How to Create a Zap

By Melanie Pinola

You are reading: Chapter 2 of 12

Key Points

  • Templates are like blueprints for popular Zaps. They help you get set up fast, and you can tweak them later.
  • You can Find New Templates and get recommendations on our Explore page.
  • Use the Zap Editor to build completely custom workflows.
  • Edit and Manage Zaps Later by locating them on your Dashboard.
  • Collaborate and share Zaps with a team account.

In the next chapter, we'll cover how to build workflows with three or more steps.


In this guide, we'll walk you through creating your first Zap–an automation between web apps–to do repetitive tasks for you.

There are two ways you can create a Zap. You can use pre-built Zaps or create your own Zap from scratch for maximum customizability.

Add Pre-Built Zaps to Your Account

We've built hundreds of Zaps that you can quickly use with your own account. Think of them as Zap templates that can adapt for your own apps.

Step 1: Click on the app you want to create a Zap for. You can type the app's name in the search box to find it quickly.

Gmail on Zapier

Step 2: Then click on any additional apps you want to integrate with your Zap.

Step 3: Scroll down to see popular Zaps using that app.

Zapier Popular Zaps for Gmail and Google Calendar

Step 4: Click the "Use this Zap" button and then the "Make this Zap!" button on the Zap description page.

Step 5: Click the "Connect" button to link your account in the app to Zapier for the first time. Or, if you've previously connected the app to Zapier, click the "Use this one" button next to your app account.

Connect Gmail

Step 6: In the following steps, when prompted, select the optional or required fields for each app in your Zap. This helps you customize the pre-built Zap and tells it the exact data you'd like to use. For example, with Google Calendar, you select the specific calendar you want to use for the Zap. And you can also customize optional fields, such as the event summary and description by clicking on the button to the right of the fields.

Step 7: Click "Save + finish!" to add the Zap to your account and turn it on. You'll also have the option to test the new Zap to see how it works.

You'll find your newly created Zap in the "My Zaps" page.

Create Zaps from Scratch

For the most customization, create a Zap from scratch. To get started making a Zap, click the "Make a New Zap" button, which is at the top-righthand corner of the page, once you log into Zapier.

Make a Zap

Now you'll be in the Zap Editor, where you can set up the Trigger and Action of your Zap.

Setting Up the Trigger

Step 1: Choose the Trigger app First you'll pick the app that you want to start the Zap. Enter the app's name in the search box or, if you've already connected apps to Zapier, click on the app icon shown here. In this example, we'll use Twitter for our Trigger app.

Step 2: Choose the Trigger Pick the specific Trigger for the app from the list of options. Triggers examples include "new email received," "document updated," "changed spreadsheet row." or "new mention on Twitter." For our example, let's select "New mention on Twitter." Then click "Save + Continue."

Step 3: Connect or select your account Choose an account that is already connected to Zapier or click the "Connect a New Account" button to add a new account. A pop-up will appear, prompting you to authorize Zapier to connect to the app. Then click "Save + Continue."

Step 4: Edit options If there are fields or other app options that you can or must include in the Zap, you'll set those up in this step. For example, you might specify the label for Gmail, the spreadsheet, or the folder in Dropbox needed for the Zap to work the way you want. In this example, we'll enter the Twitter search term we want to monitor. Then click "Continue."

Step 5: Test this step In the step, you'll see which information from the app will be used for the Trigger. Click the "Fetch & Continue" button to make sure the Trigger works. Wait for the success message before proceeding to the next step.

Setting Up the Action

Now it's time to tell the Zap exactly what you want it to do.

Step 1: Choose the Action app Type in the name of the app you want the Action to be applied to. It can be the same app as your Trigger app or a different one. In this example, we'll use Google Sheets.

Step 2: Choose the Action Choose how you want the app to behave in response to the Trigger. Action examples include "update a calendar event" or "send an email." In this example, we'll choose "create a new spreadsheet row." Then click "Save + Continue."

Step 3: Connect or select your account Choose an account that is already connected to Zapier or click the "Connect a New Account" button to add a new account. A pop-up will appear, prompting you to authorize Zapier to connect to the app. Then click "Save + Continue."

Step 4: Set up the template Now is the spot where you can customize your Zap. In this step, you can tell the Zap exactly what you want it to do with the data from the Trigger app by filling in the blank fields here. Click on the dropdown boxes or the plus (+) sign on the righthand side of every field to tell the Zap to pull in data from the Trigger step.

Once you click on the dropdown menu, a list of data from your Trigger app will appear. You'll likely want to choose the data points from your Trigger app that most closely match the field in your Action app.

Some fields are required. For example, if your Action is to update Google Sheets, you'll need to select which spreadsheet and which worksheet you want to update.

Other fields are optional but often still important to fill out. In this example, in the "screenname" field in Google Sheets, we'll choose the "username" field from Twitter. That way, the Zap will put the correct Twitter username into the proper "screenname" column in the spreadsheet. Similarly, we match the "text" column in Google Sheets with the "text" field from Twitter.

For some fields, you can also enter the information directly rather than selecting it from a dropdown box or the plus sign (+). For example, in an email field, type in an email address. Or in a description field, type in any text.

Once you've made your choices, click "Continue."

Step 5: Test this step Now we'll test the Action. You'll see which information from the Trigger app will be sent to the Action app. Click the "Create & Continue" button to make sure this step works as intended.

Step 6: Name and save your Zap Finally, click the "Finish" button, give your Zap a name, and toggle the On/Off button to "On". Your Zap will run automatically from now on until you turn it off.

Come back to your Zap at any time to edit the steps or change specific details. You'll find all of your Zaps on your My Apps page.

Share Zaps with Your Team

Now that you have a Zap up and running, it’s time to spread the automation power to the rest of the office by setting up a team account.

Team accounts come with shared folders that let the whole team view, update, or copy Zaps. Collaborate to make workflows more efficient or tweak Zaps to fit each teammate’s workflow. Here are a few ways we’ve seen teams use Zapier to free up time:

Team accounts have more time-saving features such as sharing apps connected to Zapier, an unlimited number of Zaps, premium features for every member, enterprise security, and much more! Learn more and create a team account here.

Wufoo, Google Sheets & Mailchimp

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