If this, then automation.

I’ve been playing around with IFTTT for a while now and I love it, so I thought I’d share some info.

If you don’t know what this is, then this is what wikipedia says:

“… a free web-based service that people use to create chains of simple conditional statements, called applets. An applet is triggered by a change on another web services, such as Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.

which is a darn sight more useful (to be honest) than going to the IFTTT site, which confuses you with pretty colours and stuff about applets.

Roughly translated, this means that you can create simple programs which will automatically do stuff for you with a whole range of different apps (services). IFTTT is a website, web tool, iOS and Android app – use it on PC, mac, phone, tablet or smartwatch, wherever and whenever. The acronym stands for If This Then That and is pronounced ‘ift’, like ‘gift’, without the ‘g’.

Applets used to be called ‘recipes’, which I actually preferred as a description. You too can create recipes for automation success. Ahem. I got (WAY too) excited yesterday when I cooked up a new applet. I figured out how I could forward an email to my Evernote account, with a a particular hashtag in the subject field (#do) which automatically creates an entry in my Todoist list in a particular folder marked for action today with high priority. Email to Evernote is not IFTTT, but it’s a really nice Evernote feature; handy for forwarding emails with attachments that you want to save somewhere.

2017-02-23_11-28-03
Evernote notes to Todoist task

Call me a nerd, but I love this stuff.

OK, here’s a few of my applets, to explain more how IFTTT works and to give you some ideas.

This one means that if I tag a post in Pocket with #tweet, IFTTT automatically posts a tweet from my account with a link to that item – usually a blog article or something.

2017-02-23_11-28-11.png

Using this, when I add a new item to my Pinterest board ‘Classroom 2.0’ IFTTT automatically posts a tweet with a link to that item.

2017-02-23_11-28-29.png

So far, so Twitter. And there’s one more, but this one is working in the opposite direction. This one saves the links from my favourited tweets to Pocket, so I can read the article or watch the video later.

2017-02-23_11-29-14.png

Finally, I keep a log of all my completed tasks from Todoist in a Google sheet. This means I have a log of what I completed and when, which I think is a useful record to have.

2017-02-23_11-29-41.png

There are probably thousands, if not  MILLIONS, of different combinations you can cook up with IFTTT. Regardless of  which apps you use and what you might like to automate, you’re bound to find something useful. From automatically saving something to Drive or Dropbox, to starring an email in Gmail which create a task in Todoist, automatically sharing calendar entries or even switching your washing machine on at home (yes, it does IOT – Internet of Things – stuff too, but I haven’t gone that far yet!).

I recommend having a look at IFTTT to see what applets available. There are loads. People create and share their own applets, so you can use one that was made earlier. Then have a play around to see what recipes you can cook up, it may be that there’s an applet available, but not quite what you want.

It really is VERY easy to use, extremely intuitive and the UX is amazing, so have a go and find out how useful it is.

Thanks for reading. Ever used IFTTT? What has your experience been like? Have you got any good recipes (ok, applets) to share? Let me know below.

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