Like many teams, we meet on a regular cadence to align on goals and outcomes. Monday is about setting priorities; Friday is about reconnecting to share progress and discuss open issues. This process is efficient and easy to navigate in large part because of the workflow we’ve set up with Zapier. It lets us share information asynchronously, allowing group time to be spent on more collaborative, engaging discussions.
Establishing a Planning Cadence and Format
We rely on different formats for different cadences. Sidenote: as a new employee, it was awesome to get a feel for these routines, all in one place. Here’s a snapshot of what we currently do, as documented in Tettra:
Naturally, the cadences and formats you choose depend on the kind of company you are. Because we have remote employees, as well as contractors, we cultivate a healthy mix of synchronous and asynchronous conversation.
Our daily standup, for example, takes place entirely on Slack. But the real efficiency magic takes place within our weekly kickoff and recap process.
Creating Schedule-Based Workflows with Zapier
We use Zapier to trigger two schedule-based workflows in Tettra. Each Monday, a new Tettra page (a weekly kickoff page with the date in the title) is created, and we see a notification in Slack. Each of us then populates this page with the items we want to get done that week, and we tag each other where we plan to collaborate or ask for help. Because one of our team members works remotely from Australia, this process lets us align with him, despite the time difference. He generally adds his items before we even get to the office on Monday morning.
We have a similar workflow set up for Friday morning. A Zap triggers a new page in Tettra, again, sending an alert into Slack. We populate this recap page with info and updates we want to share. This process helps keep all of us accountable and informed about one another’s progress.
I try to avoid packing every little thing when setting weekly goals or sharing progress. It’s more valuable to focus on the bigger items on the roadmap, rather than watering the message down with too many extra items. I also like to tag other people and link to relevant resources as appropriate. This makes it easier for my team to dig deeper if they want more information, without feeling like they’re disrupting one another.
Another important benefit is that this system avoids letting any one person “weaponize” team meeting notes. A friend used this phrase recently, and it really stuck with me. I’ve been on teams where one person consistently takes notes and highlights the parts that are most important to their personal agenda. This system lets every person “speak” for themselves.
Creating Other Workflows with Zapier
Because Zapier has over 1000 integrations, there are almost countless integrations one could create in Zapier. For example, I recently created one that triggers a new marketing campaign page whenever I tag a message in Gmail. If I were a project manager, I might set up a new page whenever a JIRA item moved from the backlog onto my board of active projects.
Each of these workflows can be done manually, but why bother? Who wouldn’t want to save a few minutes on these kinds of tasks? Over the course of a month, this time adds up, so you’re potentially getting an hour back every month. Aside from the time itself, there’s a cost to context switching. It takes a while to get back into whatever work you were doing before you switched contexts. Zapier’s range of integrations, its flexibility, and its customizable fields make it easy to automate most tasks.