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Take note: Automate your note-taking to turn ideas into action

Automation inspiration

3 min read

Take note: Automate your note-taking to turn ideas into action

By Krystina Martinez · November 25, 2020
An icon of a notepad with pen on an orange background

I'm a big note-taker, and to be honest, they're a bit of a mess. I have a list of furniture measurements, a Christmas list to send to my family, instructions for making menudo, and a random line for a blog article that came to me in the shower.

If you use a note-taking app, you know how easy it can be to become disorganized, with a new note for every idea. You can turn those one-off notes into something useful with Zapier. Our automatic workflows—which we call Zaps—allow you to automatically send information from one app to another, helping you reduce manual tasks. 

You can get started with a few of our favorite Zap templates—our pre-made workflows—to turn notes into tasks, gather research in one place, and more. Click on the Use this Zap button and we'll guide you through the set-up process. You can read more about setting up Zaps here.

You'll need a Zapier account to use the workflows in this piece. If you don't have an account yet, it's free to get started.

Turn notes into tasks

I use a task management app to organize my to-do lists, but I've been guilty of jotting down a list in my notes app when I'm in a rush. If you have action items split between your note-taking and task management apps, you'll likely forget something. 

These Zaps will create tasks from new notes, streamlining your to-do list in one place. 

Create notes when you need them

Last-minute notes can quickly throw your organization into disarray. For example, maybe you're attending a meeting and you realize you want to write something down. You create a note in the wrong notebook and later forget where you stored it in a rush.  Repeat this several times, and soon you won't be able to find the right note when you need it. 

Whether you need to take down meeting notes or are trying to get into a journaling habit, these Zaps will automatically create a new note according to calendar events or a recurring schedule. 

You can also create a note template while you're setting up your Zap. Just type in the text you want to include when you're customizing the note step, and it will appear every time your Zap runs. 

A screenshot of the Customize Note step in the Zap editor. Topics for a manager meeting are typed in the Content field.
If you always want the same information in a note, you can set that up in your Zap. Here, you'll see notes for a manager meeting in the Content field.

You can create notes a few minutes, hours, or even days before your calendar event occurs. Learn how to adjust the date and time values in Zaps.

Collect resources in one place

Imagine this: You're doing research on-the-go for a presentation you're leading. You have 30 tabs on your smartphone browser, but you need to send that information to your work computer to build your presentation. You can either copy and paste each link into a new note or email, send each link to your work email, or use a handoff tool to open all 30 links in your computer browser. 

But there's a better option: You can use a bookmarking app like Pocket to save ideas or research, and these automatic workflows will automatically add links to an existing note. 

Create drafts from your notes

I'll share an unofficial rule I've picked up in my writing career: Never draft your content in a Content Management System (CMS). While they're great tools for storing content, trust me. You'll save yourself from heartache if your CMS ever crashes unexpectedly. 

While I use Google Docs to draft articles like this one, I do my personal writing in my note-taking app. I tend to get ideas and inspiration while I'm out and about, so I don't want to lose my main point. After I tag my note, I have a Zap that turns my note into a WordPress draft. 

With these Zaps, you too can copy my writing workflow. Whenever you create a new note, these workflows will automatically create new posts on your blog or website. 

Back up your notes elsewhere

The worst thing that can happen to copious note-takers is losing your notes, whether because of a syncing override or an accidental deletion. 

These automatic workflows will back up your notes to another cloud storage app, such as Dropbox. You'll be covered the next time tech goblins eat your notes. 

If you work with apps or software not included in this article, don't worry—Zapier works with thousands of apps. Head to our App Directory and search for the one you use, or browse to find the right solution for your needs.

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Krystina Martinez picture

Krystina Martinez

Krystina writes about all things automation for the Zapier blog. Previously she was a public radio journalist, so she has a lot of opinions about microphones. When she's not writing or tinkering with Zapier, Krystina enjoys sewing her own clothes and taking long naps in between her many hobbies.

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