10 Ways to Automate Airtable with Zapier to Improve Your Business Operations, Fast


Airtable bills itself as a modern database that’s created for everyone, offering fast, flexible ways to track data and information, whether you’re trying to monitor inventory, plan the schedule, or even track down sales leads. This platform is an impressive solution that takes the best of spreadsheets and combines that with the power of a database, giving you the chance to put data to work and automate more tasks than ever before.

Zapier is quickly becoming one of the most popular automation tools on the market, and for several good reasons. With the combination of Zapier and Airtable, you can automate so much of your database work that you’ll see an impressive reduction in the number of tedious tasks and routine to-dos that you have to take care of on your own.

For those who don’t know, Zapier is an entire tool that’s designed to automate other tools. That’s it’s job. Not only that, but it does impressively well at automating tasks for more than 3,000 apps and software platforms.In addition to all of the pre-built triggers and actions, there is a wide-open API that lets you customize every single move, too.

You’ll see a few different Google integrations on our list, and that’s because while Zapier works with almost any app, we know that a lot of small businesses work with Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), so those are the most popular integrations and automations. Don’t be fooled, though. Zapier can automate tasks between Airtable and:

·      Trello, Slack, and other collaboration tools

·      HubSpot, Asana, Pipedrive, and other CRMs

·      Mailchimp, Outlook, and even Zapier’s own email tool

·      Facebook, Twitter and other social media

·      Acuity Scheduling, Calendly, and other scheduling apps

·      Stripe, Shopify, and other payment processing and ecommerce tools

So, as you can see, no matter what you want to do with your to-do list, Zapier can help you automate it in so many ways that you should have no trouble getting more out of your business.

Five areas to automate

If you’re looking for a way to improve your business operations, there are definitely some areas that will be better or easier to automate than others. For example, automating your contact management is a great way to save people the hassle of having to be detail-oriented fact-checkers when they’re supposed to be sales team members. Although it’s going to be up to you to decide what’s best for your business, here are five areas you should consider automating:

1.     Metrics and Analytics: With all the metrics and reporting tools out there, why do you still have someone crunching the numbers? If you’re not automating here, you’re missing out on a big part of the productivity puzzle.

2.     Email Marketing: It’s the 21st century. We'd like to think we don’t have to emphasize this, but there are still some small businesses trying to manage email firsthand. That's great and all, but you have better things to do with your time. You can create custom, personalized messages that give customers that welcome feeling and still automate their delivery.

3.     Data Entry and Management: Again, we’ve got more tools than we can count for things like data entry and managing that data. From hefty database platforms to basic cloud-based solutions, there’s something for everyone.

4.     Employee Benefits and Management: Your employees love automation as much as you do. Take advantage of that by upgrading your HR to offer digital tools for automated management of all of your HR functions. Manage everything from onboarding and training to payroll, benefits administration, scheduling and time off requests, and more with the automated tools and HR platforms available today.

5.     Accounting: Every single area of your business accounting can and should be automated. While having an accountant on staff is important, it’s also important that their job be as efficient as possible. Use accounting software and expense management tools, online invoicing and billing platforms, and whatever else you can find to keep your finances on the fast track with automation.

There are tons of different areas where business process automation comes out on top, but these are some of the biggest. Now, let’s take a look at how Zapier and Airtable can help you automate your operations to take the tedious tasks off your hands. (And when you want to see what else you can get off your hands, ask how the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can deliver on mission critical services like 24/7 phone answering and live chat support, and more.)

1. Create Events in Google Calendar from Airtable records

What’s more time consuming than trying to keep track of your calendar? With Airtable and Zapier’s integration, you can turn those records right into calendar events. The best part? It’s not just dates and titles—you can customize all kinds of event details to create a comprehensive listing and share it with your team. It’s never been easier to stay organized or keep everyone on task. Simply create the Airtable record and when the event is recognized by Zapier, the tool will Zap it over to your Google Calendar for you.

2. Add Airtable records to Google Sheets  

Google Sheets is one of the most popular spreadsheet tools being used by businesses today. It's shareable, functional, and offers a lot of flexibility. Plus, the Google Workspace platform is preferred by most solopreneurs and small business owners. With this Zap, you can easily turn any Airtable record into a Google Sheets entry, transferring as much or as little data as you want. Simply select the records to transfer, create the Zap, and watch it happen while you tend to other tasks.

3. Add Typeform entries to Airtable records    

Typeform is one of the most common forms tools used today, and it’s a great way to gather information. Of course, what do you do once you have it? With this Zap, you can easily turn each Typeform entry into an Airtable record or import certain elements of the entry into Airtable. Just setup the Zap for your forms, choose to generate or add to a new Airtable record, and you’re done. It'll all get taken care of by automation and your team can spend less time taking care of busywork.

4. Send Gmail messages for Airtable records    

Are you trying to notify people when certain tasks are done? Maybe you’ve got a project that you need to keep everyone informed about. This Zap makes it easy to automatically send an email for any Airtable record, whether that email is to inform someone of changes to the record, or even the details of the record. Set it up however you’d like, and you will be able to create an Airtable record and automatically have Gmail send a message, so you don’t have to do the extra step yourself.

5. Import Google Contacts to Airtable    

Contact management is a hassle and it seems that all of the tools out there today have their own quirks or inadequacies. Often, that leaves you to find your own way to do things. With this Zap, you can import all of your Google Contacts to an Airtable record or database. You can also import select contacts for certain records, and even set up the Zap the other way so that you can export your contacts from Airtable to Google, or any other contact manager that you use. It's all about automating busywork and this Zap does it well.

6. Create Trello cards from Airtable records    

If your remote team uses Trello to collaborate, you’ll be happy to know that you can easily generate Trello cards out of Airtable records without having someone to do the work. This Zap allows you to select certain rules for the records that are accessed, including new records, project-specific records, and more. Simply select the record, set the automation, and then watch Trello generate cards every time a record is added or otherwise requires attention. Don’t worry about checking up on things or having someone follow the trail because Zapier does it all for you.

7. Add notes from Evernote to Airtable    

Evernote is a great tool for notetaking and keeping track of quick details. There are tons of integrations available from Zapier for this tool, including with Airtable. This Zap allows you to turn your Evernote files into Airtable records. Just choose which records or notes to share, create them in Evernote, and watch them show up in Airtable so that you can access them later or keep track of what you’re doing with more simplicity. You can also reverse it and send Airtable records or data to Evernote, if you really want to make the most of it.

8. Add Mailchimp subscribers from Airtable records    

When you get new email subscribers, how do you get them over to the database? If you’re like most people, you have someone following up on the spreadsheets and forms to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. Why not automate that? With this Zap, you can simply have any email subscribers from your Airtable records put right into your Mailchimp database. Then, you’ll be building your email marketing list without even having to do the work. You can also reverse the Zap to create an Airtable database of your Mailchimp subscribers, for an added bonus.

9. Post Airtable records to Slack    

When you have a remote team, collaboration is everything. You need to take advantage of all of the tools available to help, including the likes of Slack. This messaging and file sharing platform is one of the most popular choices for today’s remote teams, and it offers several different integrations and automations with Zapier. With this one, you can generate Slack messages or posts from your Airtable records so that everyone can be kept on the same page. Just generate the record in Airtable and the Zap will share it to Slack. You can even choose to share it on a specific channel, with certain team members, or the entire group.

10. Create Outlook Events from Airtable records    

Airtable makes it easy for you to generate new events for any calendar, including Outlook. If you use this platform to track your events, meetings, and other business appointments, you will love that you can automate it with Zapier. You can use your Airtable records to turn information into new events for Outlook by integrating this Zap, saving you the trouble of transferring the information manually. With this integration, every time an event is found in records, Airtable will use Zapier to turn it into an Outlook event for you. It’s just one more little step that saves you big time in the long run.

Upgrade to even more automation by giving it to Smith.ai

We love automation, and even more than that, we love being a part of making your business run more efficiently. When you hire our virtual receptionists, you’ll get a professional team acting as the face of your brand for anything that you need, from after-hours calls to appointment setting, and more. Plus, we’ll work with you to come up with the best strategy for fielding your needs, no matter what they might be.

Zapier is a favorite of ours for several reasons, but we really love that it allows anyone to create smart, automated workflows between software programs. Plus, it’s through the power of Zapier that Smith.ai can integrate with over 3,000 apps and tools to guarantee each call, text, and chat is logged in your business software, from your CRM to your marketing platform, databases, and more.

Check out all of the ways we connect to Zapier and explore our apps! You can also learn more about Smith.ai’s Answering Service app on Zapier, and explore Smith.ai’s Website Chat app on Zapier.

When you're ready, schedule a consultation to learn more about our 24/7 virtual receptionist solutions, including after-hours answering, live website chat, scheduling and new client intake, and more. You can also call us at (650) 727-6484 or reach out to hello@smith.ai.

Business Education
Apps and Software
Written by Sean Lund-Brown

Sean Lund-Brown is a current Marketing Assistant for Smith.ai. A graduate from Metropolitan State University of Denver, Sean graduated with a BA in Music and an individualized degree in Teaching Vocal Pedagogy.

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