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Entries Tagged “Google Calendar”

At Zapier we practice support driven development which is the long way of saying that everyone does support.

But when everyone does support the question that always comes pops up in our group chat room is "When is my support shift again?"

So we developed a simple solution for this that texts teammates 15 minutes before their support shift begins. I imagine the solution could work for any team that has some sort of on call system for monitoring essential systems.

The three tools we need are Google Calendar, a Twilio account and one Zap to tie it together.

Part 1: The Calendar Setup

The first step is to setup your support schedule in Google Calendar. Make sure to do this in a new calendar.

We have a team of five with one person in charge of most of the support while the rest of us pitch in. The schedule looks something like this:

Google Calendar Support Schedule

The non-support team mates rotate doing a full support day once every four Friday's to give Micah a break from support to work on other things.

In Google Calendar you can make each of these events a recurring event with no end date so you only have to do the setup once and tweak as new employees come and go. Make sure to add the person's whose support shift it is phone number to the location field in the Google Calendar event.

Your Google Calendar setup is complete.

Step 2: Setting Up Twilio

The only thing you need to do with Twilio is sign up for an account and get yourself a phone number.

Creating a Phone Number in Twilio

Make sure to save your Twilio Account SID and Auth Token. You can find it at this url: https://www.twilio.com/user/account.

Step 3: Tying it Together With Zapier

The last piece is to use this Google Calendar to Twilio Zap.

The Zapier creator should be mostly complete for you. Put here's the steps:

  1. Add your Google Calendar account to Zapier
  2. Add your Twilio account to Zapier
  3. Select the support calendar you added from Google Calendar
  4. Select the Twilio phone number you want to send an SMS from. To "To Number" and "Message" should come pre-baked with the Zap, but you can tweak it if you'd like.
  5. You can skip over the next step
  6. Enable your Zap

And that's that. You now have a support schedule with a simple paging system that sends an SMS 15 minutes before a shift begins so that the person covering the shift always knows when their shift is.

About the Author

Wade Foster is a Co-founder and CEO at Zapier. He likes to write about process, productivity, startups and how to do awesome work.

Many people make great use of Basecamp's todos, but a longtime frustration is the inability to have recurring todos. Thanks to Zapier, we can make that happen using Google Calendar and Gmail.

Configuring Google Calendar

First, we'll create a new Calendar in Google Calendar, we'll call it "Basecamp Todos". After that I'll need to create a recurring event for the recurring todos I'll want to create in Basecamp. Let's say I want a Basecamp Todo to write a new blog post every Monday. I'll create that event, making sure to add an Email reminder for the event.

Creating your recurring event

Configuring Your Zap

Now that we have an email reminder coming in each time this calendar event is about to begin, we'll set up our zap to create a new Todo in Basecamp that corresponds with the reminder emails. If you like, you could set up a filter in Gmail to add a label to these emails. Then you would point your zap to that Gmail label and only those reminder emails will trigger the zap. Alternatively, you can monitor the Inbox with your zap, and use filters like you see here:

Filtering your zap

This way, only calendar reminder emails that correspond to our new Basecamp Todo calendar will have new Todos created by the zap.

The Finished Product

All that's left now is for our event to come around and for the email and zap to do its work. Here's what the finished product looks like:

Your new Todo

If you don't want the formatting of your email title to be your Todo, you can hard-code the Todo content in your zap. If you want to have multiple recurring todos used by the zap, you'll need to duplicate your zap with different Todo contents, and use filters to ensure the right content is used for a given email.

So there you have it, recurring Basecamp todos in just a few steps. Heres a link to the Zap for creating recurring Basecamp todos through Google Calendar. How do you extend the functionality of Basecamp with Zapier? Let us know in the comments.

About the Author

Micah Bennett is the Support Lead at Zapier. He loves his wife Trinity, dessert, and the Chicago Cubs. He has never been to Boston in the fall.

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