9 Tips & Tricks for Using Triggers & Automations to Make Your Life Easier
It seems just about everything is in the cloud these days from old favorites like Word and Excel to newer products like Slack for chat and Todoist for list and product management.
The advent of cloud computing has also brought along new ways to save time by enabling communication between those various cloud platforms in order to automate tasks. Things as simple as saving SMS messages to a spreadsheet or flashing the lights when an important email comes in can make life easier.
We can all use a little more time these days and using triggers and automations can free up minutes per day that can turn into hours per week.
At Pro Tech Guy, we’re always looking for ways to make our residential and business clients’ lives easier through efficient use of technology. One of the ways we do that is through our Cloud Care Premium service which combines managed antivirus and malware protection with other benefits like managed Windows and software updates and unlimited cloud backup.
If you’re looking to save time by letting technology take on some of your manual tasks, read on for some great automation triggers you can start using right away.
How Do Automations & Triggers Work?
To get the most out of a program that enables automations between a variety of cloud-based applications, it helps to understand how the process works.
There are many online facilitators you can use to set up automations, two of the most popular are:
IFTTT’s name actually helps explain how the trigger process works. Their name is based on the term “If this, then that.” Or in other words, if THIS thing happens, THEN do that thing.
So, for example, if you were setting up a volunteer training workshop and were receiving registrations by email, you could set up the following automation to capture those emails automatically in a spreadsheet.
Trigger: When a new email comes into a specific email address.
Automation: Add email as new row into specific spreadsheet
Using the “if this” (trigger) with “then that” (automation), there are tons of things you can do to not only save time but also eliminate re-keying errors.
Time-Saving Automations for Home & Work
Some automations are real time savers and can also improve productivity, while others are just for fun. Both can help make your life better whether you’re at home or the office.
73% of customer support professionals say managing workload and time is their biggest issue. (Workato)
Here are some great automations you may want to try.
Keep Your Facebook & Twitter Profiles in Sync
Save time when updating your profile by connecting Facebook and Twitter via IFTTT so that when your Facebook profile is updated, Twitter automatically grabs and applies the same update.
Keep Up with Sales Invoices
Having trouble keeping up with cash flow projections and which invoices your team has out there? Have Zapier set up an automation that sends a digest of new Xero sales invoices to your Gmail account either daily, weekly, or monthly.
Save Time on Repeat Texts
If you have an iPhone, you can take advantage of Siri Shortcuts, automations that Apple enabled in their iOS 12 update. Say you often text your co-worker while on the way to work, “I’m at Starbucks, do you want your usual?”
Instead of typing that out each time, you can set up a Siri Shortcut that will send the text to the appropriate person automatically on a voice prompt of your choosing, like “Hey Siri, Starbucks run.”
Make Project Management Even Easier
If you use Asana for project management and Slack for team communications, streamline the process by connecting the two with Zapier. This allows you to create new Asana tasks from a Slack chat, and then have updates to the project trigger notifications between the two programs automatically to help you keep on top of what’s happening from either place.
Add Your Favorite YouTube Tracks into Spotify
Keep the music you love automated by using IFTTT to add any favorited YouTube track to a Spotify playlist automatically.
Morning Wake Up Call
Instead of just an alarm going off, how would you like to wake up to a pleasant greeting, a reminder of what time you need to head out the door, and the morning’s weather report? Siri Shortcuts can enable this automation by connecting the appropriate apps to help your day start off right.
Automatically Post Blogs to Your Facebook Page
Whether you’re a personal or business blogger, you can save a considerable amount of time by using Zapier to automatically post new blogs that you publish in WordPress to your Facebook page.
Get an Alert When an Astronaut’s in Space
This one is more on the awesomely fun side and could help impress friends and colleagues. Through an IFTTT trigger you can get a SMS alert or email anytime an astronaut enters space.
Save Time on Accounting Entry
Using Zapier, you can reduce manual entry time and potential keying errors by automatically creating invoices in QuickBooks online for any new Shopify orders that come in.
Learn More About Automating to Save Time & Money
Would you like some help setting up time-saving automations? Pro Tech Guy can sit down with you and help you decide which cloud applications to connect and how to get the integration set up to save you time by automating tasks.
Contact us today to get started at 508-364-8189 or through our contact form.