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How to build your own Google Assistant automations with Zapier

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How to build your own Google Assistant automations with Zapier

Tell thousands of apps to do just about anything by speaking out loud

By Justin Pot · March 6, 2020
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Do you ever wish you could add one, very particular, feature to Google Assistant? Now you can.

Google Assistant offers a beta integration with Zapier, meaning you can now build custom automations for thousands of apps and launch them with your voice. This is the power user's dream setup.

With Google Assistant's Zapier integration you can start almost any workflow you can imagine, in almost any app, by talking to Google. All you have to do is create a Zap that lets you do it. Here's how to get started.

Note: this is a beta integration, and there might be a few hiccups.

First things first: Connect Zapier to Google Assistant

First, you'll need to connect your Google Assistant to Zapier, which you can do from a computer or on mobile. This article walks you through how to set up that connection.

Once you've connected Zapier, you'll be able to trigger Google Assistant Zaps on any compatible device.

Create your own simple Google Assistant Zap

Now we're ready to create our first Zap. Let's start with something easy. I go for a walk every morning, but often forget to tell my colleagues that I'm doing so. It would be nice if I could quickly tell my phone to change my Slack status, informing them that I'm taking a walk. Let's build a Zap for that.

To get started make a new Zap and choose Google Assistant as the first step.

Choosing Google Assistant as the Trigger step in Zapier

Click Continue and we can choose some trigger phrases. This will be what you say to Google Assistant after you open Zapier, and you can add as many as you want. In my case, I'll use a few variations on "I'm going for a walk." I know I'm not going to remember my trigger phrase precisely, so it's good to have a few options.

Selecting Trigger Phrases for Google Assistant in Zapier

Once you're happy with your list, you need to set up your action step, which is what Zapier will do on your behalf. For this example, let's use Slack, specifically the Set Status action event.

Chooseing Slack as the Action step in Zapier

You'll be asked to sign into your Slack account if you haven't already. After that, you can set up your Slack status.

Add your status text, an emoji, and an expiration time. When you're done editing, click Continue.

Setting up a Slack status in Zapier

After that, test the Zap in the editor, then turn it on.

There is a slight delay between turning on a new Zap and the Google Assistant integration knowing about it, but wait a minute and it should start working.

Now I can start using Google Assistant to change my Slack status. I just need to tell Google Assistant to "Talk to Zapier." Then I can use my trigger phrases to launch my Zap. It will go like this:

Me: Hey, Google. Talk to Zapier. Google Assistant: Zapier here! What can I do for you? Me: I'm taking a walk.

Google Assistant: Triggering change my slack status now!

Just like that, my status will change in Slack.

My new Slack status

Create a Google Assistant Zap with a prompt for additional information

The example above was a little simple: I only said a single phrase to trigger the Zap. Things don't have to be that limited. You can create a Zap that follows up with you, asking questions that can be used to populate the Zap.

This is a little confusing to grasp, so here's an example. I want to add tasks to my to-do list app, Tick Tick, using Google Assistant. To do this, I set up a new Zap, like I did above, and included a few relevant trigger phrases. Then I add a prompt for additional information to that same step.

Here's how that looks while you're creating your Zap:

Adding trigger phrases and additional prompts in Google Assistant

This means that, if I tell Google Assistant to talk to Zapier and say one of the above trigger phrases, I will be asked what task I'd like to remember. My response can then be used in the next step of the Zap.

Let's see how that looks. If I continue to my action step, using my to do list as the app and Create Task as the action, I can use the answer to my prompt to populate the task.

Creating a task using Google Assistant in Zapier

This is done using Fields. I click the Field button, in the right side of the text box, then choose my prompt from the drop down list.

Using Fields in Zapier to pull in Google Assistant responses

I can now test and turn on my Zap in the editor and it's ready to use.

There is a slight delay between turning on a new Zap and the Google Assistant integration knowing about it, but wait a minute and it should start working.

To use the Zap I need to trigger Google Assistant and ask to "Talk to Zapier." If I say one of my trigger phrases, Zapier will follow up by asking for more information, which I can then just state out loud. Here's how that will sound:

Me: Hey, Google. Talk to Zapier. Google Assistant: Zapier here! What can I do for you? Me: New to do Google Assistant: What task would you like to remember? Me: Take the dog for a walk today

Google Assistant: Triggering new to do now!

The result: a new task shows up on my to do list.

A new task on my to do list

These are just the beginning

These are just a couple of very simple examples, and they really only scratch the surface of what's possible. You can add as many additional prompts as you want. You can also combine multiple apps into one Zap, building multi-step automations you can trigger by saying just a few keywords.

Take some time to experiment. Explore the thousands of apps we support. There's probably a lot you wish Google Assistant could do. With Zapier you can actually build it.

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Justin Pot picture

Justin Pot

Justin Pot is a staff writer at Zapier based in Hillsboro, Oregon. He loves technology, people, and nature, not necessarily in that order. You can follow Justin: @jhpot. You don't have to. But you can.

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