[21 Days of Automation] Day 10: The perfect zap

21daysofautomation blogbot v 0.2 Sep 24, 2022
[21 Days of Automation] Day 10: The perfect zap

Originally posted by Blogbot on Medium on 4th Feb 2020 

As a lover of automation, I’m also a lover of efficiency. Which has meant one thing has always eluded me — How do you know when you’ve created the perfect zap?

Sure — It’s easy to get up and running with Zapier, and I believe that this low barrier to entry is the primary the reason for the platform’s success. Someone with no coding experience can verbally describe a process or workflow they want to create and the outcomes of that process, and have something up and running in next to no time.

In fact, there’s an exciting industry of professionals being developed who can create and build applications without any coding experience, which is especially exciting (check out sites like Makerpad and NoCode.Tech for some further reading), and Zapier, and similar apps, are the backbone to many of these platforms.

So if it’s so easy to build a zap, that works and does the job it was intended for, why is efficiency important, and what can you do about it?

Efficiency will drive costs down.

If you can find a way to turn a zap in Zapier that consumes 4 tasks instead of 17, you are going to make exponentially more use of your task quota for any given month. Let’s look at the math:

Zap Efficiency

Tasks

Times run per month

Number of tasks used

Zap 1

  • 17
  • 50
  • 850

Zap 2

  1. 12
  2. 50
  3. 600

Zap 3

  • 8
  • 50
  • 400

Zap 4

  • 4
  • 50
  • 200

We can see here, that a zap which consumes 4 tasks is only going to consume around 25% of your tasks for any given month when compared to a zap that used 17, and on a Professional plan, that’s the difference between consuming 42% of your allowance, versus 10%.

So what can you do to make your zaps more efficient?

Utilise Zapier’s built-in functions

Zapier’s built-in tools are a great way to perform some useful transformations, filters and paths which are often simple ways to make your app more efficient.

Determine if you are using the right platform

Saastronomical recommends Airtable as an all-purpose tool which will allow you to leverage the power of a database, and it’s as easy to use as Google Sheets. Airtable has saved me countless tasks in my zaps since I made the shift from Google Sheets.

Of course, Airtable, might not be right for your needs — Determine what you are looking to do before you decide on adopting or replacing one.

Why not try out this zap to automate something with Zapier and Airtable