In this guest post Kim Kadiyala explains how using Zapier to connect Harvest to your favorite tools can make your team’s workflow even more efficient.

Like thumbprints or snowflakes, no two workflows are quite the same. Every company has their own way of doing business, one that’s evolved over time to meet the preferences and priorities of that particular team.

As you add tools to your workflow, however, it’s easy for it to become unwieldy. That’s why it’s essential for the tools you use to work together. Otherwise, you might find yourself wasting time switching between them or manually duplicating tasks across multiple platforms. Harvest’s integrations are a great way to connect Harvest to the other tools in your workflow. But if you’re looking for even more options, Zapier might be the answer.

Zapier is a web app automation tool that lets you send data from Harvest to over 750 apps, including Slack, Google Calendar, Asana, Trello—no coding knowledge necessary. With a few clicks, you can create Zaps (automations) that link all the tools you use in one seamless workflow, automating the manual tasks you’d rather not spend time on.

Here are stories from three Harvest customers who used Zapier to link Harvest to other tools and make their workflows more efficient. Hopefully they inspire you with ideas for improving your own workflow and saving time.

Best of both apps

An inefficient workflow can cost you precious time, especially if you have to duplicate work across several different platforms. This was the problem Blue Rocket, a mobile app design and development shop, faced when trying to work with Assembla and Harvest.

The team found it frustrating that every time they received a new ticket in Assembla, they had to go into Harvest and add a new task to the relevant project. So, they set up a Zap between the two apps that allowed them to eliminate this extraneous step in their workflow. Now whenever a ticket is created in Assembla, a corresponding task is created in Harvest for that ticket number.

This lets them track time to the particular ticket number they’re working on, giving them insight into how long each individual Assembla ticket has taken them to complete.

“This assists us in compiling detailed reports needed for some of our invoices,” says Arielle Carr, project manager at Blue Rocket. “Creating the Zap was a very simple process.”

Plus, the Zap helped lighten their workload—this automation saves Blue Rocket 5-10 hours per week just in synthesizing reports.

Fully focused with Fractal Hardware

Sometimes a Zap can improve your workflow by preventing distractions from intruding on it. For mechanical engineer Dave Seeman, the endless pings he received throughout the day disrupted the concentration he needed to design plastic parts, choose software, and manage the IT side of hardware design agency Fractal. Sure, he could’ve just closed his office door, but then he’d drive away people with helpful project-related information.

To set boundaries, Seeman uses Slack’s new custom statuses features to set an “away” message for himself. Whenever Seeman starts or stops a timer in Harvest, Zapier automatically sets his Slack status to a timer emoji along with the name of the project he’s working on. This way the team knows he’s busy—but still open for (project-related) business.

“It’s nice that if they send a message that’s urgent, they have a clear indicator of why I might not answer right away,” Seeman says.

Siebird’s one-stop shop

When your metrics are spread across different invoices, spreadsheets, and apps, it can be hard to gauge your success. Austin Siewert, owner of web consulting business Siebird, had a handle on his day-to-day performance, but needed a tool that would let him understand his long-term prospects at a glance.

Through Zapier, he built an up-to-the-minute revenue forecasting dashboard using information from his Harvest invoices. The Zap sends info from Harvest invoices, including issue date, client, and invoice amount, straight to Google Sheets. This keeps him from having to manually enter a bunch of different items into the spreadsheet.

Along with a bit of custom coding, the integration turned his records into one instantly updating report card of his progress. The result? A clearer picture of where he is—and where he needs to go.

“No longer am I trying to hit a yearly goal in one big chunk,” Siewert says. “I’m now looking at my income monthly and trying to hit those targets and adjust accordingly.”

Is automation the answer for you?

Whether you streamline your processes, cut out chatter, or combine your records, automation can help you improve your workflow, so you spend less time managing your business and more time building it. If you want to try out a few integrations for yourself, get started with the ideas in this post or explore the other Zaps that let you connect Harvest to more of your favorite tools.