My Design & Development Agency has been expanding the last few months, so lately I’ve been searching for ways to help our team workflow become more streamlined. One tool I have been looking into is BaseCamp. Basecamp is an all-in-one team management platform that keeps track of useful information, lets you create tasks, assign tasks and get immediate feedback on what an employee was working on during the day. Although Basecamp is robust, it seemed as though the UX was not as intuitive as I had hoped, and it didn’t seem to integrate with any of the tools we already use like Slack for communication and Trello for agile development.
However, I really loved one feature that Basecamp provided. That was a daily email reminder to all employees asking for a short write-up of what they did during the day. I thought this could be really useful for us, as we need to start collecting data like that to give clients a recap of what we’ve done for them, and to help management allocate resources accordingly.
I wasn’t too keen on paying $79/month just for that one feature, though. So I turned to Zapier, an app for automation. It lets you set up “Zaps”, or actions that take place whenever a specified trigger occurs. A trigger can be nearly anything, like sending an email or Slack message, filling out a Google Form, or even just a time of day. Zapier works with just about every popular application that exists, so whatever you use for your business, you can probably find a way to automate part of it.
I made a quick Zap to get a real-time, daily pulse of the company. The Zap is called “What I did today.”
Here’s how it works:
Step 1: I set up a Zapier scheduled trigger for 5pm every day excluding Saturday and Sunday.
Step 2: I set up an action to have my Gmail send everyone in the company an email with a link to a google form to fill out.
The responsive email template I used was from: https://github.com/leemunroe/responsive-html-email-template. I copied the code and pasted it into the body section of the Gmail setup in Zapier. Then I made some simple modifications to the template adding company branding colors.
Step 3: The Finished email.
Step 4: I linked the button to this google form.
In the future, I plan to automate a weekly message to our clients giving them a quick insight to what the team was working on a particular week.