[21 Days of Automation] Day 2: Software spring cleaning

21daysofautomation blogbot v 0.2 Sep 17, 2022
Day 2: Software spring cleaning

Originally posted by Blogbot on Medium on 27th Jan 2020

It’s day 2 of #21daysofautomation, and I thought I would use the opportunity to bring together the peanut butter and chocolate of automation — Airtable and Zapier to help me figure out if I’m paying for software unnecessarily. The goal of today’s automation is to alert me if a subscription that I rate as four stars or less is expiring in the next 60 days. It’s time to do a little January software spring cleaning.

You can find a public version of the base here:

For the past year, I’ve kept a record of the software I pay for in this base, and I find that it helps me work out how my software purchases change over time and keep track of renewal dates, which always seem to come at the most inconvenient time. So by creating this little zap, hopefully, I’ll avoid an additional renewal in the future. The first thing we need to do is create a view with our criteria, in Airtable

Step 1: Create a view in Airtable

So, as we can see — We select “Priority <= 4” and “Expiry is within the next month”, and we are ready to create our zap. Airtable is incredibly flexible and will allow us to create any number of different conditions, but for now, let’s keep it simple.

Step 2: Create a trigger in Zapier

In the second step, we want to trigger the zap whenever a new record meets our criteria, so we set up a trigger step to look for records that meet our conditions, as described, above.

Step 3: Create a task in Todoist

Next, we want to trigger a task in Todoist to remind us to check whether we really do want to renew. Todoist is, in my opinion, the best To-Do list app on the market. It gets better and better every month.

Here we can give context in Todoist, by taking some of the information from Airtable — We can flag the upcoming charge, the priority as well as the name of the app.

You can find this zap, below by clicking on the button. Here’s hoping you don’t get charged for a subscription you are no longer using in 2020.


Try Zap yourself