Automation is not just for businesses, even we can use automation in our personal lives to make us more productive. We all get the same limited number of hours in a day, yet some people seem to achieve much more than the others. Apart from other things, automation plays a big part in creating this achievement gap. Smart work is all about eliminating repetitive tasks and focusing on those that deserve our attention. There are tools that help us automate our lives and Zapier is one of the best among them. But no tool is perfect for all, as every one of us has different requirements and agenda. Also, Zapier’s pricing is not affordable for everybody. So, if you have been looking for automation tools other than Zapier that are free or bring other features, we are here for you. Here are the 10 best Zapier alternatives you should use in 2020.
Best Zapier Alternatives in 2020
This is the service which comes closest to Zapier in terms of UI and usability. The animations are fluid and everything is easy to locate and use. In terms of functionality, I have found it to be more reliable than Zapier, especially when it comes to complex tasks. In fact, in my short time of using Integromat, I can confidently say that it is much easier to set up complex tasks using this than any other services on the list. The best part about using Integromat is that it gives you a full visual profile of the tasks you have created. Every node on the task is represented by a circle which is connected other using dotted lines. It looks like as if you have created a mind map. This gives you a quick overview of what automated tasks (scenarios as they call it) you are running.
You can create any number of scenarios and any scenario at a given time can have n numbers of steps or operations. It is a true multi-step automation tool. For example, I created a task in which whenever an article is posted on Beebom, it will retrieve it using the RSS feed and email it to me. This was a simple two-step automation. Let us take it up a notch and create a complex schedule.
I have added a router which allows me to assign different outcomes for the same trigger. I have defined the router to send any iOS article to Evernote and Android article to Google Drive. See how easily I created a path to automate things. Now I have everything I need right in my three favourite places. This is just an example, the possibilities are endless. You have to give it a try to fully understand its use cases.
My main rift with Integromat and every other automation tool for that matter is their pricing strategy. Most of them follow subscription-based pricing with multiple tiers. You will have to check each one out by visiting their websites. One good thing about Integromat is that it has a free user account option which gives you a limited access to their service, so that you can check it out before buying.
Visit Integromat (Limited free usage, with subscriptions starting at $9/month)
Automate.io is one of the best Zapier alternatives which offers a similar level of third-party integration while keeping the pricing low for startups and businesses. Earlier, its focus area was only marketing, but now Automate.io offers services in all categories, be it social media, campaigning, payment automation, basic email automation and more. And just like Zapier, with Automate.io, you can create conditional workflows which means you can integrate several web apps and hook them with suitable flowchart. The best part about this process? Well, you don’t need to write a single line of code. As Zapier does it, you can create a number of multi-app workflows by just a few clicks. The APIs are easily understandable and you can get going within minutes.
Apart from that, the best part about Automate.io is its support for larger actions per month. For example, under the $49 subscription on Zapier, you just get 2000 actions/month which is woefully small especially when you are pulling data from Gmail every day. However, with Automate.io, you can execute 10,000 action/month under the same plan. How awesome is that? And the trend continues in larger plans also where you get 5 times more actions than Zapier. So to put it straight, Automate.io is a powerful Zapier replacement and you should definitely give it a shot given that it offers more actions than Zapier under similar plans.
Visit Automate.io (Free, with subscriptions starting at $49/month)
3. Microsoft Flow
If you are looking for something which is strictly for personal use, check out this offering from Microsoft. The app is extremely well designed. It is best if you are just getting started, as it has a big assortment of templates with pre-created flows you can use to automate your tasks. It is especially useful if you already use various Microsoft services such as Office 365, OneDrive and OneNote, as with a single authentication you can connect all your apps. In other apps, you will have to give permission to all the apps you are adding one by one, which might be a little time consuming at first. However, this also brings us to one of the drawbacks of this app, you can only login into the app using your Microsoft account, there’s no other way. But this drawback is nullified when seeing its feature set.
Apart from Microsoft apps, it also supports more than a hundred other apps. It might be less if you consider other apps on this list, but is plenty from an individual user’s perspective. You can create multiple step automation defining exact commands which you want. Also, it has an app for both Android and iOS platforms, which are similar to functionality to its web app. I do consider that it’s easier to create and manage your flows on the website, as you get more screen real-estate to work with. Also, did I tell you that it’s totally free? It is the only automation app you will find in the market which is free without any restriction. If you are looking to play the automation game, do give this one a chance.
Visit Microsoft Flow (Free)
IFTTT is generally known as a consumer-facing product for automation, but what if I tell you that the company offers a separate platform for businesses too? Well, with its business platform, you can connect more than 600 apps and in the same user-friendly manner as you get on the consumer app. And the best part about IFTTT is that, unlike Zapier, it’s not just limited to web apps. Instead, IFTTT allows you to integrate mobile apps too which makes it even more capable. Since smartphones have become a primary communication device for most of the users, this feature is a welcome addition.
IFTTT has its own set of APIs called Connect which allows businesses to integrate any service be it an app, an email service or a website with the embeddable connection. However, it has special services for fintech companies looking to automate their work. Some popular services on IFTTT are Facebook, Amazon Alexa, Fitbit, Twitter, Dropbox, Gmail and more. Not to mention, you can integrate multiple apps and services in one workflow which is called applet on IFTTT. I specially love the IFTTT applets for Wear OS as they let me automate things on my smartwatch. In terms of subscription, it only has a yearly plan and it costs $199 which effectively comes down to around $16 per month. I would say, IFTTT is pretty affordable in comparison to Zapier and you can use it for basic automation in a comfortable manner.
Visit IFTTT (Subscription starts at $199/year)
If you are looking for a free alternative to Zapier then I would highly recommend n8n.io. It’s a free and open workflow automation tool that works pretty well across popular web apps and services. To make it clear, it’s an open-source tool but licensed under the Fair-code principle. Simply put, the service is completely free and you can use it for both personal and business purposes without paying a dime. Talking about the workflow, unlike other open-source alternatives to Zapier, n8n offers a seamless and visual editor to create a workflow which is basically called node on this tool. You can search for services and integrate them with webhook in basically 3 to 4 clicks. There is also an option for triggers where you can define multiple conditions as to when and where the actions will be executed.
And if you are an advanced user then you can directly tweak the code, set the parameters directly and also import JSON data without any issue. And the best part about n8n is that it has integration with many popular web apps like Google Doc, Gmail, Slack, GitHub, Asana, Freshdesk and more. Simply put, n8n.io is a great workflow automation tool and a solid alternative to Zapier given that it’s completely free to use. Further, if you are looking for another open-source Zapier alternative then Huginn (Free) would be a good choice, but keep in mind, it’s not that user-friendly.
Visit n8n.io (Free)
Tray.io is not your ordinary integration service, but a full-fledged webhook and automation platform for large businesses and growing startups. On every aspect, it stands head and shoulder above Zapier and brings many of the user-friendly features that Zapier is popular for. Similar to Zaps, here on Tray.io, you have something called a Tray Connector. It uses a drag-and-drop editor to create a seamless workflow visually. This way, you will have a much better idea about what your webhook is supposed to do. Further, you can integrate multiple services into one webhook and automate the task according to your preferences.
Apart from that, Tray.io also brings extensive support so companies can create custom Tray connectors for their individual needs. And on the web app front, Tray.io offers more than 4500 APIs from popular services like Salesforce, Google, Facebook, Mailchimp, and Dropbox. I would say, Tray.io is one of the most advanced webhook services that has the capability to integrate almost all the applications in your stack. However, keep in mind, the service is quite expensive and it costs around $500 per month. So if you run a large business, you can give a look at Tray.io instead of building and maintaining your own scripts and servers.
Visit Tray.io (Subscription starts at $500/month)
7. Zoho Flow
Zoho Flow is yet another Zapier alternative that looks promising and brings many advanced features in a user-friendly interface. Similar to Tray.io, Zoho Flow allows you to integrate your apps and create workflow scenarios on a visual editor. You can build a flowchart of actions, edit them seamlessly using conditional triggers and set the workflow in motion with just a few clicks. You can get emails, files, reports from one service to another in just a matter of seconds. The best part about Zoho Flow is that it allows you to create logic elements to define a variable, in case you want to go deep into the webhook integration. If you are an advanced user, you can surely get the most out of Zoho Flow.
And for beginners, there is nothing to worry about. Zoho Flow offers a huge range of pre-built workflows which you can get started in no time. Just choose the template and authorize the integration. That’s it. Coming to web apps support, it has integration with almost all the popular services out there including Google Calendar, Asana, Slack, Trello, Gmail and more. And if you use Zoho’s own CRM and QuickBooks then the automation would even be easier and deeply integrated. So to conclude, Zoho Flow is a user-friendly automation tool and you can surely give it a try. More so, when it costs almost one-sixth of what Zappier offers.
Visit Zoho Flow (Free, with subscriptions starting at $8.33/month)
You will notice a trend with all these automation services is that they focus mainly on the business side of things. I just wanted to get that out of the way, as while visiting these services, one might be overwhelmed with their business first approach. Apiant supports over 15000 different apps and which might be overwhelming for some users. But do not worry, you can start with your own small-scale automations and then take it from there.
You will find that all your apps have Apian integration. You can create triggers and actions. It goes without saying that there can be multiple triggers and actions in the same sequence. One unique feature of Apiant is that you can order custom services for yourself based on your requirement. This especially makes sense if you own a business which uses a different set of tools than those already supported by the platform.
You can use Apian for personal usage but it is best for business owners as it is a little but hard to get around and has a little bit of learning curve associated with it. Also, it has no free account usage. However, you can use it for a trial period.
Visit Apiant (Free trial, with subscriptions starting at $19/month)
Workato is again a powerful and advanced automation platform that would easily rival against Zapier. However, it comes at an expensive subscription cost and is primarily designed for corporations and large businesses. Similar to Zapier, Workato has support for multi-instance workflows which is called Recipe. You can either create your own recipe or choose from more than 225,000 pre-made recipes from its library. The main goal of Workato is to make automation easier and usable across departments, no matter if you are from accounts or IT.
Further, Workato brings its own SDK package for apps and websites to make them compatible with the Workato workflow. You can embed the SDK with any API enabled app and build new customized connectors for Workato. Other than that, Workato also uses AI and bots to improve your organization’s productivity. In case you are unaware, Workato is used by a number of large-scale companies like Cisco, Autodesk, Visa and more. So coming to the fore, it’s clear that Workato is a powerful alternative to Zapier and if you run an enterprise with thousands of employee then this is a perfect pick.
Visit Workato (Subscription starts at $249/month)
PieSync boasts itself as a direct competitor to Zapier, so much so that it has a whole page on its website dedicated to explaining how it is better than Zapier. According to the website, while services like Zapier push data to different apps only one way, PieSync focuses on syncing data between the apps both ways. More than focusing on if this than that functions, PieSync allows your apps to talk to each other by syncing data between then on a real time basis. This is best for a business who has a team working remotely. All their work will be synced across apps giving everyone access to the data instantly. It is also intelligent enough to find and manage duplicate data points and remove them.
For example, suppose that two members of a team update the same data. While syncing the data, PieSync will know that the data is same and will save only one set of data, thereby removing any duplication. This makes it a tool good for business but not so for individual usage. If you own a business which relies upon employees working remotely, this might be the app for you. If you are looking for something for personal use only, look at other apps on our list.
Visit PieSync (Free trial, $14/month)
Get More Done by Automating Your Work Via These Zapier Alternatives
Automation is a big tool which we can use to get more things done in a limited amount of time. Doing repetitive tasks not only kills our time but also makes our work boring. We should use automation wherever possible to stop ourselves from falling into the traps of doing repetitive tasks. Remember being productive and being busy are two very different things all together. Well, the aforementioned Zapier alternatives should definitely make things more productive for you. Every tool we have mentioned in our article has a free trial of some sort, so try them out and decide which one is the best for you. Let us know in the comments which one you chose and why.
How about Zoho Flow?