You forget to print your boarding pass but don’t sweat because of the self-service kiosk at the airport. You’re out of cash while shopping but the good old ATM comes to your rescue. You’re not in the mood to cook so you place an order on Doordash instead and your food arrives at your doorstep.
At least part of all this happens without you doing much. Sure, you initiate the action. But the right boarding pass prints on its own. The right count and denomination of bank notes from the ATM emerges on its own. And the Doordash order gets communicated to the restaurant and the delivery person on its own.
Thanks to one technology we can’t get enough of. Automation.
We’ve figured out thousands of powerful tools and tricks to let machines perform everyday, mundane, repetitive tasks for us. So that we can devote our most-precious assets—time and cognitive capacity—to meaningful, fulfilling work that makes a difference.
These tools and tricks collectively fall under the umbrella of task automation.
What is task automation?
Task automation refers to executing tasks with minimum human assistance possible.
Using dedicated tools and software, you can eliminate the manual effort required to perform simple, everyday, and often, repetitive tasks.
The goal of task automation is to streamline routine processes, make them more efficient, and ultimately supercharge people’s productivity.
Today, you have a plethora of tools to choose from for virtually all of your repetitive, recurring tasks.
Superhuman uses AI to triage your inbox, unsend emails, glean insights from social media, and schedule messages & follow-ups automatically. Buffer is your understaffed marketing team’s social media manager and takes functions such as scheduling posts, repurposing content, gathering analytics etc. off your very full plate.
The possibilities are endless.
But for the purpose of this blog post, I’ve tried to restrict myself to the very best automation software out there in 2022. Take a look!
11 best task automation tools you should be using at work
Here are the top 11 tools that’ll give you the most banfg for your buck while automating everyday tasks.
Zapier automates busywork across a whopping 5000+ apps to free up your time.
You start by designating a trigger, like receiving an email. You can then define what that trigger should do—like copying any email attachments to your Google Drive and sending you a Slack alert. Zapier also has ready-made workflows.
With Zapier, your team can
- Create multi-step workflows to complete processes faster with minimal human intervention
- Reduce the risk of human error by using pre-programmed, machine-run processes
- Automate everything from your email funnel to your DevOps
- Free forever: $0
- Starter: $19.99
- Professional: $49
- Team: $299
- Company: $599
IFTTT is a productivity app that simplifies automation. The no-code platform allows you to automate tasks from anywhere. It helps you skip repetitive tasks such that your personal "robot" can handle them instead.
IFTTT lets you:
- Make your voice assistant more personalized, linking it to your calendar and more
- Access ready-made "applets" of pre-made automation templates to get you started
- Integrate with tools like Dropbox, Twitch, Slack, Microsoft, and others
- Free: $0
- Pro: $5
- Pro+: $10
OSlash’s complete productivity suite comes with a host of applications to save you ~30 hours every month spent on searching for information, navigating through the clutter of workplace URLs, and typing frequent texts over and over.
- Create shortcuts to access and share your frequent web pages, apps, documents, and URLs—in less than a second
- Create, save, and insert text snippets to automate repetitive typing
- Fly through work with one-touch access to your shortcuts, tabs, and activity
- Pro: $3/user/month
- Expert: $6/user/month; free 15-day trial available
- Enterprise: Custom
HubSpot is one of the most popular tools for Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service automation. Its OperationsHub offers you a visual, no-code, intuitive automation builder that lets even beginners build complex automation sequences.
Use HubSpot to:
- Automatically declutter your data
- Put personalized prospecting, lead qualification, pipeline management, and appointment scheduling on autopilot
- Automate and customize omnichannel marketing campaigns
- Automate help-desk and provide personalized customer support
- Starter: $45/month
- Professional: $720/month
- Enterprise: $2000/month
Airtable’s simple yet powerful automations make it what it is—a solution to create no-code apps for managing virtually every business need. You can configure up to 50 automations within an Airtable base and add up to 25 actions in each automation.
Airtable lets you and your team:
- Create custom workflows with defined triggers (such as creation of a new Airtable record) and actions (such as sending an email or Slack notification)
- Test automation steps before execution to prevent errors
- Choose from a host of pre-built templates to speed up workflows
- Free: $0
- Pro: $10/seat/month
- Plus: $20/seat/month
- Enterprise: Custom
ClickUp combines the functionalities of a project management, document management, and chat app to offer teams a one-stop solution for everyday tasks. It has “pre-built automation recipes” and customizations to help streamline busywork.
Use ClickUp when you want to:
- Automatically assign tasks, post comments, move statuses, and more
- Implement clear SOPs across teams
- Create and automate shared workflows across external tools such as Slack, Google Sheets, GitHub, Typeform, Airtable etc. within ClickUp
- Free Forever: $0
- Unlimited: $5/member/month
- Business: $12/member/month
- Business Plus: $19/member/month
- Enterprise: Custom
Alfred is an automation app for macOS designed to maximize your productivity with custom actions, hotkeys, keywords, text expansion and more. While the app is free to download, you’ll need to buy the Powerpack for using the text expander, accessing clipboard history, and automating workflows.
Alfred lets you:
- Eliminate typing the same URLs or responses over and over
- Create automated workflows without ever writing a line of code
- Search the web, find local apps & files, access clipboard history, and execute system commands quickly with custom hotkeys
- Single License: £34
- Mega Supporter: £59 (includes free lifetime upgrades)
8. Zoho Flow
Zoho Flow is an automation app created to connect applications to break information silos across departments. Its simple drag and drop UI offers a quick, painless way to create automated routines.
With Zoho Flow, you can:
- Get your emails, reports, records, and complex data to move seamlessly across your apps
- Introduce decision branches for various triggers, set waiting times between subsequent actions, and customize each step of the workflow according to your preferences
- Maintain and monitor each workflow's history in a central log
- Standard: $10/month
- Professional: $24/month
Tallyfy’s USP as a workflow and process management platform lies in its simplicity and ease of use. It offers you the benefit of automation without bombarding you with complex flowcharts and routines.
Use Tallyfy to:
- Transform your approval workflows, procedures, and forms into trackable processes. Save time by reducing the back and forth in emails, chats, and meetings.
- Show or hide tasks using custom rules to clarify workflows and avoid complexity
- Capture enterprise knowledge centrally and create blueprints that save everyone time
- Tallyfy Docs: $50/member/annum
- Tallyfy Pro: $300/member/annum
Microsoft’s Power Automate employs AI capabilities to help you automate repetitive tasks. You can let its Process Advisor provide guided recommendations for the most efficient workflows based on recordings and visualizations of your end-to-end processes.
Use Power Automate to:
- Bring your data together in the Dataverse as a single source of truth for your automations
- Build automations faster by extending Power Automate with Azure
- Scale automations across the cloud and boosting team productivity
- Per user plan: £11.30/user/month
- Per user plan with attended RPA: £30.20 per user/month
- Per flow plan: £75.40/flow/month; minimum 5 flows
It also offers pay-as-you-go plans where you can pay per flow run.
Pipefy is a low-code workflow and business process automation (BPA) platform. You can use it to automate your revenue ops, people ops, finance & procurement, as well as IT & governance processes.
With Pipefy you also get:
- Integrations with your existing tools, from spreadsheets to complex ERPs and other legacy systems
- Advanced reports that filter and combine information from your processes just the way you want
- A comprehensive gallery of templates to streamline workflows across business functions
- Starter: $0
- Business: $19/user/month
- Enterprise: $32/user/month
- Unlimited: Custom
The bottom line: How to choose the right task automation software?
The idea of selecting the right automation tool for your business can be overwhelming, even if you already have a shortlist in mind.
Here is a quick checklist to help you zero in on the right tool.
- Decide which tasks to automate. This can range from email marketing to lead capturing to your financial processes, recruitment or even workflow management.
- Keep a mental list of the essential features you would like the tool to have, such as access controls, collaboration features, no/low-code capabilities etc.
- Consider if you wish to invest in a paid tool or go for a free/open-source option at first. You can also avail free trials and credits offered by some tools.
- Check the reviews left by previous users of the tool to identify its pros and cons.
- Explore videos and get on live demos to understand the tool better and get your doubts addressed.
If you’ve completed all the steps, congratulations! You may have found the best task automation software for your business, after all.
To be honest, we are hoping OSlash makes the cut. Have you tried it out yet?
Get started for free today and watch your busywork evaporate. In a jiffy!