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6 ways to automate your to-do list and task apps | Zapier


For many of us, to-do lists are how we get things done. In theory, they should be pretty straightforward, but that’s often not the case. Tasks come from all sorts of sources, such as email, chat messages, and notes, and it’s easy to end up feeling like everything is top priority. You might also be responsible for assigning tasks to other team members, a to-do that can easily get buried at the bottom of your list.

Before you know it, your to-do list is more like to-do confetti—spread out all over the place, and items are still around, months later.

You don’t need to spend a lot of time wrangling your to-dos. With Zaps—our word for our automated workflows—you can send information from one app to another automatically, so you don’t have to manage tasks in multiple apps.

You’ll need a Zapier account to use the workflows in this piece. If you don’t have an account yet, it’s free to get started. Learn more about how it works.

Table of contents

Add emails to your to do list

An email comes in from your boss—she needs those monthly growth reports from you by the end of the week. You’ve got three options:

  1. Stop what you’re doing, gather the reports now, and send them her way

  2. Move on, let the email sit in your inbox, and potentially forget to do it

  3. Open up your to-do app, type out the details of the task, and keep it on your radar

No. 3 is more logical. But it can still take you away from your more pressing—or more important—work.

You can use a Zap to add emails to your to do list app automatically based on specific criteria. You can stay focused on your work while your to-do list is always up-to-date.

You might also be the keeper of an inbox, but not the person who’s ultimately responsible for following up in certain scenarios. Using automation, you can easily assign tasks to other members of your team without adding extra work to your plate.

Create to-do items from your note-taking app

We take notes all the time, from meeting minutes to ideas. But keeping those organized or making them actionable requires copying and pasting, which can be inefficient. With one of our automatic workflows, you can turn new notes in apps like Evernote or OneNote into tasks. Assign tasks to yourself or other team members to make meeting or brainstorming follow-up streamlined.

Save Slack messages to your to do list app

If you’re like most companies, you probably use team chat apps for everyday communication with your coworkers. Naturally, tasks come from those conversations.

It’s easy to lose important messages in chat apps. Use a Zap to send saved Slack messages—or messages with specific emoji reactions—to your to-do app.

Create to-dos from your calendar

Meetings often come with regular tasks, like creating an agenda, completing follow-up items, or preparing ongoing reports. Make sure you and your meeting attendees never miss meeting prep and follow-up again with automation.

With these Zaps, you can automatically add new tasks to your to list app for appointments on your calendar.

Schedule recurring tasks

We all have those tasks that we need to get done on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. In-app notifications and reminders are useful, but some don’t let you set recurring tasks. Our built-in scheduling tool can help you add that feature to your favorite task management app.

Create to-do items from form submissions

There may be times when you or someone else on your team needs to take action on form submissions. For example, you may be the point person for following up on customer feedback or new leads. Or you may need to send certain form responses to your support team for follow-up.

With one of our Zaps, you can add specific information from new form submissions into your task manager, so you always remember to follow up.

This article was originally published in August 2015 and was most recently updated in January 2023.

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