How to Use Zapier to Automate Your Notion Workspace

Start automating your Notion workspace with the power of Zapier automations. Get an overview of Zapier and ideas on what you can automate in your Notion workspaces.
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Tutorial overview

I. Introduction

  • Introduce the topic of using the Notion API to automate tasks and optimize your workspace.

II. What's an API?

  • Explain what an API is and how it can be used to connect different software and services.

III. What's the Notion API?

  • Describe the Notion API and how it can be used to automate tasks in Notion.

IV. Typeform Integration

  • Show how to integrate Typeform with Notion using the Notion API to automate data collection and organization.

V. Automation Services

  • Discuss different automation services that can be used in conjunction with the Notion API to automate tasks.

VI. Optimize Your Workspace

  • Offer tips and strategies for using the Notion API to optimize your workspace and increase productivity.

VII. Identify Automation Opportunities

  • Explain how to identify opportunities for automation in your workflow and how the Notion API can be used to implement them.

VIII. Common Automations

  • Provide examples of common automations that can be done using the Notion API, such as creating task lists and calendar events, tracking progress on projects, and organizing notes and documents.

Expanded briefs:

I. Introduction

  • This video will provide an overview of how to use the Notion API to automate tasks and optimize your workflow. We will cover what an API is, how to use the Notion API, and different integration and automation services that can be used in conjunction with it. By the end of the video, you will have a better understanding of how to streamline your workflow and increase productivity using the Notion API.

II. What's an API?

  • An API, or Application Programming Interface, is a set of rules and protocols that allows different software and services to communicate with each other. APIs can be used to access data and functionality from other platforms, such as websites, apps, and databases. In this video, we will be using the Notion API to access data and functionality within the Notion platform.

III. What's the Notion API?

  • The Notion API allows developers to access and manipulate data within the Notion platform. This can include creating, reading, updating, and deleting pages, databases, and other elements within Notion. In this video, we will be using the Notion API to automate tasks within Notion, such as creating task lists, organizing notes, and tracking progress on projects.

IV. Typeform Integration

  • Typeform is a service that allows you to create forms and surveys to collect data from users. By integrating Typeform with Notion using the Notion API, you can automate the process of collecting data and organizing it within Notion. In this section, we will show you how to set up the integration and demonstrate how it can be used to automate data collection and organization.

V. Automation Services

  • There are a variety of automation services that can be used in conjunction with the Notion API to automate tasks. These include services like IFTTT, Zapier, and Integromat. In this section, we will discuss the different automation services that can be used with the Notion API and how they can be used to automate tasks.

VI. Optimize Your Workspace

  • The Notion API can be used to optimize your workspace and increase productivity. In this section, we will offer tips and strategies for using the Notion API to streamline your workflow and organize your information more effectively.

VII. Identify Automation Opportunities


At home and at work, I'm sure you often repeat many series of steps typically at regular frequencies and involving multiple tools. Personally, I aggregate financial transactions from multiple sources and then update their statuses as they're processed. I compose social media posts, then publish them to their respective platforms in real time, and I schedule meetings in one app and then plan them in another.

So if you're like me, these and other standard procedures typically include Notion. As I described in my previous Zapier post, the all-in-one productivity tool has become the operating system of my life and my business. In my first three years with the app, I completed recurring processes manually, taking each step one by one.

However, those procedures radically changed when Notion opened its API, which allows users to integrate Notion with other apps and automation tools. So no longer am I posting to individual social platforms, manually logging financial transactions, or managing meetings in disparate apps. These functions and many others are now automated.

By automating their workspaces, teams and individuals are becoming more efficient and more effective. Delegating their mindless tasks to computers creates time to advance their initiatives, rather than just maintain them. It boosts sales by automating communications at each stage of the funnel, and meanwhile it reduces the need for expensive manpower.

So, let's explore opportunities to automate your Notion workspace by leveraging the new API.

So what's an API? Well, an application programming interface or an API allows apps to interact, and the integrated apps can exchange information and make updates to one another. So one common example is a synced contact list. Adding, modifying or deleting a contact in Google Contacts can make the same change in your contacts database in Notion, and then conversely, if you update your contacts database, Google Contacts will reflect that change, and you can do the same with calendar events among many other types of information from various apps.

And then, so what's the Notion API? Well, using the API, developers can create custom integrations that connect Notion with their apps, and meanwhile, non-developers can use official integrations from Notion partners. We'll focus on those everyday users. So the configuration process varies by service, but generally speaking, an administrator will establish an integration that functions like a user of your workspace. And after initial configuration, you can grant that integration access to any database which allows the connected service to read and edit that database.

And with the initial release of its API, Notion offers three official integrations. So one is Typeform which is a tool for creating beautiful interactive online forms, and with the official Notion integration, you can automatically send form submissions to a database in your workspace. So after publishing your form and creating a corresponding Notion database, you can configure the integration by clicking connect at the top of your Typeform page and at launch.

Custom integrations with apps that don't yet have official integrations with Notion are services that act as translators. They deliver the functions of APIs in a visual interface and they also offer features for automating actions in your workspace without involving another app. An example of this is recreating a recurring task.

Zapier is the most popular of these services and within Zapier, the customizations you create are called Zaps. Each Zap consists of a trigger followed by one or more actions. In a sense, you're defining the statement: "if trigger do actions".

For example, if a contact is added to Google Contacts, then create an entry in the contacts database in Notion. If a prospect enters a new sales stage, send an email to that prospect. If an item is added to the tweets database, publish it to Twitter. And if it's the first day of the month, email a report to stakeholders.

In my deep dive into the API debut, you'll find detailed instructions for configuring Zapier with Notion, and I'll link to that within the description of this video. Among all example implementations of the API, you'll notice a single constant, and that is databases. Google Contacts syncs with a contacts database, tweets are published from a tweets database, Typeform sends submissions to a database, sales emails are triggered from a deals database, recurring tasks are rescheduled in a tasks database, Google Calendar syncs with an events database, and Shopify syncs with orders and contacts databases.

You get the picture and therefore, a database for structure will optimize your workspace for integrations powered by the API. In fact, using databases rather than standalone pages has always been my foremost strategy for any Notion workspace. In addition to supporting integrations, centralizing your information in master databases will keep your information accurate and consistent, it will reduce redundancy and vulnerability to human error, it'll automate contextual filters, it'll summarize data, it'll support long-term scalability and migration, and it will leverage Notions most distinctive feature which is its unique blend of documents and databases.

As the crux of my bulletproof methodology, this database-centric approach is known as the bulletproof principle, and I detail that further in my guide to optimizing your workspace for the Notion API, which I'll also link to within the description of this video.

With support for more than 3,000 apps, Zapier offers limitless ways to automate your workspace. Here are some questions you can consider when you're identifying the most beneficial automation opportunities. The first is, what are your recurring tasks? We all have tasks that we perform daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually. And all of these tasks can be automatically rescheduled or recreated when completed, and many of them can be automated altogether.

Then, when in your workflow do you transfer information? When Notion was a closed environment, users manually migrated information to and from other apps. They'd recreate contacts, import expenses, and convert emails to themselves to tasks. So now, the official Typeform integration.

Automatically migrates form submissions and with Zapier you can automatically exchange information with almost any other app.

In addition to recurring tasks, you might have sequences you perform in particular circumstances. You might have checklists for onboarding new clients and employees, each of which involve collecting and distributing information, creating profiles, and so forth. You'll find that a considerable portion of these processes can be automated using Zapier.

Lastly, where is their redundancy in computer programming? A repeated action typically signals the need for a reusable function and with Zapier you can configure automations that perform the same action for various triggers which minimizes redundancy in your personal and professional operations. So, never again should you find yourself recreating the same email for multiple recipients.

Let's look at three common automations you can build easily with Zapier to save time, maximize efficiency, bolster performance and reduce costs. In future posts to the Zapier blog, to Notion VIP, and my YouTube channel, I'll walk through the implementation of these and many other uses of the Notion API.

The first is recurring tasks and along with the API itself, recurring tasks is a long-standing feature request among Notion users. Prior to the API, users would formulate elaborate mechanisms for facilitating recurring tasks. Some would pre-configure a year's worth of tasks and my own bulletproof task system indicates when a task requires rescheduling, but ultimately that rescheduling occurs manually. But now a Zap can create a new task at a regular frequency automatically. Your trigger will be an internal Zapier app called schedule by Zapier, and then the action will be create database item in your tasks database.

The next example is a unified contact list. Notion's unique blend of databases and documents makes it the perfect place to manage contacts. But contacts will always remain in disparate services like email marketing platforms, CRMs, online stores, and member communities. Previously, in order to consolidate these lists, you'd have to export, reformat, and import each one manually. But with Zapier, you can keep a unified contacts database up to date automatically. So for each platform containing contacts, you'll create a Zap triggered by a new or updated contact. And then for the actions, Zapier can search for the contact in the contacts database, then update it if it exists and otherwise create it. Zapier supports Google Contacts, Outlook, Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, MailChimp, MailerLite, Salesforce, Pipedrive, Hubspot, and myriad other services from which you might want to import contacts.

The last example is to publish content directly from Notion to social media, to blogs, and even to your website. So, if you want, Notion can be a full-fledged content management system, and database properties allow you to provide the core content and supporting information for each post. And then you can manage production all the way through publishing. So with Zapier, you can post from Notion to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress, Webflow, and numerous other online platforms. So for social media posts, one approach is to keep a drafted social posts database and then an independent database for each platform such as tweets and LinkedIn posts. And then for each of those platform-specific databases, create a Zap triggered by new entries. And the action will then be to post to the platform and perhaps update a status property or a publish date property. That's a snapshot of a few common automations, but like I said, I'll be publishing detailed examples to the Zapier blog, to Notion VIP, into my YouTube channel. So be sure to subscribe to all three.