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How to automate: auto-saving tweets to Notion

About a couple of years ago, I was binge-watching some YouTubers using Python to do some really cool stuff — a guy coded a chip and attached it to a mug, such that if you don’t finish beer (or pumpkin juice) in the mug within 7 seconds it’ll give you an electric shock — these guys did some cool stuff, and some crazy stuff.

One thing that many of them were doing was using Python to automate stuff in their life and save much time. And this idea of Automation really amazed me!

Now, I don’t know how to code in Python. But I still am really interested in Automation!

Automation is a really wonderful thing which we individuals can use as well as businesses of every size — a startup of 4 guys or a multinational company — every business uses some sort of automation to save their time on smaller tasks, to lower the amount of work, and even to do some work which is impossible to do without automation.

So here’s my tutorial on Automation, you can watch this video or read along below -

Here’s what I wanna do — every time I like a tweet, I want it to automatically show up in my note-taking software. This way, I’ll have a nice collection of all the good ideas I ever came across on Twitter.

The software I’m gonna use are — Twitter (of course!), Notion — an advanced note-taking software (which does much more than note-taking), and Zapier — an automating software!

Notion released its API on May 14th. Now, what is an API?

Here’s the official definition -

In simpler terms, a company allows other company, a company provides a hook to allow other companies to attach themselves to the hook so that the two companies have easier communication and integration.

And using notion’s API, we’re gonna create our automation!

Creating the integration in Notion

This is a crucial stage. Here, we’re gonna make Notion allow Zapier to modify its content so that Zapier can add those liked tweets to our Notion.

  • Sign in to notion and create a new blank page — as I did with “test page: liked tweets”
  • Add a table to the page, and add the proper columns like “tweet body”, “author” and “URL”
  • Head to settings, then click on the last option “integrations”

Here you'll have all your integrations listen in a list (if you’re new to this, you’ll have Zero integrations)

  • Click on “Develop your own integrations”

This will redirect you to a new page on Notion’s website where you’re gonna develop your own integration.

  • Click on ‘new integration’

Give it a name and a logo if you want to and hit the ‘submit’ button

Here you go! Your new integration created — as simple as that!

  • Open your notion page (Test page: Liked tweets) and hit the ‘share’ button on the top-right corner. Click in the text-box and you’ll have all your options there — from those options, select your desired integration.

Automate in Zapier

Notion’s work is finished (for now)
Now’s the time to automate in Zapier!

If upon signing in, you choose the free plan, you’ll get access to 5 “zaps” — you can create 5 automation! And for this test, 1 is enough — so you’re good to go with $0!

  • Click “Make a zap”

You’ll have the ‘Zap’ interface in front of you.

There are 2 parts to this interface — Trigger and Action.

The ‘Trigger’ is the thing that’s gonna start the event, start the automation; and ‘Action’ is going to finish it.

  • In the ‘trigger’ stage, click on the textbox and Type Twitter in it. Then select the event that you want to make as your ‘trigger’. In our example, select “liked tweets”
  • Sign in to your Twitter account
  • Enter your own username in the given textbox and click on the continue button
  • Zapier prompts you to test your trigger by showing you the last tweet that you liked — you have to confirm it and you’ll be good to go!
  • As soon as you confirm it, you’ll be on the second stage — the ‘Action’
  • type the name of the app “notion” in the textbox and chose an event — in our case, it’s “create a database item”
  • After you hit continue, you’ll have to sign in to your account.

Now, this part is crucial here — a new window appears as soon as you hit the ‘sign in’ button. Here. You’ll have to enter a ‘token’.

You might be wondering “What the hell is a token??”

No worries, I gotchu ;)

Head over to your Notion and click on the Settings button, then on the last option ‘Integrations’
From here, locate the integration we just created and click the 3-dot-menu button (in designer’s lingo, that “kebab” menu or “meatballs” menu :D )

In that menu, you’ll find an option to copy your token — click it and from there, click on the button “Copy token”

  • Back to the Zapier window that popped up upon clicking ‘sign-in’
  • Paste the copied token into the textbox and hit ‘Continue’

It’s time to set up the Action!

  • Search your desired database — it should show up in the options of the ‘database’ menu

As soon as you click on your database, you’ll get all the options — all the columns you created on your Notion page.

  • Click on each item, and select an input from the available options.
  • Finish all the required tasks and click the ‘Continue’ button!
  • You’ll get a request to test your action — here, verify the tweet that you liked, and hit the ‘test & review’ button. Then head back to your notion, to the selected page (“Test page — liked tweets” in our case) and check for the tweet to show up in the desired manner.

Voila! Our test is successful — turn on the Zap and you’re finished *finally*

So now, every time you like a tweet, that tweet will automatically show up on the Notion page!

We just performed what’s called an “automation

Individuals can use automation to do many many tasks, which required us to devote our time, focus, and effort. We’re literally saving loads of time, energy and effort which we can invest in somewhere else more productive, or more fun — upto you :D

Companies of all sizes — startups and MNCs — can use automation to help in their tasks such as recruiting, project management, research, information gathering and what not!

I think Automation is a wonderful gift innovation in technology has brought us. We should not leave it to just coders and developers, and take advantage of it to make our lives better!

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Waris Hussain

I'm a User Experience Designer, a curious soul always keen to learn as much as possible. Here to share what I've learnt and get better at life.