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The wait is over! The official Notion API is finally here which means our favorite productivity tool just got even more powerful. The API release now integrates Notion with a vast universe of other apps. You can think of the API as a translator that helps move (and update) information between different apps. For example, you could use the Notion API to automatically import Data from Google Sheets or send mails directly out of Notion. And you could use it to circumvent one of Notion’s nagging weaknesses: speed.
What will the Zap do?
This post will walk you through a step-by-step process for creating your first Zap. It will demonstrate how the Notion API can us create a simple Zap to send new tasks right from Todoist to a Task Database in Notion. Best of all, it’s free using working with free accounts from Todoist and Zapier (and Notion is free for personal use anyway). You’ll also see how you can leverage the quick capture speed of Todoist and the power of Notion Databases using a simple Zap. The Zap will take any new tasks that you add to your Todoist inbox will show up in your Notion Task Manager Database.
Step 1: Create new Zap
First, we need to make sure Zapier knows where to look for a new task.
To do so, log into your Zapier Account, click Make A Zap and choose Todoist as the App Event.
Step 2: Define a Trigger Event
Next, define your Trigger Event. This is the action that will kick off the automation.
Since the Zap will add new tasks that are created in Todoist to the Notion Task Manager, select New Incomplete Task.
Step 3: Connect your Todoist Account to Zapier
Follow the Zapier instructions and connect your Todoist Account to Zapier to make sure Zapier has access to your tasks.
Step 4: Specify the Trigger Event
The last step for your trigger, is telling Zapier exactly where to look for new tasks.
Pick your Todoist Project list best suited for synch with Notion.
We recommend picking your Inbox. That way, your Todoist Inbox will always be in synch with Notion Inbox.
Step 5: Test your Trigger
Before moving on, Zapier will require you to run a quick test. Before you do this, make sure that you have at least one unfinished task in the Project you picked in Step 4 (in this example, the Inbox).
Step 6: Pick your action in Notion
Now for the fun part: pick Notion from the list of possible Action Apps.
Step 7: Tell Zapier what to do in Notion
So far, there are three things Zapier can do with the Notion API:
- Create a Database item
- Update a Database item
- Find a Database item
You’ll want to add new tasks to your Task Manager, so select “Create a Database Item.”
Step 8: Connect your Notion Account
This one is a bit tricky, but we got you covered.
If this is your first time building a Zap with Notion, you need to find your Notion Token (which is basically the unique name of your workspace) to make sure Zapier updates pages in the right place. Here’s how to do this:
- Head over to your workspace, click on Settings & Members and pick the brand new Integrations option (it will only appear if you’re the Admin of the workspace)
- Select Create New Integration. This will open a new window showing My Integrations. Now, click New Integration, give it a name (we like “Unlock Notion API” because that’s the only thing it will do for now) and select the workspace you want to connect for your Zap.
- Click Submit and then copy the Internal Integration Token
- Head back over to the Zap Setup, click on Notion Account → Connect New Account and copy the Token into the authentication field
You only have to do this once – next time, your Zap will remember your Notion API token and you’ll be able to skip this step.
Step 9: Specify Action
Next, tell Zapier which information from Todoist should moved into your Notion database.
There are two things to keep in mind before we start:
- Integrations work the same way as sharing a page with other people. That means, you need to grant the integration access to the specific page containing your task manager.
- Our Action is called: Create new Database item. That means, we need to have a database for our tasks set up and can’t just use a page with simple checkboxes
If your Task Manager is set up accordingly (shared with the integration & a database), simply pick the name from the drop down menu Database.
This will load a bunch of fields depending on the number of properties your Task Manager Database. (For this example, we’ve used a rather simple one and left the complex stuff to our trusted Notion formulas.)
Now, assign (or map) each property the corresponding information from Todoist.
Because we want to use Todoist just as a quick capture tool for new tasks in Notion, we leave all fields empty except for the main field. Assign it the corresponding Todoist information (starting with 1. Content: and showing the name of your open task in Todoist)
Step 10: Test your Action
Test your Zap & you’re good to go!
One last thing: Zapier currently synchs every 2 minutes with the Notion API, so don’t worry if new tasks don’t show up instantaneously. But even with that slight delay, this automation will make adding tasks to Notion just so much easier and faster!
The Possibilities are endless
This is a very simple and straightforward Zap to get you started and make sure you are set up correctly. The Notion API opens the door to an endless amount of possibilities. And since we have your attention, you could:
- Send a mail depending on updates to a Notion Database (for example notify someone when you add or finish a task)
- Using Slack over email? No problem, you could also post in a channel without ever leaving Notion
- Stop copy-pasting information from emails into Notion and let the Notion API do the work instead
- Missing graphs in Notion? Just set up an automatic export to Google sheets and work from there!
We can’t wait to see how you use the Notion API. The possibilities are endless.