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10 of our favourite Zapier automations for project and task management

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To help you get a handle on your to-do list, we've curated some of our favourite Zaps for project and task management.

Project management has always been an essential skill when running a business. But now, with remote work structures thrown into the mix, aligning your team on what needs to be done, by who, and when, has never been more important.

Each of these ideas will simplify a unique aspect of your role, saving you time, money, and many headaches.

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1. Turn your notes and emails into tasks ✍️

Throughout the day, you likely send and receive emails that in some way relate to a task you need to accomplish or a thing you need to remember. You may also have a notepad (physical or digital) that you jot ideas down in too. But the busier your inbox, the more your notes fill up, the harder it becomes to stay organised.

Fortunately, Zapier offers many ways to automate the process of turning notes into tasks. You can connect email services like Gmail and notes apps like Evernote to task apps such as Trello, Wrike, and Todoist. In doing so, you'll ensure that you never forget the next thing on your to-do list. 

How to turn your notes into tasks using Zapier:

  1. Create a Zap that connects Evernote to Trello
  2. Create a notebook in Evernote that will link to Trello
  3. Set your Zap to trigger every time you add an item to this Evernote notebook
  4. Copy the new content in Evernote to a card in Trello

2. Share notes, tasks, and updates with your team 🗣️

When your team is working from home, it can be hard to keep everyone on the same page. Apps like Slack help, but only if and when people are participating in them. So, naturally, people drift into their bubbles and lose touch with their team's current events. 

Here, Zapier can help again. You'll be happy to find that many of the apps you use to track assignments, notes, and updates are integrated with Zapier. This means you can create Zaps that email team members when a task is complete, send Slack messages when you update your notes, and keep your team informed of what's expected of them. 

How to update your team through Zapier:

  1. Create a Zap that connects Airtable to Slack
  2. Set your Zap to run each time you create a new record in Airtable
  3. Have your Zap send a message to the assigned team member in Slack

3. Track your time automatically ⏰

Time tracking is critical in many business models. It's how you make sure that you're charging the proper amount, but it also helps you understand where your day is going and how you can be more efficient.

To avoid the painstaking process of manually adding your time in, you can create a Zap that automatically tracks your time when you start and stop working. Services like Toggl and RescueTime can be integrated with Trello and Google Sheets to create a real-time record of your work. 

How to track your time with Zapier:

  1. Create a Zap that connects Toggl to Google Sheets
  2. Have your Zap run every time a new time entry is added to Toggl
  3. Copy that time entry to a dedicated spreadsheet in Google Sheets

4. Manage your clients across platforms 💫

If you made the shift to remote work in the last year, you probably noticed that you are more dependent on apps now than ever before. And while these apps make life more convenient, the multitude of apps can lead to disjointed data. 

This is especially true when trying to keep up with clients, whose information, status, and requests can get lost in the noise. To mitigate this, you can sync information between apps using a Zap or even store that information in a central spreadsheet. 

How to manage your clients using Zapier:

  1. Create a Zap that connects Freshsales to HubSpot
  2. Have your Zap run each time you get a new lead in Freshsales
  3. Create a contact card in HubSpot for the new Freshsales lead

5. Combine your issue tracking and project management 🖇️

Hunting down assignments, creating a schedule, and sorting out issues. These business-critical activities too often get in the way of more meaningful (and enjoyable!) work.

To start reducing your workload, you can use Zapier to combine your issue tracking and project management. Rather than jumping from one to the other, trying to make sense of what's on your plate, you can automatically convert issues from an issue tracking service like Jira into tasks in Airtable or Trello. 

How to streamline your issue tracking in Zapier:

  1. Create a Zap that connects Jira Service Desk to Trello
  2. Set your Zap to run each time you get a new request in Jira
  3. Assign the new Jira request to a card and team member in Trello

6. Boost your remote collaboration 🙌

Distance working can cause staff to lose touch with your company's current affairs, but it can also affect your team's ability to work together. And every manager knows that the best results happen when your team is in harmony. 

Zapier allows team members to work together without ever needing to communicate. This is achieved through Zaps that connect apps, files, and communications that are traditionally separated. A task is completed here, notifying a team member there, so that a note can be left here, which is automatically stored in a file there. 

How to boost your remote collaboration with Zapier:

  1. Create a Zap that connects Evernote to Airtable
  2. Set your Zap to run each time you add new content to a notebook in Evernote
  3. Copy the new content in Evernote to a new record in Airtable
  4. Add a step that connects to Slack
  5. Have Slack message the assigned Airtable team member to notify them of the new record

7. Generate project management reports 📒

Automation’s biggest selling point is its ability to reduce boring, menial work. So the fact that tools like Zapier can be used to automatically generate project management reports is worth shouting about.

To boost your efficiency and still receive key insights into your performance, you can create Zaps that generate reports from apps like Airtable, Trello, and Asana. You can pull information from these apps, organise and label it in Zapier, and then have it stored in a form of your choosing. That form can then be emailed to you for review, whenever you’ve got the time.

How to use Zapier to create reports:

  1. Connect Airtable to Digest by Zapier in a new Zap
  2. Have your Zap run each time a new record is added to Airtable
  3. Add this data to an entry in Digest, collecting all new records and associated info over a specified timeframe
  4. Add a step that connects Gmail
  5. Have Gmail email you a copy of the Digest entry however often you want (every day, week, month, etc.)

8. Archive your completed projects (just in case) 🏷️

Long-time project managers know that a project is never complete, even after it's finished. Clients, supervisors, and even your future self might need to chase down an old note or file months or years down the line. And the last thing you want is to realise the data you need has been deleted. 

To save project data, you can pair a project management app (like Trello) with a note-taking app (like OneNote) to save your projects and tasks as they're created. That way, if something is accidentally or intentionally deleted, you always have a reference point.

How to archive you projects with Zapier:

  1. Create a Zap that connects Trello to OneNote
  2. Each time a new card is added to Trello, set this Zap to run
  3. Copy the contents of the new Trello card to a specific note in OneNote

9. Sync files across your cloud storage ☁️

Cloud storage works perfectly in theory. But in practice, it’s often a little trickier. Depending on your preferences, you probably use a specific cloud storage app or configuration of apps. And the likelihood that your clients all use that same configuration is slim to none. 

You can make sure that files are available to everyone regardless of which cloud service they're uploaded to without needing to manually move them. To do this, use Zapier to connect your existing cloud storage to the cloud storage service used by various clients. You can then set these to copy new files over to your storage, and voilà! Everyone gets to stick to their preferred platform, and you don't have to move everything by hand. 

How to sync cloud files using Zapier:

  1. Create a Zap that connects Google Drive to Dropbox
  2. Set your Zap to run whenever a new file is added to Google Drive
  3. Copy the new file to Dropbox

You can create another Zap that does the reverse (copies new Dropbox files to Google Drive). Just make sure that if you have these two Zaps running concurrently, that they don’t end up copying the same file to one another over and over. You can avoid this with an “if” filter.

10. Organise your folders for client files 📂

Finally, a helpful idea for a Zap is to automatically generate folders in your cloud service whenever you get a new client. This improves your organisation and saves time. To do this, simply connect an app like HubSpot to an app like Google Drive. 

How to organise your folders with Zapier:

  1. Create a Zap that connects HubSpot to Dropbox
  2. Have your Zap run each time you get a new contact in HubSpot
  3. Create a new Dropbox folder named after the new contact

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January 30, 2021
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