These days we’re all short on time; in our career as well as in our personal life. As a small business owner, it’s especially important that you manage your time as efficiently as possible. I’m always on the look out for tools that can help me stay organized and productive. Over the years I’ve found several internet tools that help me stay on point and I want to share three of them with you. These three websites offer ways to automate common tasks you perform on the internet every day.
1. Ifttt (Stands for “If this, then that…”)
Ifttt.com allows you to connect online services such as your RSS feed, Evernote, Twitter, Facebook, etc. to create “recipes”. These recipes are basically instructions: If THIS happens, then THAT happens. There are literally hundreds of recipes that can be created. IFTTT offers 50+ “channels” that you can connect to build unique recipes. Here are a few examples of different recipes you can create:
- If the weather forecast is calling for rain, then IFTTT will send you a text message to let you know.
- If you post a new photo to Instagram, then IFTTT will automatically send a copy of that photo to your DropBox account.
- If you receive email receipts in gmail, then IFTTT will create a spreadsheet on Google Drive and automatically add a line to the spreadsheet with the purchase information from each email receipt that comes in. (An easy way to keep track of online purchases)
- If it’s Friday, then IFTTT will automatically send out a “TGIF!!” tweet to your twitter followers.
itDuzzit is similar to Ifttt in that they both allow you to create “transactions” to automate various online tasks. However, itDuzzit is a bit more complex and takes the process a step further by allowing users to easily connect to a much larger list of cloud services that act together to form work flow solutions. The biggest difference between itDuzzit and IFTTT is that you have access to lots of additional web services, including Freshbooks, Zoho and Salesforce, that you don’t have access to in IFTTT; therefore, you are able to perform more complex processes. The website offers pre-built apps and connectors that work with your cloud services called “Duzzits”.You can create your own duzzit’s from scratch or choose from the duzzit library.
itDuzzit offers a free monthly plan which includes:
- 20 transactions
- 30 notifications
- 1 scheduled transaction
- 3 custom duzzits
If you need more than 20 transactions per month, there is also a Basic Plan ($14 monthly) w/200 transactions, a Plus Plan ($29 monthly) w/1,000 transactions and a Pro Plan ($59 monthly) w/5,000 transactions. Personally, I see itDuzzit being most useful for small to medium-sized businesses with small teams.
Zapier offers a simple drag and drop interface making it easy to create new “zaps” (or integrations) for your processes. A zap is a combination of a trigger and an action. You can pause, unpause and test your zaps (see video above). Althought itDuzzit and Zapier are fairly similar, I personally feel that Zapier is much more user friendly. Here are a few examples of zaps you can create and run:
- Whenever there is a new subscriber to your MailChimp list, Zapier will automatically create a new lead in your Zoho CRM (customer relationship manager) account.
- Whenever you receive data from a Wufoo form submission, Zapier sends the info to SalesForce as a Lead.
Zapier offers a free plan with the following benefits:
- 5 integrations (zaps)
- unlimited actions
Other plans: Basic ($15 monthly – 10 integrations) and the Business Plan ($30 monthly – 50 integrations).
About the Author:
Shelley Graves is a Business Solutions Specialist and Virtual Visionary at VirtualShelley.com. She shows female entrepreneurs how to successfully build, maintain & promote their businesses online. She works with them to set up efficient & effective business operations and workflow processes & through the use of social media & internet marketing, she shows them how to effectively market their products and services and build brand recognition. Learn more about Shelley.