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Virtual assistant at a work desk facing the camera and smiling with a computer monitor in the foreground.

 

While there’s no denying that Zapier can be a powerful tool to save you time and money in your business, there are actually some really fun, cool automations you can do with it which aren’t work-related!

New apps are being added all the time to the already-huge list of 6000+ systems you can connect with Zapier.

So here are our favourite fun automations to do with Zapier, and if you know of any more then we’d love to hear about them!

 

Fun Zap #1 – Daily Weather Reports

It’s always helpful to know whether you need to pack an umbrella or the sunblock, but if you miss the morning TV weather reports then you might get caught out.   So why not set up a zap to send the weather forecast for your exact location to you every day?

One of Zapier’s built-in apps is called Weather By Zapier, and it does exactly what it says on the tin.  You simply set the latitude and longitude for the location you’d like to track, and the units to report in (Fahrenheit or Centigrade).  You can then schedule it to run daily and send yourself the data by Gmail or Microsoft Outlook email, an SMS, or to a Slack channel (and many more services).

As well as the weather itself there is a wealth of other information such as the likely minimum and maximum temperatures, the probability of rain, and the sunrise and sunset times.

If the timestamp format for sunrise/sunsets isn’t very visually pleasing for you then you can use the Date transform function of Formatter By Zapier to turn it into a nicely-formatted date/time.

You can choose what time of day you’d like the forecast to be delivered so that it’s waiting for you when you wake up.  And you could even take it one step further and use the ‘will it rain today’ trigger event to just send the notification if rain is expected.

 

Fun Zap #2 – Tracking Activities

If you use an app such as Strava or Runkeeper to track your exercise activities then the free versions don’t often include much in the way of analytics.  Using Zapier to connect the apps to a spreadsheet means that you can keep a history of all your workouts and analyse how much you do.

The beauty of this is that you get a lot of data from the fitness trackers, not just the activity type and distance but location, elevation, heart rate, pace, and much more.   It records the distance in miles as well as kilometres which makes it really easy to track challenges if they’re not in your preferred unit of measure.

It’s so easy to send all activities to a Google Sheet or Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and then you can analyse the data at your leisure.

 

Fun Zap #3 – Tweeting a random GIF

If you don’t tweet as much as you’d like or are stuck for ideas then Zapier can help!  By using the Schedule By Zapier function as a trigger, you can use Giphy to choose a random GIF and then tweet it via Twitter.

The scheduler will allow you to pick a time of the day and frequency (daily, weekly or monthly) and the Giphy trigger includes the ability to choose a subject for the GIF and a rating level.   That way you can narrow it down to good quality GIFs for a certain topic, such as ‘Monday Motivation’ or ‘Throwback Thursday’.

And that’s it, it’s a really simple way of getting more social media content out, and is really fun to see what animations Giphy finds for you!

Wooden blocks spelling 'LEARN' on a wooden surface with plain blocks in the foreground and background.

Fun Zap #4 – Get a superhero name

Now this is a REALLY fun zap!   The Formatter By Zapier Text transform function has the ability to assign a random superhero name.   You simply supply it with someone’s name and it converts it to a superhero name.  They are really funny, for example our team includes ‘Terra Midget’ and ‘Star Condor’.  

You could use this in many ways, for example using it in an email to new subscribers to your newsletter or assigning them to new staff members when they’re added to Asana.  The trigger would be when a new contact is added using an email platform such as Mailchimp or ActiveCampaign.  You would then use the contact name in the Text action event of Formatter By Zapier and then the resulting superhero name could be sent to another app, for example an email or Slack message.

 

Fun Zap #5 – Use an RSS feed to keep up with blogs or podcasts

Using the RSS by Zapier function means that you’ll never miss a new post on your favourite blog, website, or podcast.  RSS feeds are a great way of getting notifications and Zapier makes it really easy to coordinate them all in one place.  You can create up to ten RSS feeds in a single zap too.

You can then choose how to receive the notifications, which could be by email, SMS or even create an Asana task to read/listen to them.

Wooden blocks spelling 'LEARN' on a wooden surface with plain blocks in the foreground and background.

Fun Zap #6 – Get alerts when Mercury is in retrograde

Has a friend always catastrophized when Mercury has gone into retrograde?  It seems like Mercury has an effect on us all when it is in a particular phase, reducing productivity, causing brain fog, and making you feel particularly anxious or frazzled.   You can read about what it means when Mercury is in retrograde here, but fear not because Zapier can help!   Being forewarned is forearmed, so you can set up a simple zap to let you know when Mercury enters Retrograde, when it’s IN Retrograde, and then when it leaves.  The Retrograde by Zapier zap could trigger an SMS, or email, to notify you.

You can even send a tweet when it happens, to warn your followers that you’re not responsible for your actions for every day that Mercury is in Retrograde!

 

Fun Zap #7 – Get alerts for new YouTube videos

Our final fun zap will helpfully let you know when a YouTube video is added to match a search term.  So if you’re keen to know when new videos are added about your favourite sports team, celebrity, or hobby.

The YouTube integration could send you an SMS, or email whenever a video is added, or it could automatically post them to your Facebook page.

The possibilities are endless – you can get notifications when your favourite rock band releases a video, or when a video mentioning your childhood school is uploaded.  Whether you follow a particular celebrity or a cooking guru, you’ll never miss another post of theirs!

 

Fun Zap #8 – Trigger zaps using Alexa and Google Assistant

Did you know you can connect smart devices such as Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Assistant to Zapier?  It means you can trigger automations using voice commands, which is so handy.  You can link it to any of the apps you would normally integrate with and send it extra data to use in the action steps.

Some examples include adding new tasks to Trello, send a message from a Facebook page using Messenger or trigger a notification in Microsoft Teams.

It’s really cool to be able to trigger zaps hands-free!


More about Zapier

Once you get started with Zapier there’s so much you can do with it and we have plenty of articles which could spark ideas!

    Next steps

    We’re sure you agree that there are some great ideas here for fun automations to do with Zapier.  It’s not just a business tool but can help with your leisure time too.

    If you’d like to be guided through every stage of getting started with Zapier then our founder, Kelly’s book, Automate It with Zapier, is available on Amazon and through the publisher Packt.  It explains a range of automations and you can download templates to get started really quickly. Here are links to Amazon (.co.uk) and Amazon (.com) to get yours now.

    The book is perfect for seasoned pros as well as brand new Zapier users.

     

    If you want to find out more about Zapier’s built-in functions then we’ve created a snazzy FREE cheat sheet that lists them all.  Access it below and then you’ll be able to unlock the full power of Zapier in no time!

     

    Read more about how our certified experts use Zapier workflow automations to simplify processes and increase efficiency.

    Solvaa is a process and automation consultancy specialising in improving sales, operations and financial administration workflows. We help you to simplify and streamline existing processes, integrate your business tools to make data transfer more efficient and automate manual tasks to increase productivity. We are Zapier Certified Experts, Pipedrive Certified Experts and Xero Certified Advisors. 

    Contact us today to discuss how Solvaa can help you simplify, improve and automate all aspects of your business with Zapier to save you time, reduce costs and keep you agile as you grow.

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