Maximize your productivity with multi-step Zaps

By Carlin Sack

You are reading: Chapter 3 of 12

Key points

  • Multi-step Zaps let you automate multiple tasks with a single trigger.
  • Add a new step by clicking the + icon between steps, or at the bottom of a workflow.
  • Information flows down. You can use data from an earlier step in any following step.
  • You can always extend a workflow by adding more steps to your Zap.
  • Add step names and a description to clarify how a Zap works.

In the next chapter, we'll cover how to look up data on the fly using search actions.


Once you have your Zap set up, you can take it one step further (literally). Add more action steps to the Zap so it does even more for you automatically. A Zap with more than two steps is called a multi-step Zap.

For example, you might have a Zap set up that notifies you of the daily weather via SMS. You can add a step to that Zap so that it also notifies your team with a Slack channel message. You can see that this Zap now has multiple actions, which are all based on the same trigger. When the Zap runs, it will do both actions.

A Zap with two action steps

You can add as many steps as you need to your Zap so that it works best for you. The more steps you add to a Zap, the more manual work Zapier takes off your plate and the more time you save.

Here's how to add more action steps to your Zap:

Step 1: Click on the Zap you want to change on your My Zaps page.

Step 2: When the Zap opens in the editor, click the blue + icon where you want to add the new step. Keep in mind that when the Zap runs, it will go through each step in the order shown in the editor, from top to bottom.

Add new action to your Zap

Step 3: Then select or type in the name of the app you want to add to your Zap.

Step 4: Connect your account.

Step 5: Customize how the data is sent from your trigger step to your new action step using fields from either or all of the previous steps.

Select data from any of your previous steps

Step 6: Finally, test your Zap, and toggle the On/Off button to On. Now, sit back and let your Zap take care of multiple tasks at once.

Adding multiple actions onto a Zap isn't the only way to take advantage of multi-step Zaps. You can add in steps called filters or search actions, too. We'll cover more about those steps in the following chapters.

Pro tip: Add a description and rename your steps

When you can build workflows with as many steps as you want, there's a chance they can get… complicated.

More automation power is always good. But sometimes you need guideposts to help you navigate Zaps with many similar steps.

Do your future-self a favor and include reminders about how your more intricate workflows work. Adding extra context is easy: Either add a description to your Zap, or rename the steps in your process to describe what each one does. (Or, feel free to do both!)

To add a description, click the gear icon in the right sidebar to open the Settings tab. Add any needed context to the Description box.

How to add a description to your Zap

Once you're satisfied with your composition, click the X to close the Settings menu. Don't worry, your description will automatically save (and you can always change it later).

Descriptions are great for summaries of how a Zap fits into your work, logs of any changes you make, and ideas about improving the workflow. Or, if you share an account with other people, descriptions give them a quick idea of what each Zap is used for.

Step names, on the other hand, are labels for each chunk of your workflow. They're more visible than descriptions, but offer less space. Each step in your Zap is numbered, and you'll find the name of a step next to its number on the left.

We do our best to pre-fill that slot with helpful info. If you want to customize the label on a step, though, click a step to expand it, open the step's menu, and click Rename.

How to rename a Zapier step

Good step names describe the purpose of the step. For example, if you have multiple steps that send emails to different teammates, you might call your step Send to contact@zapier.com.

Workflow

Take the Work out of Workflow

Zapier is the easiest way to automate powerful workflows with more than 1,500 apps.