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Question

1vote

I use Zapier to automatically create new contacts in our Notion contacts database based on email submissions. It fills the name and email address, but can't fill the relation field. Any workarounds?

1 Answer

0vote

polle Points40070

You can't select custom fields from an external database using Zapier, because you are not filling anything as the other fields do with information, you are trying to select a custom item from an external database and that is not possible as it is impossible to know which one of the external, custom and random item it is needed.

Hopefully that makes sense.

If you explain the complete scenario, there may be a way to achieve it with a workaround.

1vote

toml12 commented

Yup! That makes sense. Here's the full scenario:

We have two databases:

  1. Contacts
  2. Waitlist submissions

When users submit waitlist submissions on our website, Zapier creates a new row in the Waitlist submissions database. One of the fields in that database is a relation to the Contacts database.

I'd like to automatically link a waitlist submission record to a contact record. Right now I'm doing it manually b/c of the Zapier limitation.

0vote

polle commented

How should the relation work?

For example.

  • Contacts: List of 8 people that work with you.
  • Submissions: Random unknown people from the web that submits a form anonymously.

How do you relate one to the other and why?

1vote

toml12 commented

Ah sorry, I missed a step.

Upon form submission, Zapier creates a new contact in the Contacts database. Then it creates a record in the Waitlist submissions database.

0vote

polle commented

What is the need for having 2 separate databases for this?
Why not create everything in the same database and done?

As from Zapier you can't choose items from a related databases, the best option here is to have a central database with a Contacts column and a Submissions column.

That will give you exactly the result you are looking for, unless there is a good reason to separate a contact from their submissions in different databases.

1vote

toml12 commented

Yeah that's my issue with Zapier that you can't choose items from a related database. It causes problems like this.

The two databases need to be separate to keep things organized. Each have close to 1,000 records. Contacts has tons of fields that are irrelevant to Waitlist submissions. Combining into a single DB is messy.

0vote

polle commented

Ok, as that is a different topic, please select the answer for this question about Zapier, Notion and relations so it is marked as solved.

Beside that, I believe that in this case having one database with proper views and filters will result in a much better, organized and easier way to manage everything, because at the end it is the actual contacts information itself and not something external or separate.

I suggest that you implement views and filters, the result will be perfect for you. If you want me to help you doing this sharing your screen with me, just send me a DM from my profile.

0vote

needsol221 commented

I am not sure why what toml12 is trying to do is so complicated to follow...
Filtering will do nothing in Contacts db without the related field to the Waitlist db.

I, too, have this issue - I am trying to bring Toggl time entries back into Notion (currently using Zapier); however, because Zapier (for whatever stupid reason) doesn't offer all the property field types like relation, I had to create a field for Client and Project using text property type, then I have to manually go into the Time Tracking DB and update the related fields (Client and Project) so that it actually becomes assigned to a Client for them to view on their portal (time sheets only related to their client name) and so I can bill accordingly on my end.

I do not understand why it is so difficult to automate the selection of a relation property?!?!?

What I need it to do in TIme Tracking DB (update record):
IF Client (Text property) is NOT empty
THEN locate the exact client name and select as Client (Relation property)

I have to be missing something here...what am I missing?!?!?!

0vote

polle commented

Hey @needsol221, that is because a natural field is a field and a relation is not. A relation is an external database with 1 or 5000 or 18000 records and from Zapier it is impossible to know, manage and guess which item to select from an external and not controlled source. Zapier is not connected to the external related database. Makes sense?

0vote

needsol221 commented

No, it is not impossible to know because you are just "searching" for exact match from one DB to another - if there is an exact match then select it, if there is not then throw an error. Zapier does this for MANY other platforms it connects with, just not Notion - so again, no, it is not improssible.

I am well aware of the difference between a 'natural' field and a relation field - but I also know Zapier has Search functionality for other integrations, just not Notion.

However, I am not even talking about reusing Zapier in my scenario as far as updating the already existing records in the Time Tracking DB - all of that is already in Notion; all I am looking to do (inside Notion) is to auto-select the relation field based on EXACT MATCH of the text field...

IF Client (Text) is NOT Empty
THEN search for the exact match in Client DB and select
Client (Relation) = Client (Text)

The Clients in Toggl will ALWAYS be identical to the Clients in Notion because I already send exact Client and Project names from Notion to Toggl - the issue is with it coming back into Notion because of Zapier's very limited field options for Notion. That is why there has to be some way of doing this within Notion (or a second third-party automation tool).

Remove Zapier from your thinking - I already know Zapier is useless for this scenario for Notion - what in Notion, or another third-party automation tool, could do the Search functionality for the auto-select?

0vote

polle commented

Please open a new question.

0vote

needsol221 commented

Why would I open a new question - this is still the same topic of the title "Automatically Fill Relation Fields with Zapier or Integromat"..??

We know Zapier is out, but Integromat is still a third-party automation tool that is still in question as to how to do it.

0vote

polle commented

Only the thread creator can mark the question as solved and as multiple questions can't be solved with a single answer, then it is better to create your own question to solve your own problem with your own needs.

0vote

mannieg commented

I had the same problem.. just create different views.. which display only the information the user needs to see..

You can do some pretty neat things using templates, if there are many users. I was looking for the relationship workaround myself..

Mannie

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