How to save time with apps as non-developer (hint: automation)

It doesn’t matter whether you are software developer, business owner, ceo or someone else. We want to have most possible time and money available. What could we do to regain some time and money?

Processes

Nowdays, there are many applications and services that allow us to shave off some of our worktime. How so?

Let’s assume you are doing your everyday tasks. Be it either research, forming strategy for following weeks or selling your service. What do these have in common?

Each of your tasks can be written as process. List of steps needed to finish it up - to provide end result. The simplest method to write down a process is to take a piece of paper and jot down everything you do, in order. Do you organize your work in processes or not yet?

You have a process, what now?

A process itself won’t save you hours. But what you can do with it - surely. You could delegate it. Why not? You pay someone to do it for you. Your time is saved. Hooray!

Okay, not so fast. Critical tasks cannot be delegated. You have to do it yourself. What now?

It’s time for automation to step in. It’s area where software developers are experts in. They take some non-automated job and write it as code; later on, computers make it for people. More time and resources effective way.

But you may be person who doesn’t know how to code. What now?

Good news is that automation is not such magic anymore. There is growing field of applications that allows you to regain time from processes for no-code people. How?

How to automate?

I’ll show you 3 options. Apps that you can use in your process. Helpers that will take part or whole process for you.
1. IFTTT 2. Integromat 3. TextExpander

IFTTT

What’s it? Where such a strange name does come from?

IFTTT stands of “If This Then That”. App allows you to act in certain way after some trigger/ event occurs. Examples?

  • Everyday at 7pm send me notification about tomorrow’s weather.
  • Turn off phone’s wifi when I leave home.
  • Notify me if it’s going to rain tomorrow.
  • Log every phone call (when, for how long and with whom) and store it in spreadsheet.
  • Send every tweet I like to a spreadsheet.
  • Send email reminder before meeting.

These are few uses of IFTTT. While it’s intended to be more ‘personal’ option than other presented here, it has huge advantage. It’s free. And powerful. You can integrate it with email, various apps and send data between them. Or send emails/SMS/notifications when something happens.

Do you have something in mind already?

https://ifttt.com/

Integromat

Similar to IFTTT, but it’s intended rather for businesses. Its integrations allow not only to send data between services, but also to create paths/ scenarios creating chain of events happending one after another.

If that’s not enough - you can additionally modify data during such path; automatically, of course.

Instead of copy-pasting and editing such data between apps you are using, computer will do it for you.

It can not only save your time. It can be beneficial for your company.

How many repetitive tasks is your company doing?

TextExpander

3rd option (of course there’re waaay more, these 3 are just examples). What does it do?

Imagine you are writing with clients. You use email, WhatsApp, FB Messenger - doesn’t matter.

Most likely, your messages have something in common. Be it offer, showing off your company or your skills. Or maybe some common links.

You could have file where you store such generic parts. You often copy-paste it. Did you wonder how much time is wasted only by opening and copying content like that?

TextExpander helps here. Instead of looking for right file you could save whole text under some phrases. So for example when you write ‘:offer:‘, your offer’s text could magically show up.

Pretty convenient, huh?

  https://www.integromat.com/en/

Not whole process at once.

These 3 options do not exhaust a topic. These just scratch a surface of automation. But these are easy to start with. Without any coding knowledge.

Anyway, you don’t have to automate all your process at once.

The best way, as with everything is to make it in steps. Small steps which will shave off some time. Each 1s saved by these will snowball into meaningful amounts of time over longer periods.

You set up these once and these grow incrementally.

Wanna automate something?

https://textexpander.com/