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Zapier tutorial – send curated content to Zapier and beyond… (with video)

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You can collect, filter and enrich curated content in Cronycle and send to Zapier and beyond, to over 1500 other apps. Watch the video or read the Tutorial to know how to boost your content curation or research with Cronycle and Zapier.

What is Zapier?

Zapier lets you connect your apps together so you can move information from one place to another, in an automated way. It does require some upfront setup, so we’ve done our best to make it easy for you to get started.

The basic principle of Zapier is that you can set up a trigger (“when this happens”) and one or several actions (“then do this”).

overview of Zapier
The promise and basic principles of Zapier

Our first integration has two triggers: both let you send your content curation to Zapier… and beyond. We’ll add more later, so please send us a message submitting your desired triggers and actions!

Let’s look at a few cases to send content to Zapier from Cronycle, followed by the tutorial.

Why send curated content from Cronycle to Zapier?

There are many possible scenarios why you would benefit from sending content from your board to Zapier. Here are a few examples, organized per use case and feasible with our first triggers. However, this list is absolutely not exhaustive! Let us know about your own successes, and we’d be happy to share your stories on content research involving Zapier and Cronycle on our blog!

Filter relevant information to monitor your industry vertical news

  • Keep track of your competitors using Airtable: add information saved in Cronycle with the right tags into your Base. For example add a news section for each competitor from this base. This will help you track important updates, remain up to date and inform relevant stakeholders.
  • Add references supporting your strategy and decision making into documents such as Google Docs or Slides (still waiting for a PowerPoint or Word integration with Zapier).
  • Track the performance of the curation team, to support learning and development. Review tags and summaries and lack thereof in a table.
  • Analyse the trends in relation to content collected in Cronycle within your organization. Tag occurrences can help you identify topics that are emerging, or loosing traction.
  • Analyze sentiment within content collected and summaries you write, with an app like MeaningCloud (and then on log results into your favourite worksheet app, such as Excel, Google Sheets, Airtable, Zoho, Coda, etc).
  • Collect and share via Zapier your content research and references to prepare your original content – articles, presentations or training material.
curated content in a google doc
Curated content from Cronycle sent to Google Docs

Content marketing

  • Integrate the content curated in Cronycle in your usual content curation review workflow and tool connected with Zapier (such as Airtable or Google Sheet) – for content suggestion, client validation, and tracing back once live.
  • Automate the publication of your content curation to your website via Zapier. Note that we also have a WordPress Plugin.
  • Automate the publication of curated content to social media platforms with Zapier integration (such as Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc). Note that Cronycle already has an integration with Buffer and Hootsuite that cover similar social media platforms.
  • Send your content curation to Zapier and beyond to inspire your content writers with fresh and relevant content curated to quote in their preferred format or tool.
curated content tracked in airtable in a kanban
Curated content from Cronycle tracked in Airtable in a Kanban form

Engage your org on innovation

  • Share and discuss the news curated in Cronycle, and relevant to a project, in a regular and casual manner. For example send emails via Microsoft Outlook or Gmail; or messages to Microsoft Teams or Slack (we also have a direct integration to Slack).
  • Analyse the trends from your Cronycle content research thanks to Zapier and connected apps. This is useful within your organisation, to identify topics that are emerging or loosing traction, checking for tags occurrences.

Individual endeavours

  • Some users report using Cronycle to keep abreast of company and industry news, for example for their job search. Send information for job posts or interesting employers to Zapier, and then on to your note app (such as Evernote, Notion…) or to a sheet app.

Suggest more ideas

Contact us to share the way(s) you use Zapier and Cronycle together for content curation or research, and spread the word!

What information is sent from Cronycle boards to Zapier?

Now, let’s five deeper into the Zapier tutorials.

As of now, with our first set of triggers, we do send information about content available on your board – meaning:

  • Articles & videos
  • Twitter conversation
  • Tweets
  • Story Arcs – groups of items listed above

Information sent for articles, videos & conversations

For “simple” curated content such as articles, videos, tweets and conversations, we send the following data to Zapier:

  • Title of the article, video, or who started the Twitter conversation. If you added your own title to an article on your Cronycle board, your title will be sent to Zapier instead of the original title.
  • URL of the piece of content
  • Custom summary: the summary you added on your Cronycle board
  • Tags on board: the tags you added on your Cronycle board
  • Publication date: the date the original content was published
  • Author of content: the person who created the content
  • Source who published: the site or blog that published it
  • Image or video URL: the URL of the first image or video (visible on the Cronycle board content thumbnail)
  • Text excerpt: the first few hundred or so words (depending on the length of the content and if there is a paywall)
  • ID: a unique ID to help you troubleshoot and track items
  • Date sent from board: the date the content was sent from Cronycle to Zapier

As you can see, we do not send the full text of articles, even though it is visible in Cronycle. While we understand there are fine use cases calling for this, we do not want to help the spread of content reposted. There is already too much noise on the internet. Our aim is to help people cut through the noise – not create more noise!

Information sent for Story Arcs

This section of the Zapier tutorial is only relevant if you use Story Arcs (groups of content, a valuable option in content curation), as they are a little more complex to set up in Zapier. They are the reason why we created a second Trigger: “When a Story Arc is available on board”.

With this trigger, the information sent for single articles, tweets, videos and conversations is as listed above, in the “basic” trigger. But when the board sends a Story Arc, it contains the following items:

  • Custom summary: the summary you added on your Cronycle board
  • Tags on board: the tags you added on your Cronycle board
  • ID: a unique ID to help you troubleshoot and track items
  • Date sent from board: the date the content was sent from Cronycle to Zapier
  • Content type: A label to differentiate Story Arcs from Articles & Videos, and Conversations.

And, in addition, the story arc also contains each of the following data points, once per piece of content (up to 12 times – the maximum amount of items in a Story Arc):

  • Title of the article, video, or who started the Twitter conversation
  • URL of the piece of content
  • Publication date: the date the original content was initially published
  • Author of content: the person who created the content
  • Source who published: the site or blog that published it
  • Image or video URL: the URL of the first image or video (visible on the Cronycle board content thumbnail)
    Text excerpt: the first few hundred or so words (depending on the length of the content and if there is a paywall)

Note that if do do not add tags, or summary, or if there is no author, that field will be sent empty.

How to connect Zapier with Cronycle?

The video at the top of the tutorial shows you the steps to get started, and send your content curation to Airtable using the simpler Zapier trigger – Content available on board. You can also keep reading the steps below for the same information and other examples.

  • Go to the Cronycle board you want to send content from. Click on the Publish button in the board menu, and start the wizard by clicking on “Set up publishing to Zapier”.
send curated board content from Cronycle to Zapier - start the setup wizard for Zapier from Publish button
Start the publishing setup wizard for Zapier
  • The first step is asking you to make sure you have a Zapier account (a free account is enough). For information – you need an Enterprise Cronycle account (check your current plan on your profile page). Click on Next if that’s all good.
  • The second step is to connect. Each Cronycle account provides one Zapier token, shared across all boards. A token is a unique code to establish a secure connection. Copy the token and go to your Zapier account. Once there, go to “My apps”, search for “Cronycle” and click on the Cronycle result. A window opens where you can paste the token generated in Cronycle. You can also connect from a new zap.
send curated board content to Zapier - step 2 connect the cronycle and zapier accounts with a token - copy
Copy the token provided…
In zapier, pop up window to paste your token from Cronycle to connect your accounts
… and paste it in Zapier
  • Go back to Cronycle, now on step 3 – Set content to publish (to Zapier). Here, you need to define what type of board content you’ll send to Zapier. The default is Editor approval (click to see a dedicated tutorial) which lets you enrich and check your content before sending it to your publishing options such as Zapier. We recommend this option for content curation and Zapier as content (including summaries and tags) is only sent once, so it needs to be right. The alternative is to select one or several of the different board content types available. In that case, content is sent to Zapier within seconds of being saved onto the board. This is fast and effortless, but means you do not have the time to enrich or validate – which why we recommend using Editor Approval.
    Note that uploaded files do not currently get sent outside Cronycle.
send curated board content to Zapier - step 3 of the setup wizard, select type(s) of content to send
Select the content to publish
  • Next, in step 4, you get to review and confirm your choices. We also remind you of the token (the same as in step 2). You can go back at any time to any of the previous steps. The board will not send new content until you click on “Start publishing” – which you should do when you are ready.
send curated board content to Zapier - step 4 of the setup wizard, review and confirm to start publishing
Check and confirm to start publishing
  • You’ll see a confirmation as soon as you click on “Start publishing”. Before you go into Zapier to setup your Zap, add some content on your board, and/or mark it as editor approved if you choose that option in step 3 (Set content to publish). Old content is not sent retroactively (except if it was not editor approved and you mark it as such now).
  • You are now ready to finalize your zap to send content from the board you initiated this connection from. Check the next chapter on this.

Note: to send content from another board to Zapier, you need to go to this board’s publishing panel, and switch on Zapier like described above. You’ll be able to skip steps 1 & 2 as your Cronycle account is already connected to your Zapier account. Remember that the connection is per Cronycle account: each Cronycle account can only be connected to one Zapier account at any time. However, one Zapier account can be connected to several Cronycle accounts. This is the end of the first tutorial section, before you jump to the Zapier setup.

Triggers to send your content curation to Zapier

Once you have established the connection in Zapier, you’ll notice that two triggers are available to continue setting up your content curation workflow:

  • Content available on board: this is a simple option to use if you do not use story arcs (groups of articles, videos and conversations in Cronycle). If you still happen to have story arcs sent, the information for each piece of content within the story arc will not be separated.
  • Story arc available on board: this is an option that will allow you to correctly structure information for each piece of content within a story arc, while keeping them in a group with the story arc summary. It does require more time to set up, but this happens only once.

In both cases, you start by creating a new Zap. In the field “When this happens…”, select Cronycle as the App. Then choose one of the the two Trigger events, depending on whether Story Arcs are important for you or not.

selection among two triggers in Zapier for curated content
Choose one of our two triggers (start with Content Available on Cronycle Board)

Next, select your Cronycle account. If you haven’t connected yet, check how to connect above with the token.

The next step is to select the board(s) you want to get content from. Remember that you need to enable each board individually in Cronycle (from the boards’ publish panel).

in zapier trigger, select the board to collected curated content from
Select the Cronycle board(s) to collect information from

Next, Zapier invites you find board content. This allows Zapier to retrieve the most recent content curated on your board and show you what kind of information points it can process (the list written above). So remember to make sure there is representative content in your most recent board items.

Actions in connected apps after you send curated content to Zapier

Once you have selected your Cronycle account and board, you are ready to pick the app you want to connect to send your content curation to, via Zapier. To do that, search the name of the app you want to send information to.

Note: you can also browse by category on Zapier’s Apps page.

Do this… for worksheet based apps

In the case of Google Sheet, Airtable, Excel, or any worksheet app – you need to prepare your worksheet columns before setting up the zap, in a way that makes sense with how your curated content comes through Zapier. You can check the many tutorials on Zapier help too.

Then, once you set up the zap, select the option to create a new row in the sheet – “Create a record” in Airtable, or “Create spreadsheet row” in Google Sheet.

Next, you need to connect to the app (or select the account), select the document, and the sheet.

resulting Google doc

Now you’ll see a field per sheet column, with the title from each column, such as “Summary” in the example above. You are now ready to assign each information from Cronycle (e.g. “Custom summary”) to the right field. You do not need to use all the fields available from Cronycle, and you can have other columns that you can fill manually in the worksheet app.

You can always go back and modify. Once you feel ready enough, click on Continue, and then on Send Test. This will send the example content to the connected app and you’ll be able to see how it looks, if everything is right or needs changing.

resulting google sheet
Result of the test in Google Sheet: not all fields were specified, and therefore are left empty

The sample content will fill one row. Once you have checked everything, you can turn on the Zap, which will activate it. As soon as a new piece of content will be available on your board, it will be sent to a new row.

Check the Zapier tutorial video at the beginning of this posts – as it shows an example with Airtable.

Do this… for text-based apps

You can send curated content to Zapier to get it in text editors, or any other text-based app. Read on the Zapier tutorial for such scenario, or explore other apps from Zapier.

First, select the app – in my test case Google Docs. Then pick the the action relevant to you. I chose “Append Text to Document” to add new items at the end of my current month’s report.

You then need to connect to your app’s account, selected the folder where your document is in (in my case the Google Drive folders), and then the right document.

Now you are ready to list the content you want to retrieve from your Cronycle board. To do this, click on the icon on the top right. It opens a list of available information from Cronycle.

selecting in Zapier the fields of information to include in the google doc

Select all the items you want to add. Once done, click on Continue and send a test. You’ll see that the result is not satisfying at first: it is by default sent as an illegible string of text.

This means you need to format it first, otherwise your content curation and Zapier integration won’t be very useful. While Zapier promises to connect apps without any line of code, you do need a few basics for this scenario. But no worries: I don’t know how to code and managed it. Here is how:

Formatting your text

Go back to the step “Text customized” seen above, where you can select the information from Cronycle that you want to add. Now, be ready to add a few characters in between these items to format curated content coming through Zapier. You can even add text such as “From:” for the source.

Paragraphs (p)

You probably want to separate items of content with paragraph breaks. To do so, add <p> before the paragraph; and </p> at the end of the paragraph (to close it).

formatting in Zapier to add paragraph breaks before going to Google Docs
Formatting with simple html code to add paragraph breaks in Zapier

Headers (h)

By default, the content is formatted to Docs “Normal Text” – the body text format. To make a piece of information a title, you first need to identify which level of header (H1, H2, H3…) you want it to be. To do that, in Google Docs, click on Format > Paragraph Styles.

Once you’ve identified the right level, remember the number (e.g. 2 for Header 2). Back in Zapier, add <h2> before the item, and </h2> at the end (to close the header).

formatting in Zapier to format headers for going to Google Docs
Add headers

You can modify how each item (header 1, 2… and normal text) appear in Google Docs.

Line Breaks (br)

You also will need to add line breaks, for example to separate between the title and the tags. To do so, add <br> at each line break (instead of pressing enter). Note that you can press enter on your keyboard so it all becomes more visible while editing, without adding extra line breaks.

formatting in Zapier to add a line break for going to Google Docs
Add line breaks

Note that Zapier automatically adds a line break after each header and paragraph closed. So don’t overdo the <br>!

Clickable URLs

If you want to go a step further and make the source or title clickable to the original content, you’ll need to apply the URL to the text. This is slightly more complex because you need to nest items.

You need to write this:

<a href=”Content URL”>Content source who published</a>

Content URL is the item you select from the dropdown. It needs to be the URL of the article.

Content source who published is one of the options you have in the dropdown, but you can as well write “Read more”:

<a href="Content URL">Read more</a>

formatting in Zapier for a story arc going to Google Docs
This the full setup: formatting a story arc with headers, paragraphs, line breaks and even clickable links!

At any time, you can send a new test (“retest this step”) to see the effects of your changes. Ultimately, you can see how a Story Arc looks like on Google Docs:

resulting document in Google Docs with a story arc containing several articles
The resulting document in Google Docs (Story Arc)

I hope these two detailed Zapier tutorial sections covering text and worksheet apps are useful. There are many other ways to use Cronycle and Zapier, but the logic remains the same.

Special case of “Story Arc Available on Board”

As mentioned right above in the tutorial, the story arc Cronycle trigger requires manually matching each field in Zapier, as described above, but per content. A story arc can contain up to 12 pieces of content, so you have to repeat the same mapping up to 12 times. You can set yourself a lower personal limit, such as 6, but in this case, items beyond the 6th in Story Arcs will not be sent to Zapier.

fields for content in Zapier, in the case of a story arc
The list of available information for trigger “When a Story Arc is Available”

Important to know: before you set up your zap, make sure your latest content is a story arc with enough pieces of content to test properly. This way, it will be used for mapping and give you a better idea of the results.

Suspend, disconnect and reconnect

There are times when you need to stop sending curated board content to Zapier – this tutorial section explains how to do so.

Suspend

There are two ways to suspend and easily resume the connection from a board to a Zap. One is to switch off the Zap from Zapier itself. You can resume later on, without having to set up again.

Another option is to deactivate publishing Zapier from the Publish dropdown menu in your board, from Cronycle. In that case also, you can resume with a “flip of the switch”.

send curated board content in Cronycle to Zapier - access wizard and deactivation
Click on Publish on the board to access the deactivation switch

Disconnect

You can also disconnect your accounts completely, either from Zapier or from Cronycle.

To do so in Cronycle, you have two options to stop any content going to Zapier. In both cases, it applies across all boards:

  • Go to Account, Integrations & connections. Simply click on Disconnect button by Zapier.
  • Go to the Zapier publishing setup wizard, in step 2 “Connect”, and click on Revoke token in the text. Confirm the disconnection (you get to see the impacted boards if any).

As soon as you revoke a token, we generate a new unique token. If you want to establish a new connection with Zapier, copy it and reconnect in Zapier (go to My Apps tab: find Cronycle, click on reconnect and paste the new token). If you do not want to connect now, you do not need to do anything.

This concludes this detailed tutorial on how to send Cronycle curated content to Zapier. We also propose demos – get in touch with us to book one.

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