5 Effective Automation Strategies for Working From Home
We’ve compiled pre-made workflows to help you automate your tasks with Zapier while working remotely. How much time do you spend repeating tasks that could otherwise be automated? In a global team, employees are still required to stay connected to their work regardless of their actual location.
Automation is simply setting something up to run automatically. It's as simple as "when this happens, do that." Whether it’s moving information between apps, adding a recurring task to your to-do app or another boring repetitive task, it takes a lot to manage data across multiple platforms.
Zapier helps you automate repetitive tasks between two or more apps—no code necessary. When an event happens in one app, Zapier can tell another app to perform (or do) a particular action. Within the 3000+ apps and integrations listed in their App Directory, it's very likely your most used app is supported by Zapier.
Zapier automates tedious tasks between web apps through automatic workflows called Zaps. The basic structure of a Zap is that there is a trigger app and an action app. Following the formula of "when this happens, do that", an example is whenever a new record is created in Airtable (the trigger app), a corresponding event is created in Google Calendar (the action app).
To help you get started, we’ve compiled 10 tasks that can be automated with Zapier, accompanied by pre-made workflows to help you automate your tasks. Just click on the Use this Zap button to duplicate the workflows and customise them.
Send a weekly reminder to your team
It is common practice to place team communication as an integral part of the working environment, to get people in meetings, or make company-wide decisions. Sending an effective meeting reminder is a key part of this.
Zaps can automate many common tasks, such as sending out a weekly reminder email to your team. All you need to do is connect Zapier to the communication tool your team uses. That way your team gets notified every time there's a need to take action right away.
To help you get started, we rounded up some most used Zaps that automatically send reminder messages on a recurring schedule.
Send weekly emails with Gmail
Get weekly reminders in Slack
Send Discord channel messages once a week
Send weekly emails with Microsoft Outlook
Send weekly channel reminders in Microsoft Teams
At the end of the day, automating these types of tasks with workflow automation saves valuable time so you can focus on more hands-on projects.
Consolidate data in a database or spreadsheet
From copying emails of event attendees to a database to keeping track of your sales, populating spreadsheets can be a handful of time-consuming tasks, especially between remote teams.
With Zapier you can move information from forms that users have filled out to a spreadsheet, or between spreadsheets without manual logistics.
The most common spreadsheet apps you can use on Zapier are Airtable and Google Sheets. We've embedded some of the most popular Zaps using Airtable and Google Sheets.
Collect new Typeform responses as rows on Google Sheets
Save new Eventbrite attendees to Google Sheets spreadsheets
Add new Stripe sales as rows on Google Sheets
Save new Square transactions to Google Sheets rows
Add new Typeform entries to Airtable as records
Add new Gmail emails that match searches to Airtable as records
Capture new HubSpot form submissions in Airtable
Add new Airtable records in a view to Google Sheets
Save new Google Sheets rows to Airtable
Create rows in Google Sheets for new Gravity Forms submissions
A key benefit is that automatic workflows tend to make fewer mistakes. They also don't get bored with repetitive copying and pasting. There's no worrying about mistakes or inconsistencies within large data because of this workflow automation system.
Time Tracking for billing purposes
As a freelancer or really for anyone that works in a field where you need to track billable hours. Time tracking and getting an accurate log for billing clients is very important.
You could select your favourite time-tracking app and promise to remember to start the timer, but with another app added to your existing apps, it's really easy to forget. Also, manually doing this does not account for the time spent in time-tracking.
You can use Zapier to accurately track the time used for billing your clients. Integrate time-tracking applications to Google Calendar to easily monitor the time spent on making phone calls and meetings. When integrated, the zap will automatically start the timer whenever a calendar event starts.
Start TMetric timer when Google Calendar events start
Start Toggl time entries when Google Calendar events start
Add new Google Calendar events to your HourStack week
You can also automatically create a spreadsheet log of the time-tracking apps.
Add new Toggl time entries to a Google Sheets spreadsheet
Add new Harvest Time Entries to a Google Sheets spreadsheet
Save new Timeneye time entries as rows in Google Sheet
Log new Toggl time entries on Excel
If you regularly bill clients for time, these zaps make billing a client easier, more accurate and less time-consuming. This gets the job done without getting you worked up about forgetting to hit the start timer.
Coordinate activities with Project Management Tools
There's no shortage of project management apps out there. You may prefer to manage a separate app for projects and tasks, each with its own method, or create a connection between the apps with Zapier.
A very popular project management app is Asana. Asana is a collaborative information manager for the workspace. It helps you organize people and tasks effectively.
Zapier allows you to connect with Asana to organize projects. Create a trigger then create a specific task in another app (action app). When someone creates a new task through Asana, you can create a corresponding action.
Create Toggl projects from new Trello boards
Add new Asana tasks in projects to TMetric as tasks
Create tasks in Asana when deals enter a new stage in HubSpot
Create Asana tasks from new or moved Trello cards
Add new Typeform entries to Asana as tasks
Create Asana tasks from new Google Forms responses
Create Asana tasks from new saved Slack messages
Create Asana Tasks from new emails in Gmail
You can manage projects and integrate CRM software with these Zaps. It saves money and is easily customizable with different tasks and triggers.
Manage task list with task management apps
The typical scenario with our everyday activities is task-based. We start the day with ideas on things to do and hope that we can make it through crossing every item off the list.
Crossing an item off the list might be easy when there are no blockers attached. But what happens when you make a mental note of something someone has told you they need, an urgent task, or a follow-up message but then you forget about it entirely? It happens more often than we care to admit.
There are a number of task management apps that can be integrated with Zapier. Sending requests to your to-do list application via this medium takes care of the actionable steps needed to tick off an item. You can automatically turn those requests into tasks with the right Zap.
A popular Zapier integration is Todoist. Here are a few examples using Todoist, but you can do this with any task management app.
Add completed Todoist tasks as highlights in RescueTime. RescueTime is a management and analytics tool for workers who want to be more efficient and productive.
Add new incomplete Todoist tasks to TMetric as tasks
Add new saved Slack messages to Todoist as tasks
Add new starred emails to Todoist as tasks [Business Gmail Accounts Only]
Create Todoist tasks from new Evernote reminders
Add new OneNote notes to Todoist as tasks
Add new Trello cards to Todoist as tasks
Make new tasks in Microsoft To-Do from Trello cards
Generate tasks in Todoist from new Microsoft To-Do tasks
Set up a few Zaps like this and you'll wonder how you ever remembered to do anything without it.
There is no shortage of tools that will help you automate your tasks. There’s always a new app that’s guaranteed to help you streamline work and make tedious tasks easy.
However, manually managing these apps can be tasking as well. That’s where marketing automation platforms come in. With Zapier workflow automation, it's easy to save hundreds of hours by automating tasks that would otherwise need to be done manually.
We've set out only a few examples of tasks that can be automated. This is not limited to automatically sending or receiving reminders but also gives you back valuable time to focus on the tasks that require higher priority.
This article was originally published on Bannerbear.com on November 25, 2021. Written by: Juliet Edjere
I'm Juliet 'Hiri' Edjere, a no-code expert focused on design, business development and building scalable solutions with minimal coding knowledge.
I document all things product stories, MVP validation, and how designs, data and market trends connect to one another.