5 things you should automate today

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How much time do you spend each day moving information from one app into another? If you use software at work, you’re probably moving data around manually at least some of the time.

We think you should make the computers do that for you. Why? Automation saves you time, reduces human errors, and improves efficiency overall. Instead of spending time copying and pasting, you can and should focus on things that require—and deserve—human brainpower.

Zapier users often automate these five tasks because they’re necessary—and painful to do manually. If you’ve been taking the manual route, you can instead use our automated workflows (we call them Zaps) to take care of them for you.

Five things you should automate:

You’ll need a Zapier account to use the workflows in this piece. If you don’t have an account yet, it’s free to get started.

Message your team about leads or customers

If a lead comes in and nobody acts on it, did it actually come in? We can’t answer that question—we’ll leave that to philosophers—but what we can do is help you make sure this never happens.

You could say it’s one of the things we do best. People commonly use Zapier to notify teammates about leads.

It’s a simple Zap—what we call our automated workflows—to set up. All you need to do is connect whatever source you’re getting leads from to whatever communication tool your team uses the most. That way your team gets notified every time a new lead comes in, in the place they’re most likely to see it, so they can take action right away.

For example, you could send an email to your team whenever a lead comes in. Here are some quick Zaps to get you started.

To get started with a Zap template—what we call our pre-made workflows—just click on the Use this Zap button, and we’ll guide you through customizing it. It only takes a few minutes. You can read more about setting up Zaps here.

You could also set up notifications in your team chat app, either in a public channel or as a private message.

SMS is also an option.

You could send these leads to any messaging service supported by Zapier. Set this up once, and you’ll be able to react to new leads faster than ever before.

Message your leads or customers

It’s one thing to find out about new leads quickly, but what if you could follow up with leads without needing to do anything? It sounds like a dream, but you can also set that up with Zapier.

You could instantly follow up with new leads via SMS or email by having Zapier automatically send a message to your new leads.

You could also sign those leads up for your email newsletter, saving you from having to add them manually. Just make sure they’ve opted into the subscription first to make sure you’re staying compliant with GDPR.

Set up Zaps like these, and your new leads will hear from you with no effort on your part. It’ll increase the odds that you’ll end up working with them.

Automatically create and track calendar events

We’d be lost without our work calendars. Yet, it’s inevitable that you may miss an important meeting, all because the details were in a separate app.

If you’re juggling multiple calendars, you can keep all of them updated—even if they’re not in the same app.

Note: Two-way syncing between apps might result in a “Zap loop,” check out this guide on how to avoid them.

If client meetings are a part of a specific project, you can track them in your project management system or database.

And of course, once you have all your calendars updated, you shouldn’t be late. You can set up notifications for upcoming meetings in your team chat app.

Consolidate information in a spreadsheet or database

Spreadsheets are a great place to store all kinds of information, but manually adding information to them is time-consuming. This is why Google Sheets is one of the most popular apps on Zapier.

It’s easy to set up automatic workflows that send information to a spreadsheet, so you don’t have to spend time copying and pasting it in yourself. For example, you can send the information from forms that your customers have filled out to a spreadsheet.

You can also keep track of leads.

Or sales, if that’s what’s important for your business.

There’s really no limit here. If there’s information that’s incoming, somewhere, you can use Zapier to send it to a Google Sheet or to a database app like Airtable.

You can even move data between Google Sheets and Airtable if you want.

Stop copying and pasting information into spreadsheets or databases. Let the computers do it for you. They don’t get bored and also tend to make fewer mistakes.

Streamline your social media

There are too many social media networks, and you want to article on all of them. You could copy and paste from network to network, but who has the time? Instead, set up a Zap to do it for you.

For example, you could send every new Instagram photo over to Twitter, complete with the image.

You could also automatically tweet every article you make on your Facebook Page, videos you article on your YouTube channel, or even new articles you publish on your WordPress blog.

Or, if you’re the sort of person who forgets to article on LinkedIn, you can automatically send tweets there.

These are only a few examples. The point is you can set up Zaps that rearticle content so that you don’t have to. It will save you a little bit of time every day, which can add up to major time savings in the long run.

When you let computers do what they do best, you can focus more on the things that matter to you. Give these workflows a try and see how much time you get back in your day.

If you work with apps or software not included in this article, don’t worry—Zapier works with thousands of apps. Head to our App Directory and search for the one you use, or browse to find the right solution for your needs.

This article was originally published in February 2020, written by Justin Pot. It was updated in December 2021 by Krystina Martinez to include new recommended Zaps.

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