One question I get asked a lot, particularly on podcasts, is if there is a downside to workflow automation with tools like Zapier & Active Campaign.
It’s easy to go off on a rant about how awesome automation is and how much time it saves, without even considering the negatives. That’s because overall, it really is awesome. And you really can save a crazy amount of time by getting manual tasks off your plate.
But it’s easy to screw up, and I do it all the time.
So here are a few things you should watch out for when you’re implementing more and more automation in your business.
Part 1 - Getting lost in workflows
When you have loads of automations running across loads of tools, you can easily forget what automation is doing what job. Even if you know what tool to look in, just searching for the workflow that you want to edit can eat into the time you’re supposed to be saving.
The best solution I’ve found is to:
- Categorize workflows with folders or tags
- Name things properly
If your platform has a way to put workflows in folders, or to tag them, use it. Any automations that are used for payment processing can go in a “Financial” or “Payment Processing” folder, so you know where to look.
The second piece is to use descriptive names so that when you search for a keyword, it shows up.
With a customer onboarding workflow for Content Snare, we call it
“Content Snare - Onboarding - Trial accounts”
It’s pretty clear what this does. You want to know what the automation does without having to click into it.
Keep names consistent too. If you decide to have dashes between the categories like this, always use dashes. Don’t throw in a colon here or there. And use the same order like
[Business Unit] - [Function] - [Detail]
Or whatever naming convention works best for you
Stay tuned for next week’s newsletter for part 2 of the downsides of automation.