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2 min read

How to create a planning bot with Zapier Central

By Emily Mabie · May 8, 2024
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This was a presentation at Zapier's AI Showcase in May 2024. You can read the transcript from the presentation below. Want to learn more about AI and Zapier? Watch the full AI Showcase, plus learn more about Zapier's AI products and features.

Hi there. My name is Emily Mabie, and today I'm going to show you one of the ways that I use Zapier Central

I am a member of an employee resource group, which is outside my core role. And, every month, I find myself taking a bunch of time to go through Slack messages and meeting notes and our strategic plan and try to stay on top of my work while trying not to take too much time to step away from my core role. Zapier Central is a game changer for helping me turn this half an hour long task into a few minutes. I'll show you how. 

I'm going to call this bot my ERG Strategic Planning bot. And the first thing I'm going to do is add a data source. My ERG uses a strategic plan across the entire year, and you can see it here. It's got a lot of information in it, and some of it's relevant to me, Emily, and some of it isn't. 

I also have a notes tab where I copy and paste Slack messages that are relevant to my ERG work, and I want to automate this and make this all work for me in the background. 

So first, I'm going to connect that strategic planning sheet. And now I can chat with a bot about this data source and it can give me information. But I'm going to make this even more powerful. I'm going to create a behavior which, if you've ever used Zapier before, feels like building a Zap. I'm going to tell it that when I react to a message in Slack with a specific emoji, I want that message added into the notes tab of my Google Sheet

Now, I've got my behavior set up so that when a new reaction is added in Slack, it will create a new row in my spreadsheet with that Slack message. I'll go ahead and turn it on. 

You can see I have access to the data source, my strategic planning plan, and that behavior running in the background all the time. 

So now let's interact with it a little bit so we can see the true power of Zapier Central. I'm going to talk to the bot. I'm going to tell it that my name is Emily, and that I'd like it to summarize the strategic planning content that I need to be aware of for May. 

Now, the bot is summarizing everything from that spreadsheet, as well as the notes in the notes section, which are automated to come in from Slack whenever I react to them. 

Here's where we can see the true power of Zapier Central. Our data source is not static. We have an automation running this behavior that updates it every time I react with the appropriate emoji in Slack. So as you can see, there's new information in our data source. I can continue to talk to the bot over time, and it will have access to this live data. 

So let's try asking it the exact same question, which is, "I'm Emily, can you please summarize what I need to care about in May?" 

The bot is now reading the new information in our dataset and giving me an updated scope of what I need to pay attention to for May, including those brand new Slack messages that found their way into our strategic planning document. 

Zapier Central allows me to give some simple instructions and have AI take on a ton of work, connecting with live data and saving me a bunch of time. I hope this was helpful.

Related reading:

  • Your guide to Zapier Central

  • The best automations for Slack users

  • Google Sheets automation ideas to organize your business

  • How to create a custom AI chatbot with Zapier Chatbots

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A Zap with the trigger 'When I get a new lead from Facebook,' and the action 'Notify my team in Slack'