so that personal information isn’t shared.

This is a really simple way of sharing some vital information with colleagues or friends that grants you freedom from those little irritations that can get in the way of more productive work hours.

  • Keep Mailing Lists Updated

Want to keep your mailing lists updated and automated so that you don’t have to go through a boring job yourself? Well there are many, many Zaps for that. There are currently over 100 Zaps to improve the connectivity of MailChimp, one of the leading marketing email services. This means that your email campaigns can stay ahead of the game with an easy, straightforward to use Zap.

For example, one Zap allows users to automatically add the attendees of a given Eventbrite event to your MailChimp list of choice.

So if you keep your eye on various industry events, every time someone registers for the event, they are added to the list of people who will receive your emails connected to their interest. Neat, huh?

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