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5 ways to do more with Google Hangouts Chat

Automation inspiration

4 min read

5 ways to do more with Google Hangouts Chat

By Krystina Martinez · April 13, 2020
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Google Hangouts Chat was designed to be a one-stop communication shop for G Suite users, featuring seamless integration with popular G Suite tools and bots to connect your favorite apps. But what if your favorite app doesn't have a bot or you just want to take your streamlining to the next level?

Use Zapier to connect Google Hangouts Chat with your favorite apps so you can keep important information in one place. Try out these popular automated workflows—we call them Zaps—to solve some common work annoyances and cut down on boring tasks.

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Before you start: How to add a bot to your Hangouts Chat

Before you try these workflows, you'll need to add the Zapier bot to your Hangouts Chat. Here's how to do it:

Visit chat.google.com. To find bots, click the search button in the top-left corner, then click Find a bot.

A screenshot of a typical Google Hangouts Chat room with menu options to the left to add users or bots.

Then search for the Zapier bot and add it to your desired room. You'll need to allow Zaps by clicking on the Zapier bot from the left-hand window and then Click to allow Zaps. Note that permissions are set per user.

A screenshot of the Zapier bot within Google Hangouts Chat showing user permission settings for allowing Zaps.

Never miss a meeting

It's easy to lose track of time and realize you're 10 minutes late for a scheduled meeting. Or perhaps you're the designated sheep-herder on your team, making sure everyone shows up. Neither situation is ideal. Instead, set up an automation to post a message in a specific Hangout Chat room before a meeting starts.

A screenshot of a meeting reminder in Google Hangouts Chat. A Zoom link is included.

To get started with a Zap template—what we call our pre-made workflows—just click on the orange Use this Zap button below, and we'll guide you through customizing it. It only takes a couple of minutes. You can read more about setting up Zaps here.

This template can help you get started, but you can customize it further by including the event description in your Google Chat message. You can do this by clicking in the Message Text field in the action step of your Zap and selecting Description from the dropdown. This can be especially useful if your team commonly puts conferencing links or room numbers in calendar descriptions.

A screenshot of the Zap Editor showing where to customize the message text for your Hangouts Chat meeting reminder.

If Google Hangouts Meet or your preferred video conferencing tool is integrated into your Google Calendar, you can also include the conference link during setup. Just click in the Message Text box and select Conference Data Points Entry Points Label from the dropdown.

A screenshot of the Zap Editor showing how to customize the message text of your Hangouts Chat reminder with conference links.

Don't watch your inbox for important emails

No one likes to watch email, but it can't be helped when you're waiting on critical information to get work done. Instead of monitoring your inbox, set up an alert in Hangouts Chat for emails that meet a specific search criteria or label.

When setting up the action step of your Zap, be sure to select Zapier Bot Direct Message if you want a personal direct message, or the name of your team chat if you're monitoring a shared inbox.

A screenshot of the Google Hangouts Chat portion of the Zap Editor. A dropdown menu next to the Chat Room field lists Zapier Bot Direct Message among a list of rooms.

Get alerts about specific updates to G Suite files

There are many reasons to love G Suite files, such as the ability to track changes and work on a file collaboratively with your team. By default, Google Drive alerts users about new comments, access requests, files shared, and storage. You can also get those notifications in Hangouts Chat through Google's built-in bots.

But if you want to get more granular—perhaps you want to know when a specific row in Google Sheets is updated or if everyone filled out that team survey—you're reduced to obsessively refreshing the file to check if your team updated it like you asked.

Instead, set up a Zap to connect your G Suite app of choice with Hangouts Chat. (Heck, connect all of them if you'd like.) You can choose a specific Drive folder or file, or even select a specific column or field change to trigger your Zap.

Note: For Google Forms, make sure your form is set to export to a spreadsheet for your Zap to work. Learn more about making Zaps with Google Forms.

You can also add a filter step—available under our paid plans—if you only want your Zap to run under certain conditions. Read more about how to set up a filter step.

Stay up-to-date on customer feedback and project changes

Maybe you want to get alerts within chat about project updates so you can course-correct if something is delayed. Or you want to ensure someone on your team can quickly respond to feedback if a customer fills out a form.

Set up a Zap to connect your favorite project management or form app with Hangouts Chat.

Don't see your favorite app here? Head over to the Google Hangouts Chat page in our App Directory to see all the templates we offer. If you don't see what you need, you can create your own custom Zap connecting the apps you use by going into your Zapier account.

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Schedule reminders for yourself or your team

We're constantly juggling our to-do lists and sometimes need a gentle reminder. Instead of chasing down your coworkers to remind them to fill out your weekly meeting agenda, use Schedule by Zapier to trigger reminders hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly in a specific room.

A screenshot of a reminder in Google Hangouts Chat. The message includes text encouraging people to fill out a meeting agenda ahead of time.
Use Schedule by Zapier with Google Hangouts Chat to send helpful reminders to your team even when they

This workflow can get you started:

You can also get your reminders through a direct message by selecting the Zapier Bot Direct Message when customizing the action step of your Zap. This can be helpful if you need regular personal reminders.

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Krystina Martinez picture

Krystina Martinez

Krystina Martinez is a writer on Zapier's content marketing team, based in Dallas, Texas. When she's not working, you can find her sewing, exercising, or watching anime and gymnastics.

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