Create Lunchtime and Birthday Reminders With Zapier

Connect your calendar to Plecto with Zapier and create friendly lunchtime and birthday notifications on our slideshows.

Last updated: April 25, 2022

Use Zapier to connect your Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar, and many other apps to Plecto. Zapier will automatically add registrations to your Plecto data sources whenever the other app updates. See the complete list of all the apps Zapier can integrate with Plecto.

Say you add a birthday in your calendar. Once the birthday comes, Zapier will trigger and add a registration in Plecto. This registration will trigger a notification and pop up on your Plecto slideshow. 🎂 You can also create notifications based on other events, such as lunch breaks, townhalls, and others.

Send fun notifications to your team and maintain the office routine even if you're working from home!

Zapier Lunch Reminder

An example of a lunchtime notification on a Plecto slideshow.

One Zap and data source per notification

You need to create separate Zaps in Zapier as well as separate data sources in Plecto for each type of notification you want to set up. For example, one Zap and data source for lunch breaks and another one for birthdays.

First, you need to create a custom input manual data source in Plecto. This data source will be used to store registrations sent from Zapier and to trigger the notifications in Plecto.

  1. Go to Data management > Data sources > + New data source.
Data Source Page

An example of how to add a new data source in Plecto.

2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select "Custom input" data source. Give your data source a title, adjust the permissions if necessary, then click on "Save" in the bottom-right corner.

An example of manual data source options.

Once created, your data source is ready to receive registrations from Zapier.

Tip: Add custom fields

Feel free to add custom fields to your data source, for example, "Event description." This will allow you to select additional fields from your calendar to import to Plecto and see which employee is having their birthday, what's on the menu for the day, or any other information that has been added to the calendar event.

To configure Zapier, you need to set up a trigger and an action. You want to trigger Zapier to create a registration in Plecto before an event in your calendar starts. The registration will then trigger a notification in Plecto, which will appear on your Plecto slideshow.

  1. Go to this page in Zapier to quickly connect Plecto to your calendar app.
  2. Use the search box to find your app, for example Google Calendar or Microsoft Outlook.
  3. Under "When this happens..." choose "Event Start"/"Calendar Event Start." Click on the arrows to switch between options.
  4. Under "automatically do this!" choose "Create New Registration."
  5. Once both options are selected, click "Connect Plecto + [Name of your calendar app]."

At this point, Zapier will ask you to log in to your account if you haven't already done so. Log in to proceed and configure the trigger and action.

Zapier - Google Calendar and Plecto

An example of how to quickly connect Google Calendar to Plecto in Zapier.

2.1. Set up the Trigger

The trigger is what prompts Zapier to perform an action in Plecto. In this case, we will set up a notification for Google Calendar. You can use other apps too. The trigger should be the starting time of the event in your calendar.

Zapier Trigger.png

An example of setting up a trigger action in Zapier.

  1. Choose app & event: Choose "Google Calendar."
    Trigger Event: Choose "Event Start." You want to create a registration in Plecto and send out the notification at the moment when the event starts and not, for example, when the event is created in the calendar.
  2. Choose account: Select the Google Calendar account you want to connect to Plecto. This can be the account of your organization.
  3. Set up trigger:
    : Select the name of the calendar that will trigger Zapier. This is the calendar where you create and store all the lunchtime or birthday events.
    Time Before: Here, select how long before the event you want Zapier to trigger and create a registration in Plecto. Select a value and a unit, for example, 15 Minutes or 1 Day.
    Search Term: Add a keyword that will filter on your event titles. For example, if you add "lunch" as a search term, Zapier will trigger from each event that includes the word "lunch" in its title.
  4. Test trigger: Click "Continue" to test if the trigger can find an event in your Google Calendar.

2.2. Set up the Action

The action is Zapier prompting Plecto to create a new registration in a data source.

Zapier Action.png

An example of setting up an action in Zapier.

  1. Choose app & event: Choose Plecto and "Create New Registration" as the action event.
  2. Choose account: Choose your Plecto organization. If you are part of multiple organizations, select the one where you created the manual data source.
  3. Set up action:
    Integration Name: Type in a name that describes what you're connecting to Plecto. This can be "Google Lunch," "Birthday Calendar," or others.
    User ID: This field represents the user that creates registrations in your Plecto data source. Here you can type in any static value, for example, "1."
    User Name: This will be the employee name in your Plecto data source. Add "Zapier," "Lunch," "Birthdays," or any other name.
    Data Source: Select the manual data source you created for your lunch or birthday reminders.
    Date: Select "Event Begins" with the date and time format YYYY-MM-DDT00:00:00. This is a date and time format that Plecto can recognize.
    External ID: This will be a unique ID of each registration that gets created in Plecto. Select a dynamic value from the dropdown list called "ID: 12345" which will serve as a sample ID. Your first registration will be created with this ID, and new unique IDs will be generated with each new registration.
  4. Test action: To test the action, click "Test & Continue." If the test is successful, you will see a confirmation message. To finish the Zapier setup, click on the "Turn on Zap" button.
Static vs. Dynamic values
  • We recommend adding static values in the User ID and User Name fields since Zapier is the only "user" creating registrations in your Plecto data source. Static values are fixed and the same for each registration - so you will have the same user creating registrations. If you add a dynamic user ID, Zapier will generate new user IDs, and Plecto will create new employee profiles for each new ID that gets imported.
  • We recommend selecting a dynamic value in the External ID field, for example, "ID: 12345." This will make sure to generate unique IDs for each new registration. If you don't add a dynamic value in the External ID field, Zapier will overwrite the same registration, which can tamper with the notification trigger in Plecto.
Want to test and run your Zap manually?

You can also run your Zaps manually to test if Zapier creates a registration in Plecto. In this case, the Zap will only trigger if there is an event in your Google Calendar that meets the Zap's trigger criteria, for example, a lunch break event starting in 10 minutes. If you don't have an event in your calendar but still want to run a manual test, we suggest creating a test event.

  1. Once you have the event in your calendar, go to Zapier > Zaps, then find a Zap you want to run.
  2. Toggle the downward arrow on the right side of the Zap, then click on "Run Zap."
Update times in Zapier

Zapier provides different update times, depending on the plan you are on. It means that you might need to give it some time before you can see new automatic registrations in Plecto. Find the update times and available features on Zapier's Pricing page.

The last step is to create a notification in Plecto. Please note that notifications can only be configured by employees with admin access to Plecto. Learn more in Introduction to Permissions.

  1. Go to Gamification > Notifications > + New notification.
  2. Choose to create a notification based on a new or updated registration.
  3. Give the notification a title, for example, "Lunch Break" or "Birthdays."
  4. Select the data source you created in Step 1.
  5. Enable the notification for the employee created by Zapier. The employee name is the same as the User Name you added when setting up the action in Zapier.
Notification - Zapier - Lunch Break 1

An example of setting up a notification in Plecto.

5. Select one or multiple notification actions. Here you can get creative and personalize the notification for your team. 🎨
6. To finish, click “Save” in the bottom-right corner.

Notification - Zapier - Lunch Break 2

An example of the notification actions in Plecto.

Congrats! You've connected your Google Calendar to Plecto and created a fun notification! Feel free to create other notifications and remind your team to stand up, get some fresh air, or simply let them know they're doing great. 🙌

Learn how to use Plecto's gamification features

Learn more in Introduction to Notifications or give it a try and learn how to create a contest in Plecto!

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