What I learned this week:
No app does it all - but luckily for us non-tech people, you can tie apps together and end up with truly useful automations.
The four platforms I've been able to find that help tie stuff together are:
- Zapier (the most common one)
- Integromat (very similar to Zapier but a bit more visual)
- Parabola (specifically useful for moving data)
- IFTTT (mostly for hardware, like Amazon Alexa, Ring, etc.)
I didn't really test IFTTT (Which stands for If This Then That) - as I don't own much smart home stuff, but it seems like they have a series of pre-built recipes to tie your smart home hardware together.
But the two main ones are Zapier and Integromat. These things are crazy.
As an example, let's say I run a blog, and I use Webflow/WordPress to host it.
Let's say I often don't have access to my laptop, but the submission process for my blog articles on Webflow/WordPress only works on desktop.
With a tool like Zapier, I could connect something more mobile-friendly like Google Forms to my Webflow/WordPress site, and actually write and submit my blog articles from Google Forms.
Then, let's say I have a newsletter on Mailchimp that I use to notify my audience when I post a new blog article. Usually, I fill in a template and copy-paste the summary info from the blog article into the email, and schedule it for the upcoming Monday. However, with that same Google Form, I could have a series of inputs that cover all the information needed in the newsletter, then send it out directly after I submit the form.
My whole blog/newsletter process has now been compressed into one single form that I don't even need my laptop to use.
That's a super basic example, but it shows how powerful these tools can be. I eventually want to get to the point where I can create fully functional products out of a subset of smaller apps.
Another common use case is connected databases to front ends. So, for instance, if I had a google sheet with data I wanted to display on my website, I could do that through Zapier. Connect Google Sheet data to Webflow or Wix collection items, and it's done. The updates won't be completely live, but they'll be close.
I would love to hear more use cases for this - obviously, mine are relatively simple - any ideas? Any stories you've heard?
Also, no pressure, but a retweet would be super amazing. :)