Dealing with repetitive tasks
There are some ways to deal with tasks, which turn us, or our employees into mindless zombies. Some of the solutions are:
- altering routines,
- delegating tasks to contractors and virtual assistants,
- recycling projects using templates, organizing flows for such tasks, with setting daily reminders, milestones, and deadlines.
Some essential tasks can’t be delegated, then the only way is to figure out how to make them more enjoyable.
But in today’s digital world, we are also equipped with a powerful tool, or better to say, the wide range of tools provided by automation. Artificial intelligence is the present, and businesses are adopting it. But it is not just AI. There are many more ways to benefit from automation. Automation is an example of how technology has fundamentally changed the way we live and work. We use it every day, e.g., when using auto-paying bills, creating calendar notifications, even setting a washing machine or coffee pot. For work, nowadays, there are many code boilerplates, scripts, applications, macros, etc., which are convenient solutions for many monotonous jobs.
Automation of digital tasks on your own
Not always, there is a ready solution for the automation of digital tasks. Then, in many cases, we can construct our own. If you think “code!” programming your solution - yes. But wait! Only sometimes.
I am sure you are acquainted with Jeff Atwood’s quote “the best code is no code at all”. Reinventing the wheel is a good idea when you are learning how the wheel works or trying to disrupt the wheel technology. But for productivity, whenever possible, it is better to use a wheel already made, well tested in various scenarios. And to focus on this part of our job that adds value, changes/ saves the world, earns money (whatever your reasons and motivation). Thus, getting back to automating tasks before coding your solution, you should consider an easier and faster way.
It brings us to automation tools that connect different applications and services without coding or relying on developers to build the integration. Using these tools resembles building with Lego bricks. They provide us functional blocks that you can join and combine into your integration workflows. Among these services are Zapier, Automate.io, Integromat, IFTTT, and many more.
In the next article, I will show a use case of an automation task I solved for Bravelab. After research, I decided to use Zapier to integrate Slack with Google Drive/Docs/Sheets. Let me then briefly introduce the tool to you.
What is Zapier?
In my research on how to automate the task I was given (I will elaborate on it in the next article), I found that the most common solution is to use Zapier. As you can read on its website, "Zapier is an online automation tool that connects your apps and services. You can connect two or more apps to automate repetitive tasks without coding or relying on developers to build the integration." I have also found Zapier as easy to use and experiment with. What is more, it offers a free plan and gives us a 14-day trial of the premium plan, which enables us to check whether it is the right tool for our needs.
Creating a Zap
In Zapier, you create Zaps, which are workflows containing two or more steps. You can create your Zaps or use some already predefined in Zapier.
Here you can see the overview of Zap I created:
A use case of tasks automation in Bravelab
Unproductive, repetitive tasks are ubiquitous in the digital era. Thus, there are many attempts to deal with the problem, and Zapier is not the only automation service for digital tasks. But it fits great for the integration of Slack and Google Drive/Docs/Sheets I made for Bravelab. The use case I will present in the next article.
Stay tuned. And automate to have more time for people and things that matter.
Read more from our brave's writers
Performing SAML SSO using JWT in Django
When the Django application needs to be separated into front-end and back-end, and you want to authenticate your calls to your other platforms/services, the stateless JWT in pair with Django Rest Framework is a good choice. But what if you want to integrate single sign-on/single log-out with the other applications which are using SAML? Moreover, your application may be Service Provider and Identity Provider at the same time.
Bravelab's team about productivity
Our 5th birthday is coming up. It is the right time to present our techniques as we are becoming more and more effective every day. Our company aware of self-improvement team that faces huge challenges every day, so while working on this article, It’s a good time to conduct short interviews with our employees asking them, among other things, what productivity is for them, what motivates them, and what tools they use to plan their tasks.
How to make the first step to establish a business relationship
Since the early ages, people were trading with others by exchanging not only material but also intellectual goods. If we look at how business works and treat it as a constant flow of things and services that one can provide each other with, we will come to a conclusion that, no matter if those people were doing it consciously or not, their cooperation has led their business to success. However, it is commonly known that what makes each business really successful is not only goods that could be shared, but most of all these are people. The more people you know, the bigger chance you have to be successful with what you may offer.