A sample of my Zapier zaps to wet your automation whistle
Something I wish I’d been able to find when I first got into Zapier: Examples, ideas, thoughts. Here’s mine.
Archive completed tasks
I use Skedpal to manage my calendar. Unfortunately its memory is not the best, events vanish a couple of weeks or so after they’re complete. This one’s simple, when a task is marked as complete it finds the event in Google Calendar and duplicates it to another calendar.
On: Create blog post
This one will be happening right now, if you caught this post quick enough.
When I publish a new post it chucks out a tweet on my account, then creates an event in my calendar (due in 3 days) to re-publish the post on Medium. It then adds the post to a digest. This digest is populated with links to my posts this month as well as other select project updates. The Zap is scheduled to release the digest on the last day of the month.
When it does, it grabs the current month using the Date / Time formatter and creates a draft email in the mailer I use (A self hosted Sendy install). It then finishes up by adding a task to Skedpal for me to test and send the newsletter. It also pings me on Slack in case I’m anywhere near a computer to send it straight away.
Some more of the same - New WYLTR episode
Next up is similar to the previous, but runs when a new WYLTR episode goes up.
First up it creates a draft for WYLTR’s mail list mail burst, then adds a link to the above-mentioned digest (Manual release trigger so that it doesn’t block the rest of the process till the end of the month!). Chucks a message on Slack so I knows this process is happening, chucks a message to the WYLTR Discord, chucks a task into my todo list to send the mailer, chucks a task in to post to the WYLTR Patreon.
Social stuff happens next. It chucks the post into my personal account’s Buffer (it’s something I’m trying out, it’s not triggered since changing from a standard Twitter post yet).
It then hits a 6 hour delay before posting to WYLTR’s Twitter - bit of background info my podcast host Transistor (referral link) auto-tweets for me immediately as the episode goes live. I don’t want to have a double tweet, but I do want to catch a later audience. Might get rid of this second tweet stage at some point. Not sure yet.
Deploy the website when there’s a new episode
Of course that last one is no use if a post never goes up to trigger it.
This RSS trigger goes by the podcast RSS feed directly, rather than WYLTR’s site feed. More background info the site is a Hugo site hosted on Netlify. It’s all static site nerd stuff, don’t worry about it. Anyway it needs a kick to make changes.
In this one when there’s a new podcast episode it will wait 4 hours before kicking off a site deploy (maths nerds in the crowd will realise the 6 hour delay before adds to this making a 10 hour delay between the auto-tweets)
The deploy assumes that I’ve written a post ready for the new podcast episode and set the date to the future at the time. This datetime will be after the current time (so it doesn’t post too soon) but before the time this trigger goes off. Effectively it’s just a nerd way of scheduling a post. It’s much easier to do in WordPress just use that.
That’s about it for now. Just wanted to chuck up a few Zaps that were a little beyond the normal IFTTT-like if one thing does something, do this. Lemme know if you’ve got any fancy ones in the comments! Also feel free to ask anything about automation, I’ll do my best to help you get lazy through tech!
Speaking of IFTTT, if all of this seems a bit too much (or Zapier’s price plan scares you off) you can do a lot of this sort of stuff in IFTTT. Unfortunately it’s a little more basic, no logic operators or multi-steps. Still for very basic thing there’s nothing wrong with doubling up a trigger.
If [website RSS feed] then [post to Twitter]
and a second
If [website RSS feed] then [post to Facebook Page]
will do you nicely for the basics
I’ll leave you with one that posts your blog posts to your Reddit profile