Tuesday, August 21, 2012

An Awesome Way to Automate Your Life, @IFTTT

Have you ever been so passionate about an app that you start talking like this?

"Oh my gosh you have to install this app I totally love it and I can't believe you don't have it yet why haven't you installed it yet do it now while I'm telling you how cool it is..."

Well, that's pretty much how my conversations have started about IFTTT.

IFTTT stands for 'If This Then That'. It lets you create a cause and effect relationship between a list of applications. This relationship is called a 'recipe'. It isn't a mobile app (yet) but it is a freakin' awesome tool. And personally, I'd rather manage from my computer anyway.

Sometimes when I learn about a new tool like this, my first thought is 'Yeah, that's really cool but I have no idea why or how I would use it.' Were you just thinking that? If so, I'm about to blow your mind (I hope).

First, the basics:

  • It's free. 
  • It's a web app.
  • It connects one app to another, allowing you to initiate an action. (If this is clear as mud, it'll hopefully make more sense when you see my examples below.) These are called 'recipes.'
  • They are currently 49 'channels', or apps to connect with.
  • You can share recipes with other people by making it public, or use recipes that others have created. (Note: When you make a recipe public, it doesn't share your specific information. It only shares the framework of the recipe.)

Now, how I'm using IFTTT:

  • Craigslist -> Pushover: To notify me on my smartphone at the moment an item is listed for sale on Craigslist with the word 'expedit' (I'm on the lookout for one of those Ikea bookshelves!) 
  • Facebook -> Dropbox: When I'm tagged in a Facebook photo, add the photo to a specific folder in my Dropbox
  • Blogger -> Facebook Page: If I post something new on my photography blog, add the first image in the post to a specific album on my photography Facebook page and include a link to the post in the description.
  • Instagram -> Facebook Page: If I post a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #BehindTheScenes, upload it to my photography Facebook page in an album called 'Behind the Scenes'.
  • Twitter -> Evernote: When I favorite a tweet, append it to a note in Evernote.
  • Instagram -> Dropbox: Whenever I post a photo to Instagram, add it to my Dropbox. (This way I have access to all of my photos locally.)
  • Weather -> Gmail: If it's going to rain tomorrow, email me. (I live in Seattle... I'm a glutton for punishment.)
Here are a few screen-captures: 

Above: a sampling of my list of personal recipes.

Above: Here's my favorite recipe - it pops up a notification on my smartphone when an item is listed on Craigslist with the word 'expedit'

I'm constantly thinking of new recipes to add.

The only drawback I've found is that it doesn't support multiple accounts, such as connecting more than one Twitter account or Facebook page. Once you authorize it for a specific page, it's set. But, I contacted support and they told me that this feature should be coming in the future.

If you're interested in automating some connections in your tech-life, check it out!

Jenna Baze is a rather geeky girl with average social skills and an affinity for: Google Apps, Salesforce.com, Pinterest, natural light photography and finding creative ways to avoid doing dishes (which includes updating a handful of blogs).
Emailrathergeeky@gmail.com | Twitter: @RatherGeeky | Facebook: Rather Geeky Tips

1 comment:

  1. Wow I can't believe I didn't find this sooner!!! Logic makes so much sense! Thank you!!!