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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.

How I’m Experimenting with Automation (Spring 2022)

Back in the summer of 2018, I talked about how I was going to dedicate more time to automation. Since then, I’ve automated significant parts of my business, including guest outreach and booking, project creation, and even workspace configuration.

Now that Shortcuts has reasonably good Mac support, and I have an Apple Silicon Mac, I’m re-evaluating my automation strategy and exploring what more I can do with these tools.

Automations I’m Working On

There are currently a few things I’m working on that I think solve interesting problems…a lot more advanced that just connecting Thing 1 to Thing 2.

My “New Trip” Shortcut

Recently I completed a revamp of my travel automation, swapping out Omnifocus for my new task manager, Todoist…though truth be told, Omnifocus is a much better steward to the Apple platform.

The old one would ask for a name and a number of days, then calculate when I needed to order a plane ticket and create some tasks that I do for every travel event. The new one asks for a name, start date, and end date. This allows me a bit more flexibility. Plus, Shortcuts makes it easy to calculate the number of days between 2 days.

I also added 3 new actions:

  1. Create a calendar entry for the event…which isn’t something I remember to do right away.
  2. Create a Craft note in my “Travel” folder for the event.
  3. Run my Packing List shortcut, passing the number of days

These are massive improvements that let me overlook one very annoying shortcoming of Todoist: I can’t use Shortcuts to create subtasks, projects, sections, or labels. In other words, it’s easy to get tasks in, but it’s not easy to organize them…which is frustrating.

Figuring Out How to Send Data From Zapier to Shortcuts

One of the biggest hurdles for me is that my notes app, Craft, doesn’t support Zapier. Because of that, I can’t use it for everything just yet. Instead, I’ve been using Evernote for my newsletter, and Notion for my Podcast Guest notes.

I’d love to change that and I have some thoughts on how to do it. There are 3rd party apps for Shortcuts, like Pushcut, which runs a server your shortcuts can access, Scriptable, which allows for JavaScript on iOS, and Data Jar, which acts as a database for Shortcuts.

I’m hoping with this combination of stuff, I’ll be able to automatically push information to Craft….or at the very least, make that data retrievable with a Shortcut. Doing a daily data dump is better than nothing.

More Workspace Experiments

Shockingly, I just learned that Moom allows for saving window configurations. So I’ll be working more with them to make better workspaces for specific projects.

I’m also going to check out more tools for making recording better, like Bunch, which is text-file automation.

And naturally, I’ll be tinkering with my Stream Deck throughout all of this.

Interested in Watching Me Experiment?

I like working in the open and thinking through problems like this. Currently, there are two ways to see how I work through this stuff:

  1. I live stream weekly on YouTube. Join my mailing list to get notified when I’m going live, or subscribe to my YouTube channel.
  2. Those live streams are only available while they are live. If you want access to the archive, and other experiments, you can join my membership. It’s $50/year and I put out content weekly.

What are you trying to automate? Let me know in the comments!


4 Ways to Make Podcasting Easier Through Automation

Podcasting is a time consuming effort, which is why many podcasts fall victim to the dreaded podfade1. It can sometimes feel like you need a herculean effort to get it all done. Come up with topics, find and book guests, coordinate schedules, do the tech checks, record, post production, then publishing and promoting. That’s why putting a process in place and moving things off of your plate is a must. Here are 4 tasks you can take off your plate thanks to automation.

Read More “4 Ways to Make Podcasting Easier Through Automation”

Writing Faster Newsletters with Zapier, Pocket, and Evernote

Over the past year or so, I’ve made a concerted effort to grow my mailing list. After lots of conventional wisdom from podcast guests, blog posts, and online courses, I felt it wasn’t really an option to ignore the advice! But one of the hurdles for me was actually putting together the newsletter. It was time consuming and not all that fun…until I started using Zapier for the heavy-lifting.

Read More “Writing Faster Newsletters with Zapier, Pocket, and Evernote”

Automating Your Life with James Rose

Have you every wondered how some people seem to do so much? Well this week I sit down with James Rose to unlock some of the secrets of one of my favorite topics: automation. We talk about what it is, how it works, and how you can use it to take some tasks off of your plate, and off of your mind.

The post Automating Your Life with James Rose appeared first on How I Built It .

Original Source: https://howibuilt.it/automating-your-life-with-james-rose/

7+ Ways To Learn Task Automation

Something I say a lot is automation helps you cut away the things you don’t need to do, so you can focus more time on the actual tasks that require your attention. I also talk about tools I like using for automation.

But where do you learn how to automate? Do you just try things and see what happens? Are there tutorials? Courses? Here are 7 fantastic resources for learning how to automate.

Read More “7+ Ways To Learn Task Automation”

Automating Saved Links with Pocket And Zapier

Back before I decided to start automating more, the way I would compile my newsletters was to save links to Pocket and then on Monday mornings, scour them for what to share, create the links, and sum up the stories. I also had to be careful that I didn’t share the same link two weeks in a row.

It was a lot of work. And then I realized that I could save myself a lot of trouble by using Pocket to automate not only my newsletter, but social sharing as well.

Read More “Automating Saved Links with Pocket And Zapier”

How You Can Start Automating Today

Time is also the only thing you can’t buy, or get more of. Do things that will save you time, and you will grow your business. I truly believe that and one of the best ways to find time is by automating the things you personally don’t have to do. There are lots of tools out there like Zapier, IFTTT, and Siri Shortcuts on iOS to make automating these fast and easy. Here are a few tips so you can start automating today.

Read More “How You Can Start Automating Today”

Automatically Scheduling Podcast Guests with Calendly and Zapier

Booking podcast guests can be a mess without the right tools. Missing one step can mean a bad recording, forgotten instructions, and unprepared interviewers. That’s why I’ve automated my entire guest booking process. I don’t forget anything, and I make sure guests are ready to record. Here’s how I do it.

Read More “Automatically Scheduling Podcast Guests with Calendly and Zapier”