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With all of the different features available to you through Zapier, it’s easy for something important and useful be overlooked. That was why we wanted to share some lesser-known but still very helpful functions that can help make your life more productive!  Line-items are one such category; using this functionality will allow you do even MORE with Zapier while helping out at the same time – what could possibly go wrong?

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at what line-items are and how they can benefit you. Stay tuned – we’ll also provide some tips on how to get started with Zapier!

 

What are line-items?

Line-items are a way of grouping data, so that multiple items can be associated with one ‘thing’.

For example, an invoice could contain 5 line-items, each of which includes a product description, quantity and price.

In programming terms, line-items would be commonly known as an object which contains an array of objects, but you can think of them simply as a list of things.   Another analogy might be that the line-items are like rows in a spreadsheet, with the columns containing the details for each row.

Using the invoice example, you could imagine a row for each invoice, with the details for description, price and quantity in columns.

 

What types of workflows could I integrate with Zapier using line-items?

The type of data which could be formatted as line-items would easily lend itself to payment, order and invoice processing, for example within accounting and e-commerce apps.

It can get complicated and messy to manage collections of data but using line-item functions makes it much easier.

You can use line-items with spreadsheets to automate invoice processing too, maybe sending data to or from a time-tracking app.

To use a line-item, during the action step in a Zap you need to map data from the trigger app into your other apps.  This data is usually one piece of text data but line-items have data gathered together in a list.

 

Which common apps support line-items?

Not surprisingly, two of the leading cloud-based accounting apps support line-items – Xero and QuickBooks Online.

In terms of e-commerce, line-items are supported by Shopify, WooCommerce and Shipstation.  For payment processing, Paypal and Chargify also support this functionality.

If you use Keap as your CRM then you can use line-items, and invoicing apps include Zoho Invoice, Wave and Harvest.

You can tell if an app supports line items when configuring a Zap as it will mention this in the action step.   See below for an example.

Screenshot from the Zapier app showing available actions for the QuickBooks Online app with red arrows pointing at the actions which support line items.

Formatter by Zapier, which is one of the built-in Zapier apps, supports line-items as does Google Sheets.

Can I use line-items if my app doesn’t support them?

As the list of apps which supports line-items is somewhat limited, you can use some of Zapier’s inbuilt functionality to manipulate data if your trigger or action step app isn’t on the list.  For example, you can take data from an unsupported app and format it to then pass to something like Xero.   Or you can take line-item data from Paypal, reformat it and pass it to your CRM.

This is all achieved using Formatter By Zapier which has a Utilities action.  Within Utilities there are ‘Text to Line-item’, ‘Line-item to Text’ and ‘Line Itemizer (Create/Append/Prepend)’ functions.  You can use these in many different ways to manipulate your data so that it can be passed between your apps.

What’s really cool is that the new Looping By Zapier built-in app has a ‘Create Loop From Line Items’ action which means you can perform a task for each item.  This is so useful, for example if you have a list of customer data as line-items then you can send each an email within the loop.  You can learn more about Looping By Zapier in this article.

How can line-items make me more productive?

Using multiple line-items in an automated workflow makes data transfer so much quicker.  When compared with rekeying the data from one app into another you would be so much more productive if you configured a Zap to do this for you – and it would be so much more accurate than a human doing the task!

Setting up the Zap is extremely straightforward too, and like most things Zapier will take you through it step by step.

Where can I find out more about Zapier’s line-items?

 Zapier themselves have written a useful article about line-items, but for a thorough step-by-step introduction to line-items it’s worth investing in our founder Kelly Goss’ book, Automate It with Zapier.  The book covers the following:

  • Understanding line-items.
  • Converting text to line-items.
  • Converting line-items to text.
  • Using a line itemizer to create, append or prepend line-items.
  • How to set up action events to manipulate line-items.

Free e-books

We offer some free resources to help you get started with business process automation.  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.

We also have a free cheat sheet with a checklist of Zapier’s inbuilt function which can supercharge your automations.

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.

 

 

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