Zapier is an automation tool that integrated with hundreds of products and services on the Internet. It makes integrating tools together simple and also has multiple step workflows.
The problem with Zapier is that while all this automation is handy for repetitive workflows, I started to question the need for such automation and whether I truly needed it.
Let's take FormKeep as an example. I use FormKeep as a way of allowing people to contact me regardless of the blog platform I am using. I have a contact form on this blog and one on my web development blog. If I receive a contact form submission from someone, FormKeep will send me an email to let me know.
Using Zapier I could do the following with the submission:
- Send the clients details to my CRM
- Create a task to review the client's request
- Create a task to reply back to them within two days
I would do all this anyway, so is there any need for me to automate these steps? Probably not.
Also not all form submissions I get are potential clients looking for me to work with them. Some submissions are general questions about Ruby on Rails, some are offers of full-time work and some are questions about previous topics I have written about. So automating this can result in a false positive and mean that I have to remove tasks from my task manager and contact details from my CRM.
The false positive of automation means that it only works if the intended result of the automation is always going to be the same. If there's a shadow of a doubt that there could be a wrong end result then automation isn't a good fit.
Automation isn't all bad and I still need an automation tool so I have created an account at IFTTT as it offers the simple automation I need but without the cost. I'm not worried if IFTTT disappear over night as it's a form of automation that I can happily live without but I use it just because it helps.
I've been scaling back on a few tools that I use regularly and it's made working a lot easier and removed the need for automation. Zapier is great for multi-step workflows that will always deliver the intended result, but for me it's become a tool I can do without.