Ever wish you could have a personal assistant? Better yet, ever wish for one that you don’t even have to talk to?
That’s what I think of when I think of Zapier. While there are potentially a million ways to describe Zapier, it’s essentially a tool to help you accomplish more by automating processes and activities in your life that are draining your time.
Why Should I Care About Zapier
Think you don’t have anything that you could automate? Well, how much time do you spend doing any of these things?
- Saving articles to read
- Remembering to take a pill at night
- Checking the weather every morning
- Remind people about upcoming meetings
- Sharing content on social media
- Inputting data about your workouts
- Storing photos
- Adding tasks to your task manager
Just a few minutes? Let’s say you spend a total of 15 minutes a day doing all of those things combined. (Honestly, you probably spend a lot more than that, and there are probably many other manual tasks that you repeat each day.) Do you know how much of your life you spend doing these things?
The best notification system for me is always a text message. I don’t always check my email, and I turn off the notifications from most apps from my phone. You can’t ignore texts as easily as other notifications, and since I don’t get a ton of notifications there so when I do get one, it stands out for me.
I use Zapier to give me very specific notifications via text, but I don’t go overboard here. If I bombard myself with texts, it will just become another channel I ignore.
Some things I do are…
- At 7pm send a text that says “Focus on your tasks!” (I could even include my to do list if i wanted to.)
- At 10pm each night, send a link to a google doc reminding me to update my budget for the day.
- When I get a new customer from Shopify, send me a text message.
- When my mom sends me an email, send me a text message.
Do you ever spend time following up with people to remind them about an upcoming meeting? Or do you add your calendar events to your task manager? Zapier can handle all of that for you, whether you use Google Calendar, Calendly, YouCanBookMe, or other calendar tools!
Since I shut off notifications on my computer during the day, but I spend a lot of time in Slack, I’ve found the Zapier can help me manage my upcoming meetings in Slack. You can make a zap with the trigger of “15 minutes before a meeting starts” and an action of “send me a message on Slack” or anything else that gets your attention.
It’s easy to get distracted by articles that you find online, whether it’s in your inbox, slack, or just a random rabbit hole you traveled down. If you stopped what you were doing every time you found an article to read, would you ever get any work done?
I’ve found it helpful to sort all of my reading together so that I can batch my “article reading” time and not worry about getting distracted with it while I’m in the middle of other things. Zapier also helps with this. When you find an article you want to read, you can use the chrome extension “push by Zapier” to send it to a Trello board, your email, or anywhere else you want! If you get emails with article, you can trigger a zap by applying a label to an email. Then you can send it to Pocket, Trello, or anywhere else.
Nobody watches the morning news anymore, and hey sometimes it’s hard to predict the weather for the day just by looking out your window. Imagine getting a text message each morning as you wake up that tells you the weather for the day? Yep – you guessed it – Zapier can do that for you. Text, email, or any other outlet you can imagine.
Updating Spreadsheets With Data
If you’re a nerd like me, then there are certain pieces of data or information that you like to collect in a spreadsheet. Zapier can help you with some of that manual input so you can just analyze the data whenever you want. For example, if you want to log your workouts in a Google Sheet, Zapier can help with that.
Another nerdy example is logging how many emails you get each day. Just set up a Zap to add a row for every email you get and the date, then you can use the count feature and tally it up! That’s just an idea… what are pieces of data that you’re tired of manually logging? Chances are, Zapier connects with that app and can do it for you.
Evernote Notes Become Tasks
Capture a lot of thoughts in Evernote? You can do just about anything once you drop something in Evernote. Add it to your task list, store it away in folder somewhere on your Google Drive, send it to a collaborator… you name it.
Store Your Instagram Photos
Do you capture a lot of your life via Instagram? I do. If you want to save those photos, then you can set up a zap to add your new Instagram posts to your Google Drive. Easily access and download those photos to your computer for the next time you want to use them!
Zapier makes it easy to set up triggers from other apps to turn those things into tasks on your to do list. You can also easily use the tasks themselves as triggers (like due dates for tasks) and make certain actions happen based off of those triggers.
If you spend too much time putting things in your to do list or checking your to do list, you might find that Zapier can automate that and not only save you time, but make you more effective at actually getting those tasks done.
Start Saving 4,500 Hours!
Zapier can do just about anything besides start your laundry and make coffee for you. But it won’t be long. Imagine what kind of things we’ll be able to automate in five years from now!
Ready to sign up for Zapier? It’s easy – you can get a free account with a limited number of zaps to try it out. Then when you see how awesome it is, you can upgrade to one of the other account options. Here’s the link if you’re ready to get started.
So now the only question is… what are you going to do with the 4,500 hours you’re saving??