Imagine if you wanted to receive a list of your sales every evening, or get a reminder to do a task every morning – these are triggered by the clock rather than a business event in one of your systems. These are scenarios which are perfect for Schedule by Zapier.
What is Schedule by Zapier?
Zapier provides a range of inbuilt (or native) apps such as Formatter by Zapier and Delay by Zapier which really help take your automations to a new level. Schedule by Zapier is another of those apps and is used to configure recurring tasks to be run regularly at a particular time.
When can Schedule By Zapier trigger things to happen?
There are a few options for configuring how to use Schedule by Zapier to work for your particular use case.
You can trigger the workflow to run:
- Every Hour
- Every Day
- Every Week
- Every Month
Each of these timeframes is a different trigger event within Schedule by Zapier, which will prompt you to select (see below).
When you choose Every Hour you’ll be asked if you want it to trigger on weekends. This is helpful for business-related automations because you’ll be able to suppress it for non-working days. This is a simple boolean switch which is either Yes (to trigger on Saturdays and Sundays) or No (Monday to Friday only).
You’ll then be asked to test the trigger and then choose the action, which can be any of your business apps. It could also be another inbuilt app such as SMS by Zapier or Email by Zapier if you want your action to send a notification.
Pro Tip : How to ensure the zap only runs during business hours
If you only want your workflow to trigger during office hours then you could add a Filter by Zapier step to restrict whether the action will continue. Please note, Filter by Zapier is not available on the free Zapier plan is this would class as a multi-step Zap.
The Every Day trigger event allows you to schedule a recurring workflow every day at a certain time.
As with the Every Hour trigger you can select whether this runs on weekends or not.
You can also select the time of day that the trigger will run. You can either select an hour from midnight until 11pm, or choose a ‘custom’ option which means you can put any time.
,It’s important to remember that the time relates to your timezone setting. This is in your Zapier account settings which you can read more about here. If you have no timezone preference set then the default is UTC (GMT+00:00).
You can use the following formats for a custom time:
- hh:mm, for example “16:25”
- hh:mm aa, for example ”04:25pm”
- hhhh, for example “1625”
The Every Week trigger in Schedule by Zapier lets you run a workflow on a weekly basis.
It the trigger allows you to choose which day of the week you wish the automation to run and the time of day you’d like the action to be executed.
You can use the same custom values for the time as above for Every Day, or trigger it on the hour using the times in the dropdown list.
The Every Month trigger lets you run a recurring task on a monthly basis.
You will need to specify the day of the month (between 1 and 31) and the time of day. The time can be on the hour or you can choose a custom time using the same method described above.
If you choose 29, 30 or 31 and the current month is shorter, then your Zap will not trigger that month.
Pro Tip : How to trigger an event on the first Monday of the month
If you want to run a recurring workflow on a particular day in the month then you will need to build a multi-step zap (which you’ll need a paid plan for).
- Firstly, use the app Schedule by Zapier using a trigger of ‘Every Day’.
- Then set up a Filter by Zapier step to check if the day number is less than or equal to 7 and the day is Monday.
What workflows can I use Schedule by Zapier for?
Here are examples of how you could use Schedule by Zapier in various business scenarios:
- The ‘Every Hour’ trigger could be used to report key metrics to your sales team, maybe during a busy period when things can change quickly. You could couple it with Filter by Zapier to only report when data has actually been collected, for example if sales have been made over a particular threshold.
- Use ‘Every Day’ to schedule a Twitter tweet to share a random GIF from Giphy with your followers.
- Use ‘Every Day’ to link with a Google Sheet to send out a birthday message to someone. You can create a spreadsheet with people’s birthday dates so the zap needs to run every day and search for a row in the spreadsheet which matches the date, and if it does then continue and send the happy birthday notification.
- Use ‘Every Month’ to send an invoice to a customer on the 1st of every month, at 9am.
- Use ‘Every Day’ to remind yourself to take medication, do you daily Wordle challenge (we have a template for that!) or do a task which you might otherwise forget about.
- Use ‘Every Day’ to send a daily Gmail
- Use ‘Every Day’ to create a Trello card on a daily basis.
- Use ‘Every Week’ to get a weekly reminder in Slack.
- Use ‘Every Month’ to send an update to a customer every month, and create an Asana task to follow it up.
Where can I find out more about Schedule by Zapier?
A good place to start if you want more details about how to use Schedule by Zapier is its integration information page on Zapier itself.
For more in-depth help then our founder, Kelly Goss, wrote a book, Automate It with Zapier, that includes 11 chapters which cover all of the native Zapier apps, including a detailed section on Schedule by Zapier.
The book is perfect for new Zapier users as well as seasoned pros. Buy your own copy today direct from publisher Packt using this link. Or here are links to Amazon (.co.uk) and Amazon (.com) if you prefer.
If you’re keen to explore more about the native Zapier apps then we have designed a free cheat sheet which includes a checklist of the inbuilt functions which can supercharge your automations.
Here a link to learn how to format dates in Zapier, which can be tricky for newbie automators.
Our free Introduction To Zapier e-book explains the benefits of business process automation, how Zapier fits in and examples of automations for each department within your business.
Kelly also goes through some specific automations on our Youtube channel, for example how to thank a customer when they pay a Xero invoice and how to send a simple drip email sequence.
Check out our automation training programme
And finally, if you’re really keen to transform your business using automation, then visit the Solvaa Automation Academy. Our signature training programme, ‘Simple Automation Blueprint: Zero to Hero’ is aimed at anyone who wants to learn the fundamentals of business process automation from the experts – a sure-fire way to recession-proof your business.
It’s an 8-week blended learning course with on-demand videos, templates, resources and weekly group coaching sessions. And it’s more than just a Zapier course (although we do show you how to use Zapier like a pro) as you’ll learn about Process Mapping, Business Process Improvement and Business Process Management too – principles that can be applied to other areas of business too!
Whether you are a complete novice or have been using Zapier for a while, our programme is for you. It’s perfect for individuals and teams in micro, small and medium-sized businesses, including solopreneurs, consultants and freelancers. You’ll have access to our experts and can participate in live calls where you can ask all your burning questions, as well as hands-on workshops to keep you on track with implementing your new skills. We run regular cohorts so there will be an opportunity for everyone to participate.
Our head trainer, Kelly Goss, is a specialist in business systems, process improvement and automation, and one of less than 100 Zapier Certified Experts in the world. Kelly has many years’ experience in optimising systems and processes, and implementing automations for clients and is now passing on her knowledge to students through our trademarked ‘4-Step Solvaa Automation Methodology®‘.
Find out more via our dedicated Solvaa Automation Academy website.
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.