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How Connecting Web Apps to Automate Your Tasks Is Easier Than You Think

How Connecting Web Apps to Automate Your Tasks Is Easier Than You Think

As the global population continues to rise, so too does the number of individuals who are regularly active online. According to the most recent data, this trend is even becoming increasingly prevalent in developing economies, with the rate of online users having risen by a staggering 3,606.7% in Africa between 2000 and 2012.

In addition to this, it is also important to note that the number of accessible web applications and features has soared proportionately during this time. This means that a growing social demographic is increasingly reliant on the Internet as a way of communicating and completing routine, everyday tasks, which relate to both professional and personal usage.

The obvious solution would seem to be to provide a real-time connection between the individual web applications that you use; however, this would typically require the assistance of skilled developers with the ability to create customized software packages. This represents a costly and time-consuming process, unless you have a personal knowledge of SaaS (Software as a Service) technology or easy access to third-party development teams.

Fortunately, this is no longer the case, as companies such Zapier have established a service which makes it easy for individuals to connect their favorite web applications and automate mundane, everyday tasks. But how exactly does the development team at Zapier achieve these goals, and what key benefits do they deliver to users? Consider the following.

1. Create a zap that meets your needs.

As a starting point, you will need to identify your most widely used web apps and create a unique zap (a “zap” being a blueprint for a task you need to do repeatedly) that connects them in real-time. You may wish to create a zap that sends you an SMS message when you receive a new email through Gmail, for example, while professional clients may look to convert a recently received entry form from Wufoo into a new lead on the Salesforce dashboard. Zapier has the capacity to convert both of these into a functional Zap, with software that utilizes the receipt of data to create a trigger that then translates into direct action.

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If we take the former as an example, you will need to create the trigger action (which in this instance is the receipt of an email to your chosen Gmail account and then establish the action of sending a text message to a selected number).

Zap

    2. Enter the details or your trigger and action to create your zap.

    In this instance, the next step is to link your chosen Gmail account (trigger) and mobile phone number (action). To begin, simply log in to your account in a separate window before typing the address into the text box as below.

    Zapier will then automatically verify your email address and grant permissions, before requesting that you follow a similar process with your mobile number. Here you will enter your mobile number of choice and confirm whether or not you would like it to be verified by text or a direct voice call.

    You will then be sent a unique PIN as identification, which can be entered to activate your Zap. Regardless of the precise trigger or action that you use, you will follow a similar verification process to guarantee ownership of the account and authorize permissions.

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    Zapier 2

      Zapier 3

        3. Filter your zap according to your exact requirements.

        The next stage of the process requires you to develop your Zap and create any filters to help guarantee a viable source of information.

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        You can start by establishing the criteria for your trigger, which in this case would instruct Zapier to only send notifications when you receive emails to a specific folder or from a selected individual address.

        As a general rule, you may want to receive an SMS notification when a new message arrives in your inbox, which ensures that you are kept up to date without having to manually filter spam and junk emails. Zapier also enables you to customize filters, depending on the nature of your trigger and your precise needs.

        Once this has been completed, the next step is to test your newly created Zap by sending a personalized message to your account and waiting for the subsequent SMS notification!

        Zapier 4

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            The Last Word

            Whether you use Zapier to connect personal or professional online accounts and networks, the main benefit of the software is that it helps you to develop focus while also saving valuable time and money.

            From a commercial perspective, there is a unique opportunity to allow Zapier to manage the repetitive, everyday tasks that relate to business operation, while you can turn your focus towards more strategic activities such as marketing and cultivating long-term growth.

            This is without spending money on hiring costly developers or freelancers, however, as Zapier negates the need for complex service or web application integration.

            Above else, you can monitor and manage your Zaps through a real-time dashboard, and make changes to your triggers and actions whenever the need arises.

            For personal users, Zapier provides a service that can instantly connect multiple email accounts, social media networks and mobile SMS centers. This has the potential to free up more time in the average day, and ultimately allow you to enjoy more recreational activities with friends, family and loved ones.

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            Last Updated on September 25, 2019

            7 Best Project Management Apps to Boost Productivity

            7 Best Project Management Apps to Boost Productivity

            Project management doesn’t need to be a complicated thing, not if you have apps that make things a whole lot simpler. When you have project management apps, you can take care of your team, tasks and deadlines, without even being in the office. You don’t even have to spend a lot of money to get most of the apps you might need.

            Here are the 7 best project management apps to super boost your team’s productivity:

            1. Basecamp

              It’s probably the most well-known project management app out there. It allows you to organize projects that act as a central location for everything and contains such things as to-do lists, notes, events, files, and much more.

              It is user-friendly, and has a free 30-day trial period. After that, the plan is $99 per month.

              Find out more about Basecamp here.

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              2. Asana

                If you are looking for something that is not difficult to use, check out Asana. This is a great task management app that can be used for managing projects as well.

                In a nutshell, Asana helps you create and share task lists with your team. The app is simple but smart enough and has got a lot of integrations. Teams with up to 15 members can use Asana for free. Teams with 15 members and up can choose plans that range from $10.99 per month.

                Find out more about Asana here.

                3. Casual

                  This is a unique app that offers a different way of doing things. On Casual, you plan your tasks just by drawing them as a flowchart. The neat thing is that Casual helps you visualize and track dependencies between tasks.

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                  This app is incredibly intuitive and works great for personal projects, as well as for organizing projects for small teams. You can try it for free, and if you don’t like it, there is no obligation to pay for anything.

                  Find out more about Casual here.

                  4. Trello

                    This app is incredibly user-friendly, and is based on Kanban boards. It actually works like a virtual whiteboard with post-it-notes.

                    Trello is great for organizing your to-do lists, ideas, and is very easy to use. You can create several boards to use for various projects, and it’s free of cost. Trello is available to iOS and Android users as well.

                    Find out more about Trello here.

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                    5. OmniPlan

                      This is an awesome app for iPhone and iPad users. If you love Gantt charts, this is definitely an app that you can get a lot out of.

                      You start out by creating a simple project outline. Then you can use the app to help you through every step of the project until its completion.

                      A standard plan for iOS costs just $99.99, and the pro plan is only $199.99.

                      Find out more about OmniPlan here.

                      6. Podio

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                        This is a great app for medium and large-sized teams working on projects. The special point about Podio is that there are additional features such as CRM and social intranet.

                        There are four different packages: Free, which is free for up to five employees and five external users; Basic, which is $9 per month per employee; Plus, which is $14 per month per employee, and Premium, which is $24 per month per employee.

                        Find out more about Podio here.

                        7. Microsoft Project

                          This is one of the most commonly-used project management apps. However, it is also one of the most difficult apps to use. It does have a lot of features that are popular with project managers, which is why we have chosen to include in on this list. You can customize reports, track burn rates, and stay on track until projects are complete.

                          The basic plan starts with $7 per month, which allows you project team members to collaborate in the cloud, via web browser or mobile.

                          Find out more about Microsoft Project here.

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                          Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

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