Excel and Zapier sitting in a tree…

A few weeks ago, we were contacted by Jose Proenca, who wrote us the following:

I figured you’d be interested in a new release we’re super excited about. Zapier is one of the first to make use of Excel Online’s new API, meaning users of the spreadsheet tool can now automatically import/export data with 500+ complementary business apps.
Jose Proenca, Zapier

VERY INTERESTING!

To be frank, we had only heard about Zapier – not really tried it.

But with Jose reaching out to us, we decided to give it a go!

What is Zapier? How does it work?

Great question!

We were wondering the exact same thing when Jose reached out to us.

At its core, Zapier allows you to connect some of the world’s most popular software. You can automate thousands of tasks, making Zapier a huge time-saver for a lot of people.
Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto

Zapier works with software such as Asana, Trello, Slack – and now even Excel!

To get a better understanding of exactly how Zapier works and carries out its automation, we decided to give it a test…

Who should try out Zapier? And who shouldn’t?

Even though we’re pretty new Zapier users, we think that the following provides a good outline for who should – and shouldn’t – try out Zapier.

  • People who are comfortable with computers and up for experimentation
  • People who work between multiple applications daily
  • People who are performing repetitive tasks
  • People who do one-off specific tasks
  • People who don’t use updated software
  • People who are satisfied with the current way of doing things

Example: How Zapier works together with Gmail and Excel

We decided to create a free account and take a closer look…

It’s beautiful!

Immediately after creating our trial account, we were struck but how beautiful, yet simple, Zapier is.

So you begin your search for which application you’d like to zap.

In our case, it’s obviously Excel.

When we selected Excel, Zapier automatically showed us which integrations were available.

At the moment of this writing, Zapier integrates Excel with +500 apps which is an insane number!

After sifting through Zapier’s integrations, we decided to make Excel and Gmail work together (two of our favorite programs).

When you’ve chosen your desired applications, in our case Excel and Gmail, you’re shown the different zaps you can create.

We decided to go with this zap:

“Add new Gmail emails to an Excel spreadsheet”

Simply click “Use this Zap” and you’re taken to the simple and effective setup process.

It’s also here, where you get a precise overview of what this exact zap does and what software is required to make this zap happen.

Simply click “Make this Zap!”

Then Zapier starts working its magic…

Then it’s time to connect Gmail with Zapier.

When the connection with your Gmail account is established, simply pick “Inbox and All Labels” and hit “Save + continue”

Then it’s time to sync your Excel account with Zapier.

Here, we found that Microsoft gave us a bit of a hard time. Apparently, you need a “Onedrive for Business” in order to make this work. So please be aware of this!
Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto

When you’ve connected Excel to Zapier, click “Use this one” and you’re then taken to…

Now you need to configure the Excel side of things.

Most of the options are pretty self-explanatory, however, the following fields need special attention:

  • Name: “From Name”
  • Email: “From Email”
  • Subject: “Subject”

Prior to picking your spreadsheet from the drop-down (in our case Zapier.xlsx), we highly recommend you create 3 separate columns in your spreadsheet.

We named our columns “From Name”, “From Email” and “Subject”.

By doing this, you make sure that the data from Gmail is placed in the right places in your spreadsheet.

This is really important and was a minor hiccup we experienced. So please take note 🙂

Then hit “Save + finish!”

Zapier then turns your zap on…

And success!

Now, Zapier gives you the option to skip the test.

However, since this was our first time trying out Zapier, we decided to test if things were set up properly.

So hit the “Test out my new Zap” button…

Head to your Gmail and follow the above 3 (easy) steps and click “Continue + fetch the email”

Now Zapier is going to test if it’s correctly hooked up with Excel.

Simply click “Continue + send to Excel” to see if things are connected properly.

When you hit this button, Zapier will try to send a row to Excel which is the very backbone of this zap.

So let’s see what happens…

Awesome!

Zapier says things are working 🙂

Being curious and critical of nature, we decided to check if things were actually working.
Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto

So we headed over to our Excel-file…

It WAS working!

*Don’t mind our Danish user-interface 🙂

And there you have it! An automatic integration between Excel and Gmail, where each new email is sent to an Excel spreadsheet.
Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto

Pretty neat, right?

What now?

Zapier most likely has integrations between the software you use.

If you’re working between multiple applications daily, we highly suggest you go check out Zapier.

It might be that you’re using Slack? WordPress? Mailchimp? Surveymonkey?

Chances are, that you’re probably using some of the software Zapier provides integrations for, so go ahead and visit Zapier and create your free 14-day trial.

Have you got any integrations (especially for Excel) that you love? Please make us aware and we’ll add your tip to this post!
Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto