For example, a cause could be an email attachment coming into Gmail and the effect would be to save the attachment in Dropbox for easy backup purposes. Also, schedule a recurring Zap to automatically save Evernote items in Google Calendar. The options are endless, with Zapier offering connections between over 200+ services.
Zapier – A Powerful Alternative to IFTTT
If used correctly, Zapier can be a very powerful tool for increasing productivity.The “Zaps” can help you automate a number of functions for more than 200 popular web services ranging from Dropbox, Evernote and Google Calendar, which are popular with the tech-savvy community, to more complex ones like MySQL and Amazon S3 – which are popular apps used by businesses. Even with such a huge range of apps, using Zapier is pretty easy.
Check out this video introduction of Zapier and see what all you can do using this clever service.
Let’s take a look at how to use this service to bend the web apps to your will. Too much? Well, it’s not really far from the truth!
How To Automate Your Tasks With Zapier
On your account dashboard, click “Create a Zap” to get started.
At this point, you can either continue making a custom Zap or choose from a variety of uploaded Zaps from other users. We’ll create a custom Zap for you. Let’s start with a simple one, to begin with.
As mentioned above, it’s required to choose both an action and a reaction. Among all the available services, we’ll select an email to be sent on the event of a new RSS feed item. So choose “RSS” for when a “New item in Feed” is detected and then “Email” to “Send Outbound Email” on detection.
Click “Continue” through the wizard until it asks for an RSS URL.
The custom filter available for selecting a particular feed is very exhaustive. After entering the “Feed URL,” choose from a variety of detected fields to narrow down how the filter should work.
For example, to only find feed items that have the word “Zapier” in them, we’d select that the “Title” “(Text) Contains” “Zapier.”
This entire custom filter field is optional.
The next step is to define the parameters for sending an email on the event action. The only required fields are the recipients, subject, and email body content, while fields such as attachments and CC/BCC are optional.
The final step lets you try the new Zap out to make sure it populates the data as it should. For our example, it’s showing the RSS items found at TechNorms, so we know it’s working.
If the custom fields were filled out for defining a new RSS item, this would be a useful point to double-check if the service is working as expected.
The final step is to name the feed for reference in your account.
An optional prompt will show when completing the Zap for sharing purposes in the Zapier app catalog. Share the newly created Zap with the Zapier community to get 50 free tasks/month. Just fill out information regarding what problem the Zap solves and then click “Share.”
We’ve shared this Zap if you want to get email updates when new posts are added here at TechNorms. View other shared items in this free PDF that lists’ 101 ways to use Zapier.
5 Useful Zaps To Get Your Feet Wet
While having an account for some time with Zapier, I’ve found the following to be great shared Zaps that can be used at any time by visiting the corresponding links. Keep in mind the free version of Zapier only allows 5 concurrent Zaps on an account.
- Get email alerts for WordPress comments
- Post RSS feed entries to a Facebook page or Twitter
- Turn unread Gmail messages to an RSS feed
- Get a customizable email alert for new Evernote notes
Zapier vs IFTTT
- IFTTT currently has 68 amazing channels for making connections between different services. Zapier, however, currently runs a whopping 224 web services.
- Zapier’s options for custom filtering (like with RSS feeds) makes nearly every Zap just that much more custom and usable for nearly any need. IFTTT doesn’t have such powerful filtering options.
- There are over 14,000 shared Zaps, while the IFTTT gallery boasts of around 71,000 recipes.
- Zapier has paid plans for higher usage, whereas IFTTT is totally free to use (as of today).
IFTTT and Zapier are obviously comparable. Both have numerous services for cross-connections and a wide variety of shared ones for use. If the web service you want isn’t listed with IFTTT and you prefer to have more options at hand, choose Zapier. To quickly get access to tons of shared recipes, IFTTT may be a wiser choice.