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Make vs. Zapier: Why I Moved

January has come and gone, and I’ve made the decision to fully move from Zapier to Make. I’m pleased with the functionality, the workflows, and the considerable cost difference1.

Here are my thoughts after one month with Make:

I really love the route building and general design of the scenarios better. The interface is much more intuitive. It’s easier to move things around, insert actions between other actions, create filters, and add routes.

MUCH. Easier.

You do need a little more know-how than with Zapier. Zapier has some tighter integrations with Dropbox and Google. For example, if you want to use your personal Gmail account, you need to spin up an API key for certain actions, instead of just authenticating.

It is a lot more secure though, as you’re not giving complete access to an app. You’re explicitly choosing the services you want the app to have access to.

Along what that know-how, you need to be mindful of how often your scenarios run. Since Make charges per operation, you can’t just let your automations run wild. I ended up hitting the 10,000 operation limit within 2 weeks.

Luckily, I was able to dial them back a reasonable amount and now I’m well within the limits of 10,000 operations per month, giving me wiggle room to add even more scenarios. And for what it’s worth, Zapier has this baked into their much higher cost.

The way to manage operations is to not have them run as often. The default is 15 minutes. I have some run every 2 hours, and some that run every 2 days. This is perfectly fine for me. They still run often enough that it doesn’t bottleneck my workflows. The hardest part was coming to terms with knowing they aren’t constantly running.

Make is much more affordable. I’d need to pay for around 90,000 operations to hit the same monthly costs as with Zapier. If I doubled my monthly operations, I’m still saving $55/mo on the billed monthly plan.

Finally, thanks to re-evaluating my automations, I was able to create more efficient actions, as well as move some automations to the native apps. For example, Vimeo has direct integration with Dropbox. I don’t need Make or Zapier as a third party anymore.

If you have any questions about Make, feel free to leave them in the comments!

  1. I got a few people tell me that the time savings is worth the month. My friends, the wealthy didn’t get wealthy by wasting money. And IMO, using Zapier over Make if you have more than 5 automations is a waste of money. ?
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The Belkin MagSafe Mount for Studio Display

I ordered the Belkin iPhone Mount with MagSafe for Mac desktops and displays in December, and it came in last week. My initial impression: it’s nice — way nicer than the laptop one.

Here’s the shot from my iPhone on the mount, first with, then without, Center Stage:

Here’s what I like about it:

  • It’s compact and folds up nicely
  • It’s fully adjustable for tilt, and the head slides so you can adjust the phone to sit closer or further from you.
  • It can be mounted on a tripod. This will likely replace All of the other phone tripod mounts I have.
  • The MagSafe is quite strong. I have the Peak Design case1 and the phone stayed mounted no problem.

All-in-all I’m really happy with this purchase. I highly recommend it if you have a monitor and want to use your iPhone as a webcam — whether or not you use Continuity Camera to do it.

Want a video demo? Join How I Built It Pro

Here are a few more photos of the mount:

  1. Also MagSafe. More on that later. ?
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Doubling Down on Airtable

I’m a huge fan of Airtable; it’s the very basis of my podcast planners. But up until now, I haven’t been using it to its full potential.

I do some cool things, especially when it’s paired with Zapier (soon to be Make), but there are a ton of features I’m not taking advantage of.

This was made incredibly clear to me thanks to two recent experiences:

The first was Justin Moore sharing his sponsor tracker in Notion. I took a look at how he was doing things, and there were some very complex functions in there.

The second is friend Brian Richards. He created an incredible system in Airtable that tracks and building sponsorship packages, leads, and all sorts of other information for his virtual events.

I have a few ideas, one being a content dashboard to track the various pieces of content I’m working on across different platforms and clients.

The other is my own sponsorship tracker; I have some pieces of this already for How I Built It, but I’d like to formalize it better.

Finally, I want to be better at social media this year. Part of that will be posting consistently (and better), and part of it will be bringing in my VA to do more.

I’m excited at the prospect of building better systems to help us work.

If you want to see BTS videos of what I’m working on, you can become a member of How I Built It Pro.


Putting More Effort into LinkedIn

The social media platform wars are an ongoing nuisance for content creators. It seems like you need to be on all of them all the time.

But with claimed that Twitter is dying1, and a potential ban on TikTok from the US Government, the push and pull of where to be continues to be a constant question.

Upon reflection, I’ve realized that I get the most engagement, growth, and positive leads from LinkedIn. This is likely a result of my niche — marketers and business owners who are serious about making a podcast part of their business — being there primarily.

My Process

So I’m going all-in there. My process since the new year has been:

  1. Spend 30 minute in the morning writing 300-400 words in a “thread-style” post.
  2. Convert that text to an image template in Canva, and export it to a PDF so I can upload it as a Carousel on LinkedIn.
  3. Add all of the info to an Airtable base for my VA to post.

I’m trying to 3-4 per week, with 2 longer threads and 2 questions for engagement.

So far it’s been great, but there are some process improvements I’d like to make.


One constraint: I want this to take no more than 30 minutes per day.

The first is getting my VA or some automated service to convert the text to a LinkedIn Carousel2. I will likely put the text in Google Docs and go from there.

I’d also like to repurpose that content back to Twitter since I’m not entirely ready to abandon that. This will likely be taking the text, putting it in Typefully, and posting it.

Again, something I might be able to automate.

Finally, I want to engage with more podcasters on LinkedIn. The process improvements should allow me to spend more of the 30 minutes doing that.


So far, I’ve gained followers at a much faster rate on LinkedIn than any other social media platform, and I’ve had very positive interactions. A good number of folks have also joined my mailing list or reached out about services.

I’ll continue to report (and probably make a video for my How I Built It Pro members, but I’m optimistic.

  1. I won’t go that far, but I’m not paying $8/mo for Blue and it seems like my engagement has tanked because of it. ?
  2. Banner Bear appears to do this but I haven’t evaluated it yet. ?
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Switching to Make

Formerly Integromat

One thing I like to do in December is review my expenses, switch things from yearly to monthly, and see what I can change.

This year I decided to switch Zapier from yearly to monthly and learned they charge an obnoxious 33% more because of it.

Combine that with a recent episode of the Automators podcast that covers Make, and I’ve decided to try switching completely to Make from Zapier.

Evaluation and Plan

I did a quick evaluation last week and saw it supports most of the apps I use in Zapier, and there are other alternatives for the ones I don’t use.

I tested the waters over the weekend by converting one of my most crucial Zaps to a Make Scenario, and it worked.

So throughout January, I’m going to see just how much of my operation I can move to Make. If all goes well, my last day with Zapier (at least as my primary automation platform) will be January 31st.

Want a Deeper Look at the Transition?

Members of How I Built It Pro will get behind the scenes looks at how the transition is going, as well as my thoughts on Make as a platform, and some basic tutorials. You can join here for $5/mo.

Trying New Tools

It’s the end of the year and I’m trying out a few new tools. The first is Raycast, which is a launcher similar to Alfred. So far I really like it. Like…replace Alfred like it. 

Next is Obsidian. I feel like I attempt to use this every 6 months, but I have a pretty legit usecase for it this time. I don’t think it will replace Craft, but it will be a great place to contain this new project I’m working on. 

In the world of physical products, I picked up a Stream Deck + and I love the dials. I feel like this will free up a lot of space for more shortcuts and actual productivity buttons. I’ll probably do a video for How I Built It Pro members.

I also bought a Kindle Scribe, which should arrive tonight. I’ve been going back and forth on getting a Remarkable, but have never pulled the trigger.

The fact that this allows me to annotate/make handwritten notes on Kindle books, and PDFs, is very appealing. I’ll be sure to keep you all posted.

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My Live Stream Kit

I routinely get questions about my live stream setup – I use and how it all works, so I thought I’d put together this quick post. If you have any questions, let me know!


  • eCamm Live: I use this as the software on my computer to get my streams to the internet. It integrates with everything, including Restream and Stream Deck. It also makes it easy to use iOS devices as additional camera sources
  • Restream.io: This is what I use to get the stream to YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook. Its free tier is shockingly good.
  • Riverside.fm: I use this more for podcasting than live streaming, but their recent streaming features have me wondering if I should switch things up.


You can learn more about my hardware setup on the What’s on my Desk post.

Walk Through!

I was recently asked how I ran a webinar, so I made a quick video walk through:

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3 StoreBuilder Features That Make it the Best eCommerce Solution

Ah, the age-old question: do you want ease of use, or the freedom to do with you want with your eCommerce store? Shopify is easy but expensive (especially since they take a transaction cut). But WooCommerce and other self-hosted platforms are hard to set up and harder to maintain…until now.

With Nexcess’ StoreBuilder, you can have the best of both worlds: the ease of use from Shopify, and the freedom and flexibility of WordPress/WooCommerce. Here are my Top 3 features of StoreBuilder:

  1. A simplified WordPress Dashboard menu. The Dashboard can get extremely messy – especially when you add in WooCommerce. With StoreBuilder, the team rebuilt the menu to make it more simplified, which in turn makes it easier to find the crucial areas you need to run your online store.
  2. A vastly improved Setup Wizard. The WooCommerce wizard is fine, but the StoreBuilder wizard is next level. You can choose from tons of great designs, make customizations, and set up your shop in a few clicks. Plus, you don’t have to worry about upsells! It even includes helpful videos from WP101 directly inline, to help you along.
  3. Access to lots of premium plugins. One of the great things about StoreBuilder is that you get access to premium plugins you’d otherwise need to pay for. From security and backups, to abandoned cart plugins, you get everything you need without any fuss.

Try StoreBuilder risk-free for 30 days. Then it’s just $19/mo.


I’m Writing in Ulysses Again

Back in January, I asked, Is it time for me to ditch Ulysses?, citing syncing issues and the want to consolidate all of my writing/researching/note-taking apps into one1.

Well, I’m happy to say that after 4 months of trying Craft for all of my writing, I’m back on Ulysses. There were a few reasons why I deeply missed writing here.

Customized Writing Experience

The first is the ability to deeply customize the writing experience. I love that I can choose the color schemes and fonts. Ulysses is also the only app I’ve used that gets paragraph spacing just right….and I love writing using Hoefler Text.

Craft is really limited in this area. Yes, there is some customization, but I can’t even set universal settings for Workspaces, so all of my documents start as one style (the one I prefer for note-taking), and I have set the style I like for writing per document.

Deep WordPress Integration

Next is the tight integration with WordPress2. I can easily publish to all of my WordPress sites directly from Ulysses. While Craft kind of has this functionality through Craft X, it’s clunky and I don’t really trust it with my credentials, so I would copy the markdown and move it to the block editor, which was not great.

With Ulysses, you can even update articles in the app and push those updates to the already published post. ????

Easy Footnotes

Finally, easy footnotes. I actually can’t believe how much I missed this; I found myself doing a lot more parenthetical writing because I couldn’t easily insert footnotes in Craft. It’s really nice to have this functionality back.

It’s OK to Experiment!

I’ve been saying “Content creation is experimentation” a lot lately, and that’s true with it comes to the type of content, as well as workflows. It’s easy to get lost in the weeds of tools and shiny object syndrome, but if there’s a legitimate improvement you can make to your process, you should make it.

Similarly, if the change isn’t working, it’s OK to go back to the old way.

  1. That one being Craft, which I use for everything else. ?
  2. Now with REST API support! ?