Microsoft Outlook is, next to Gmail, one of the most popular email clients. Millions of people use it to manage emails and calendar events. For many of them, it’s a key tool in their day-to-day work. By connecting their Outlook email with Zapier, they can automate important parts of their daily workflow.
In this quick guide to Outlook Zapier integration, you’ll see how you can automate your Outlook emails, contacts, and calendar events with Zapier. You’ll learn why Zapier is a good choice for your Microsoft Outlook workflow and how you can connect the two apps. Lastly, you’ll see some ideas for simple Outlook Zapier automations.
But first, let’s look at why you may want to consider Microsoft Outlook in the first place (if you’re not using it yet).
Why Add Microsoft Outlook to Your Automation Workflow?
Microsoft Outlook used to be THE email client. However, over the years, it kept losing market share to both smaller email providers and giants such as Gmail (by the way – if you’re using Gmail, but for some reason, you landed on this Microsoft Outlook guide to Zapier – check out this Gmail Zapier automation guide).
But, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad client. Sure, it used to feel clunky and outdated – but, over the years, Microsoft has really put in the work to improve both its interface and user experience. Here’s a quick video by Microsoft Design promoting the UI of Microsoft Outlook:
Of course, the design is rarely why you choose an email client. It’s probably not because of Outlook calendar either (almost all email clients offer it at this point). But, other reasons to choose Outlook Calendar include:
- Native integration with Microsoft Office Suite. Let’s face it – this is an automation blog and you are here because you want to automate your work. If you’re using Microsoft Office Suite, choosing Outlook for your email client is the best thing you can do to improve your productivity.
- Advanced Email Organization Features. Outlook allows you to create folders, categorize emails, flag them, and leverage automation rules. All that helps you improve your workflow before you even connect Microsoft Outlook to Zapier.
- Convenient Task Management. Thanks to the built-in task management system, you can create, track, and manage simple tasks. Those tasks can be then linked to your calendar events, contacts, and even single emails.
- Robust Contact Management. Easily store even detailed information about each of your contacts. Configured correctly, Outlook may even serve as a simple CRM.
- Support for Exchange Server. You can easily connect Microsoft Outlook with the Exchange server. This, in turn, lets you take advantage of Microsoft’s premier business email hosting.
- Third-Party Apps & Integrations. Lastly, as one of the most popular email clients in the world, Outlook offers hundreds of third-party applications and integrations. Of course, the one you should be most interested in is Outlook’s Zapier integration..
Speaking of which, let’s see why you should consider connecting your Outlook account with Zapier.
Why Integrate Outlook with Zapier?
Outlook is a great productivity tool all on its own. Still, integrating it with Zapier allows you to reap several additional benefits, including:
- You can schedule key tasks automatically
And, you can do that without leaving third-party apps. Just imagine setting up a critical task in Trello or ClickUp and being able to add it to your calendar without lifting a finger. And, you don’t even need a native Outlook integration to do that.
As long as your project management app has a Zapier integration (or can send data to a webhook), you can automate calendar event creation for key tasks in Outlook.
- You can automate email communication and notifications.
The built-in tools that Outlook gives you are great – but, they don’t allow you to create automated notifications that can be populated with third-party data. And that’s just one of the things that you can achieve with the Outlook Zapier integration. As you’ll see, you can send fully personalized HTML and plain text emails – fully automatically.
This lets you send automated confirmation emails, and sales emails, or automate a significant part of your lead generation or sales workflow.
- You can automate contact management
If you’re running a business, it’s unlikely you’re saving all your contact information to Microsoft Outlook by hand – especially if you get those contact details in other apps. And, if you do – it’s time to automate that.
With Zapier, you can create new Outlook contacts automatically and populate them with data from any third-party applications in your workflow.
- You can connect Outlook with thousands of other apps!
Lastly, you can use Zapier to integrate your Outlook account with one of over 5,000 apps. What’s important, you can build complex workflows connecting several applications at the same time.
This means there are hundreds of processes that you could optimize and automate – from lead generation and sales to marketing and project management.
Sounds like something you’d like to take advantage of? Let’s look at how to get started with Outlook and Zapier.
How to Use Outlook Calendar with Zapier?
Connecting Outlook to Zapier is very simple – all you need to do is connect the app and then look for the right trigger and action. To connect, go to the apps menu or start creating a new Microsoft Outlook Zapier trigger. In this example, I use the apps menu to make the connection: First, select the My Apps menu:
Next, click Add Connection in the top-right corner:
In the window that pops up, search for Microsoft Outlook and click the app:
A window will pop up, asking you to pick an account and log in. Select the account that you want to connect to Zapier:
Next, you’ll be asked to give Zapier access to read your Microsoft Outlook profile, including access to the calendar and sending emails. Don’t worry, it won’t send them unless you configure a Zap to do that!
Once you hit accept, you’re ready to start using Microsoft Outlook with Zapier. Let’s look at the available triggers and actions that you can leverage in your automation workflows.
Microsoft Outlook Zapier Triggers
Compared to some of the apps, Microsoft Outlook doesn’t offer that many triggers. At first glance, you may even be surprised by the low number of options:
As of now, there are five different Zapier Microsoft Outlook triggers:
- Calendar Event Start. Fires the workflow at a specified time before the event in your calendar starts.
- New Calendar Event. This triggers the Zap whenever a new event is created in your calendar.
- New Contact. Starts the Zap when you add a new contact to your Microsoft Outlook account.
- New Email. The most useful and straightforward trigger – starts the automation when you receive a new email.
- Updated Calendar Event. The last trigger will start the Zap whenever you update a calendar event.
One thing I believe Zapier is missing is a way to trigger a Zap whenever an email appears in a particular folder. This would allow us to trigger the automation once we send an email or easily filter them out at the Outlook level.
Similarly, some of the Microsoft Outlook features are not present in either triggers or actions at all. For example, there’s no way to use Outlook tasks in your Zapier automations.
Still, the available Zapier Outlook triggers let you handle the most important things you may expect from an automated Outlook workflow – Emails, Contacts, and Calendar Events.
Now, let’s look at the next critical part of the Outlook Zapier automation setup – available actions.
Microsoft Outlook Zapier Actions
If you add a Zapier Microsoft Outlook Action to your Zap, you’ll see the choice of available action events is just as small. And, similarly to triggers, they cover only the three core areas – emails, contacts, and calendar events. There are five “Create” actions:
And one “Search” action event:
Here’s a list of the events (in case you can’t see the above images):
- Create Contact. This lets you create a contact using data that you send to this Microsoft Outlook Zapier step.
- Create Draft Email. This step lets you create an email and save it as a draft. It’s an excellent choice if you want to automate the creation of important emails but would like to verify their content before you hit send.
- Create Event. This will create a new event in your Microsoft Outlook Calendar.
- Send Email. Probably the most powerful automation that can send entire emails to your audience, customers, or yourself (think automated notifications).
- Update Contact. This will update specific contact with the data that you enter.
- Find a Contact. You’ll need this step to find a contact before you can update it (if you want to update contacts dynamically).
Again, I still believe that it’s a shame you can’t create a new task or do more email management than what’s available. Still, the available automations are better than nothing, and automated email sending works pretty well.
Speaking of which, let’s look at the step responsible for sending automated Outlook emails.
Automating Email Sending with Outlook and Zapier
Even though there aren’t that many things that you can automate with Outlook and Zapier, the available trigger and action events are very easy to configure.
In the below screenshot, you can see the “Send Email” configuration options. The configurator is very straightforward and the data that you can add includes:
- The “from” email. If you don’t customize it, Zapier will show your account’s email.
- The “to” email. This is the destination address of your Microsoft Outlook email automation.
- CC & BCC emails. Use them to either CC or BCC the message to other email addresses. If you’ve never used BCC, unlike CCing, the recipient won’t be able to see who else got the message.
Then, you can select the subject and body format. Both plain text and HTML allow you to use dynamic values from previous steps. However, with plain text, you can’t use any templates so there’s no way to style your email.
Once you choose the format, you can fill in the contents of the email. Lastly, you’ll be asked to add an attachment. When pulling it from tools like Airtable, make sure that you use to attach the file, and not a link to the file:
And that’s it! As you can see, automating email sending with Outlook and Zapier is quick and easy. Now, let’s take a quick look at a few other simple Outlook Zapier workflows.
1. Use Zapier to Send Outlook Events to Google Calendar
Many people use more than email. Often, they’ll use Outlook as their work email, and Gmail as their personal one (or the other way around). This makes managing important events hard, especially if you follow notifications associated only with one of those calendars.
Thankfully with Zapier, you can send Outlook events to Google Calendar the moment they appear in your calendar.
In the above Zapier Outlook automation example, I added a Zapier Filter to only create new Google Calendar events for those Outlook Calendar events that are not “all-day events”:
In the Google Calendar action step I chose Create Detailed Event – this option lets you create an event and define each field:
Doing this allowed me to map all the Outlook event details to the new Google Calendar event. That way, I can make sure that all the details of both events are identical and that nothing gets “missed” in the process.
2. Send Microsoft Outlook Emails to Notion
Another useful workflow will take advantage of the Notion Zapier integration. More and more businesses use Notion as a knowledge management tool. With Zapier, you can automatically archive new Outlook emails in a Notion database.
In this workflow, I am using both filters and a Zapier Formatter Utilities Lookup Table. That way I can create items in different databases depending on where the item is coming from.
The key to doing that is to assign the email address (or multiple addresses) to their respective Notion database IDs.
Automatically Turn Outlook Calendar Events into Trello Tasks
Efficient task management is critical – especially in sales. The faster you can react to a sales opportunity, the higher the chance of closing a deal.
With Microsoft Outlook and Zapier, you can automatically turn selected emails into Trello tasks (or whatever PM tool you’re using) and assign them to your team members.
It’s worth noting that many popular task management tools offer direct, native integrations with dozens of different apps. However, no direct integration gives you the versatility that a platform like Zapier can. Why?
Even though the above workflow is made up of just three steps, you can always add other apps to it in a few simple clicks. And, you can choose one of over 5,000 different apps. However, you can’t create multi-step workflows involving multiple different apps if you use a native integration.
4. Archive Microsoft Outlook Attachments in Dropbox
This automation lets you archive attachments that you receive to your Microsoft Outlook inbox in a Dropbox folder. To get the automation to work, you want to set up a filter before the Dropbox step to filter out emails without an attachment.
Of course, you don’t have to save all attachments that get into your inbox either. Instead, you can use that same filter step to filter out the emails by their email address. That way, you’ll save attachments only from select addresses.
You could also add a lookup table to map different email addresses to their respective Dropbox folders.
5. Get Slack Notifications for New Microsoft Outlook Emails or Contacts
In the last workflow, we’re going to connect Microsoft Outlook with Slack and Zapier. This will allow you to get automated notifications each time there’s an important email.
That way, you don’t have to leave your Slack workspace to check the inbox every several minutes waiting for an important email. Thanks to that, you can avoid major disruption and can stay focused on your work.
Naturally, to keep that focus you don’t want to set the automation to send messages for every email that you get. Instead, you can add a filter to fire the Slack action only if the email comes from a specific email address (or mentions specific keywords).
You can also use Slack to get notifications each time there’s a new contact in your Microsoft Outlook account. And, as mentioned earlier, you don’t have to stop at sending the message.
Instead, you can use Zapier Outlook automation to automatically add that contact to your account in Active Campaign:
Of course, there’s plenty more you could do both in this Zap and all the other Zaps featuring Microsoft Outlook. The key to success with Zapier Outlook automation? Take action!
Automate Outlook with Zapier Now!
If you’re using Microsoft Tech Stack and Outlook to manage your business, the Zapier Outlook integration will be a powerful addition to your automation toolbox.
It allows you to process new contacts, emails, and events fully automatically, as well as create all three when you need to.
And if you’re not yet an Outlook user but are looking for an email provider that you could integrate with other apps easily – you may consider making the switch.
Whether you want to discuss the possibilities of automating your Microsoft Outlook emails with Zapier, or to set up advanced Outlook workflows, I’m here to help.
Schedule a free 20-minute discovery session and let’s talk about your Zapier needs and automation goals.
Hey, I’m Jacek. I’m the founder and Chief Automator at Clickleo.com
I’m on a mission to help you use automation to reclaim your time and achieve more in your business.
You can find out more about me – and why I started Clickleo – over on this page