12 min read

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

by Juliet Edjere · November 2021
5 Effective Automation Strategies for Working From Home
5 Effective Automation Strategies for Working From Home

Contents

    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 its 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 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 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 their 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 workspace. It helps you organize people and tasks effectively.

    Zapier allows you to connect 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 enters 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 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.

    Key Takeaways

    There are no shortage of tools that will help you automate your tasks. There’s always a new app that’s guarantees to help you streamline work and make the 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 send or receive reminders, but also giving you back valuable time to focus on the tasks that require higher priority.

    Juliet Edjere@juliethiri
    Juliet is a writer and product strategist. She is passionate about products, technology and people, particularly building scalable solutions on top of no-code tools.

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