The dust has settled on the release of the Notion API and we’ve been busy exploring the many ways entrepreneurs, creators and no-code aficionados can utilise all the new possibilities to scale and leverage their Notion Workspaces.
In this post we’ll take a closer look at a lesser-known, but incredibly powerful integration service: Integromat.
What is Integromat?
Integromat is a service that will help you connect your beloved Notion Workspace with countless other apps and web services. It is a central player in the “No-Code” ecosystem which means you can use it to access the Notion API without having to write a lick of code.
How is Integromat different from Zapier & Automate.io?
Creative, Customisable and Complex
The easiest way to build your first automation for Notion is either Zapier or Automate.io – that’s why we featured these two services in our Ultimate Guide to the Notion API.
But if you’re looking for something a bit more powerful and customisable, you consider Integromat.
A good metaphor for Integromat is that it’s like buying a set of Legos. There are over 6,000 pieces spanning LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle, that comes with detailed instructions on how to get from a bunch of colored stones to a mini school for wizards and witches. And there’s the big box of bricks, that has nothing but tons of individual pieces and some pictures for inspiration.
Sure, Hogwarts is cool. But if you want true flexibility, you’ve gotta go with the box of bricks.
Pricing Structure of Integromat
All three services share similarities when it comes to their pricing. Integromat is no different in that they offer a limited free plan that’s enough to get you started, but probably quite limiting once you dive deeper.
Please note that there’s a slight difference in how operations are counted. For Zapier and Automate.io, each completion of an automation is one operation. For Integromat, each use of a modul (explained further down below) is an operation.
Both Integromat and Automate.io beat out Zapier when it comes to their entry level paid plan. It’s only $9.99 for both of them compared to the Zapier’s heftier $19.99.
In the head-to-head between Integromat and Automate.io, it comes down to personal preferences. You only get have two active automations with Integromat compared to five over at Automate.io. But Integromat is the only integration service that will give you multi-step automations as part of their free plan.
So if you’re looking to build a complex automation without having to spend money on a paid plan, definitely consider using Integromat.
Integromat’s unique features
Here’s a quick overview of advantages that Integromat offers compared to Zapier and Automate.io.
- Visual Interface – While it’s all text in Zapier and Automate.io, Integromat displays automations as visual workflows that are far easier to read once things get a bit more complex. Think Flowchart for automations.
- Unlimited Routes – Zapier and Automate.io can create automations with multiple paths depending on if-statements, but it can get complicated quickly, while still being quite limited in functionality. Thanks to dedicated Routers (which are, effectively a fork in your automation that chooses a path for your data depending on your needs**)**, you can create as many branches in your Integromat workflow as your heart desires. And because it’s all visually displayed, you won’t lose your head trying to figure out what trigger which path.
- Advanced Trouble Shooting – Integromat offers several useful features when it comes to troubleshooting. First, you can actively choose whether an error stops the whole automation or is simply ignored. Second, you’ll receive detailed error reports to see exactly what went wrong. And lastly, you can always run parts of your automation in isolation to get to the source of the problem.
- Start automations if items are updated – This is the feature where Integromat and Automate.io greatly outpace Zapier. In Zapier, you can only trigger an automation from Notion by creating a new database item. Integromat (and Automate.io) offer a lot more options, most notably the option to watch for updates to a database item. You could use this to send a slack notification to your boss whenever you change the status of a task in your task database.
- Edit Page Content – But it isn’t just triggers where Integromat has an edge over Zapier — it’s also with regard to the possible actions. In Zapier, you can create, update or find database items. That’s enough to create pretty exciting stuff, but wouldn’t it be even better if you could, say, also edit the content of a page? Integromat lets you do just that (and much more).
How to get started with Integromat
If you open up Integromat for the first time, it can look a bit daunting. The ability to build more complex automations means that there’s also slightly steeper learning curve. But do not be dismayed our No-Coder friend – you’ll be able to orient yourself in no time.
Completely new to the world of automations and trying the Notion API for the first time? Check out our Ultimate Guide to the Notion API first to cover all the basics and then come back for this quick introduction to Integromat.
Each automation is called a scenario in Integromat. You can organize your scenarios neatly in a folder structure and activate or deactivate them with a single click.
With a free plan, you’re limited to 2 active scenarios, but you can create as many as you want. Just make sure to turn on the correct ones.
Once you created a new automation, you’ll be greeted with an empty screen and a big blue “plus” button. Time to add your first module! A module is the basic building block of your Integromat automation and it can be any sort of thing. It could be
- The app you use to trigger something (your “Trigger” in Zapier)
- The app you use to take an action (your “Action” in Zapier)
- A Router to create split paths
- A bunch of useful tools that control the flow of your automation (anyone interested in a Repeater?), advanced automation options (i.e. multiple triggers or combined actions) or full blown text parsers.
You can get more granular control over your automations by using Integromat’s powerful build-in filters. To do so, simply click the tool icon between two modules and specify for which inputs exactly you want the automation to continue.
Routers allow you to create split paths for your automation. You want to add certain DM’s to a Notion page, but if your boss messages you, you’d like to receive an email? No problem. Simply add a router element and pick the relevant condition.
Start testing Integromat and level up your automation game
So when it comes to Integromat vs. Zapier, which one should you choose?
If you’re looking for a turnkey solution or are just getting started with the Notion API – Zapier (or Automate.io) will be a perfect match. But if you want more granular control over your automations, advanced pathing and the ability to execute complex actions without losing your mind and you’re willing to invest the time and tackle the steeper learning curve, definitely give Integromat a try (our affiliate link gives you a free month of their STANDARD Plan).