While we may not be quite at the levels of technological advancement that movies and TVs promised us in the last few decades, we have come a long way. Things that used to take minutes by hand now take seconds when given to a computer with the right guidelines. Part of the issue, however, is that there are a ton of different solutions for different problems, creating the rolodex of software we use on a daily basis: the tech stack.

We designed Timely to automate daily admin and empower you with rich time data – not to introduce new shallow tasks like connecting Timely data with the rest of your toolkit. That’s why we’ve refreshed our integration with Zapier, where you can set up no-code automations for your day-to-day tasks in minutes and build workflows between the apps in your stack and Timely that otherwise wouldn’t be possible.

Creating a Zapier account

Simply sign up for a free Zapier account and jump right into creating Zaps. You can create Zaps to import data from other tools to Timely, and export information from Timely to other tools! 📥

Note: If you have a free Zapier account, your Zaps will only run every 15 minutes. If you’re unfamiliar with Zapier, you can read more here about how it works: https://zapier.com/how-it-works

Connecting with Timely

To connect Timely with Zapier, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Zapier account or create a new account.

  2. Navigate to "My Apps" from the top menu bar.

  3. Click "Connect a new account..." and search for "Timely Time Tracking".

  4. Use your credentials to connect your Timely account to Zapier.

  5. Once connected, create your first automation! Use a pre-made Zap or create your own with the Zap Editor. Creating a Zap requires no coding knowledge and you'll be walked through the set up step by step. We’ve outlined how it works in detail below.

Each Zap has involves a Trigger from one tool (the source of the data you want to share automatically) and an Action in another app (the receiver of your data). This allows automatic data flow to work both ways. As such, you can make Timely automatically pull information from a connected tool, or push information to it whenever a specific trigger event is fired.

Exporting from Timely

Once you’ve created a Zapier account, joined the beta and connected with Timely, you’ll be able to set up Zaps to push the following data from Timely to create records in other tools:

  • New entries

  • New projects

Before connecting your Zap, we recommend that you create a sheet or table in your recipient tool that has columns set up in advance so that Timely data can flow through Zapier during your test. If you’re using a tool like Airtable where you can customize the format of specific columns, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Columns that house data such as project IDs or hourly rates should be set as numbers

  • Columns for names of projects should be formatted as single line text

With all that housekeeping done, go through the following steps to connect, test and complete your Zap:

  1. Select what starts your Zap or the trigger event. That can either be projects or entries you create in Timely.

  2. Select the Timely account you want to use in the Zap. Unless you’ve connected multiple Timely accounts across different email addresses, you’ll only have one option to select here.

  3. You may have different workspaces you’ve created under the same email address in Timely (i.e. one for work and one for personal use). Select the workspace that will trigger the Zap.

  4. Test the trigger so that it pushes a project or entry from your workspace.

  5. Select what you want to happen in the recipient tool you’ve connected (i.e. create a new record in Airtable or spreadsheet row in Google Sheets).

  6. Select and connect your account for that tool.

  7. Set up the action by selecting the base/doc and the table/sheet in the destination app.

  8. Map the data from your trigger test to the matching table or sheet fields in the recipient app.

  9. Test the action and then check your table/sheet in the destination app to make sure everything looks as expected.

  10. Turn on the zap and you’re done! ⚡️

Note: Make sure that you’ve added information from the trigger test to the fields when mapping your data, otherwise your test of the overall Zap will fail with this error message: The app returned "Could not find field "fields" in the request body".

You may also find that when mapping data from the trigger test that there is additional data or other fields you want to include. No problem! Just add new columns to the destination table or sheet, update your Zap to include those fields, and test again to make sure everything ends up where it should.

Importing to Timely

One thing to note about pulling data into Timely from other tools: once the Zap is enabled, it will run at certain intervals based on the data that’s on the table or sheet you’ve connected. To keep Timely clean and clear from incomplete entries or projects, we’d recommend creating an approval process or some level of vetting wherein the table or sheet you’re importing from contains the final version of what you want to send to Timely. In Airtable, for instance, you could create two views in one table: one view with your draft projects. and another with approved projects. That way, you can create, edit and finalize any projects before approving them and pushing them to another view that’s connected to your Zap.

To send entries or projects from another tool to Timely via Zapier, follow these steps when building your Zap:

  1. Choose the app you’re using and the trigger event, such as a new spreadsheet row or a new record in a view.

  2. Connect your account in the trigger app (i.e. Google Sheets, Airtable).

  3. Select the doc or base that houses the sheets, tables or views you’re using.

  4. Test the trigger to pull in project information you’ve created.

  5. Select “Timely Time Tracking” for the app event.

  6. Pick an action event for when the Zap runs (i.e. creating a project, client, user or entry in Timely).

  7. Select the workspace where this project will be added.

  8. Set up the actions to include the fields you’ve created outside of Timely. Note: The overall action of your Zap is the only thing you can create when it runs. For instance, if you attempt to create both a client and a project at the same time, you’ll run into an error message stating that the project could not be sent to Timely.

  9. Test the action and then check Timely to make sure that what you’ve created appears in the UI.

  10. Turn on the zap and you’re done! ⚡️


How does Zapier work?

Zapier connects apps on the backend to automate tasks you might normally do manually. Here’s a link from Zapier’s website that explains the process in depth: https://zapier.com/how-it-works

What are some popular examples of integrations you can build with Timely and Zapier?

Here are some popular use cases for apps you can connect with Timely via Zapier: https://zapier.com/apps/timely-time-tracking/integrations

These are just a handful of options available and as we add more triggers, actions and searches, more opportunities become available to you as well!

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