Understanding Instant vs Scheduled Triggers on Make: Which One to Choose for Your Automation Needs

Automation has become the backbone of efficient workflow management. Platforms like Make are leading the way by providing flexible and powerful solutions. 

At the heart of any automation strategy lie triggers — the events that kick-start any automated process. Among these, instant and scheduled triggers emerge as pivotal choices, each with its unique advantages and applications. 

In this blog, we will explain what instant and scheduled triggers are, how they are used, and provide guidelines to help you choose the best one for your automation tasks on Make.

Instant Triggers: Real-Time Automation Response

Instant triggers are akin to a lightning bolt — quick and immediate. They activate an automation scenario on Make as soon as the specified event occurs. 

For example, receiving a new email could trigger an automated workflow to categorize it based on its content.

Key Features and Applications

  • Immediate Execution: Instant triggers do not wait. They initiate the connected automation sequence the moment the triggering event happens, ensuring real-time data processing.
  • Resource Efficiency: They consume operations only when triggered, making them cost-effective for tasks requiring immediate action without constant monitoring.
  • Ideal Use Cases: Instant triggers shine in scenarios demanding quick responses, such as sending instant acknowledgments for received customer queries or real-time notifications for team collaboration platforms.

Scheduled Triggers: Timed Automation Execution

Scheduled triggers, symbolized by a clock, are the planners of the automation world. They execute at predetermined intervals, regardless of whether the triggering event has occurred or not. 

You can run a workflow regularly, either every hour, every day, or on specific days of the week. This is useful for tasks like maintenance or data synchronization.

Key Features and Applications

  • Predictable Execution: With scheduled triggers, workflows run at specified times, allowing for better planning and resource allocation.
  • Guaranteed Operation: These triggers are reliable for tasks that need to happen at specific intervals because they use up an operation each time they run, guaranteeing that the workflow will run at the scheduled times.
  • Ideal Use Cases: Scheduled triggers are perfect for routine tasks like weekly data backups, daily report generation, or regular database updates.

Choosing the Right Trigger for Your Needs

Deciding between an instant and a scheduled trigger depends on the nature of the workflow you aim to automate. Here are some considerations to guide your choice:

  • Real-time vs Routine Tasks: Opt for instant triggers for tasks requiring immediate action upon data receipt. Choose scheduled triggers for routine tasks that need to occur at regular intervals.
  • Resource Optimization: If your workflows are designed to minimize operation consumption, instant triggers can be more cost-effective. However, for critical tasks that must run reliably at set times, scheduled triggers ensure consistency.
  • Complexity of the Workflow: Consider the complexity of the data being processed. Instant triggers are suited for straightforward, quick tasks, while scheduled triggers can handle complex workflows that aren't time-sensitive.

Practical Examples

Instant Triggers

Use Case 1: Keeping Zoom Storage Clear

Automate the management of your Zoom cloud storage by using an instant trigger to download cloud recordings, upload them to Google Drive, and then delete them from Zoom. 

This helps keep your Zoom cloud storage clear and avoids the high costs associated with additional storage space. You can also send a share link to the Zoom meeting participants.

Check this video if you want to know how to do this in Make.

Use Case 2: Assigning Task Cards to Members for Handling Errors

Instant triggers are crucial for handling errors efficiently. 

For example, use an instant trigger to create a support ticket in your project management tool when an error notification is received, ensuring quick resolution.

Use Case 3: Employee Onboarding Automation 

Streamline the onboarding process by using an instant trigger to grant new employees immediate access to necessary resources and tools, enhancing their initial experience.

Scheduled Triggers

Use Case 4: Daily Product Inventory Tracking

Set up a daily scheduled trigger to check inventory levels against a threshold and notify you via email to restock items as needed, ensuring you never run out of critical stock.

Use Case 5: RSS Feeds and Social Media Updates

For tasks like publishing YouTube videos, a scheduled trigger can check for new content at specific times, ensuring timely updates without unnecessary operation consumption.

Final Thoughts

Choosing between Make instant versus scheduled triggers depends on your specific needs. Instant triggers are best for real-time processing and immediate actions, while scheduled triggers are ideal for routine checks and batch processing. 

By understanding the nuances of each trigger type, you can optimize your automation workflows for maximum efficiency and effectiveness.

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