Canvas! Zapier’s newest product

October 6, 2023

It’s official: a picture is worth 1,000 Zaps.  
 
A round of applause as we introduce Zapier’s newest product: Canvas!  



It’s visual. It’s fun. It’s automated. It’s brilliant.  
 
Zapier announced their newest product Canvas at
ZapConnect and it’s already making a
splash.  
 

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Documentation has always been a bit of a thorn in the side of operators who
use Zapier.  
 
With Canvas, your process diagramming receives the breath of life. It’s like
Lucidchart but it actually does stuff.

 
Live Zaps are embedded within Canvas, and you can easily add Interfaces,
Tables, and any other app into your diagram.  
 
Canvas is currently in alpha (request access to Canvas), but the reviews are pouring in: this
product is a gamechanger.  
 
Today, I’m going to take a closer look at Canvas, what makes it different from
other diagramming tools, and what might be possible in its future.  
 
Let’s draw.  
 

Canvas: a visual process diagramming product with AI

Canvas is the peanut butter sandwich of products. It’s center-brained—Canvas
is where the process-focused left brain shakes hands with the visually-focused
right brain.  
 
Everybody wins.  
 
At its core, Canvas is a process diagramming product that has five main
features:

  • Add manual (default) and/or automated steps in a visual diagram
  • Designate linked Actors (person or group)
  • Choose related apps
  • Intuitively connect to Tables, Interfaces, and Zaps
  • Get AI process recommendations  

 
For years, we’ve known that a single Zap only tells part of the story. We also
know that a Zap connects two or more apps together. A process ends up being a
complex system of Zaps, apps, and manual steps.  
 
Until now, the only sense you had for how Zaps worked together was through a
folder system in Zapier, a third party tool like Lucidchart, Miro, or Google
Docs, or stashed somewhere in your head.  
 
Now, you can visualize an entire system of Zaps, apps, and steps within
Canvas.

 


Not only that, but Canvas uses AI to recommend ways to optimize your workflow.
This is one of the better implementations of AI I’ve seen.  
 
Let’s say you start with a simple subscribe form on your website. After
someone submits the form, a marketing team adds them as a subscriber in
Mailchimp.  
 
By clicking the “Get recommendations” button, Canvas will recommend a way to
automate your process with a Zap.

 
This is exactly what I mean by automation-centered
building
. Automation is woven into Canvas’ DNA and it’s as delicious as grape jam on
freshly toasted bread.  

 
What’s possible in the future

We’re talking ultra-speed. Imagine this: you type out a lengthy process
and click a button “Create Process.” In seconds, you get:

  • A visual diagram of the process in Canvas
  • Your existing apps woven throughout
  • Suggested Zaps ready to automate every part of the process

 
I imagine you will be able to either have it use your existing apps or find
replacements using Zapier’s Interfaces and Tables.  
 
A Lucidchart or Miro could get you to the diagramming part, perhaps with
greater fidelity, but it would not be able to turn your diagram into an
actionable, automated, working process.  
 
 
To recap:

  • Canvas is automation-centered visual diagramming deeply connected to Interfaces, Tables, and Zaps
  • AI recommends ways to automate your process
  • The future looks like process creation and automation…automated.


That's it for this week!  
 
Happy Building,  
Bryce  
 

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