Use IFTTT to Automate Your Internet Life

When using your computer or mobile device, it seems as if a multitude of applications are in use each day. Once you are done checking email and catching up on the news, you may have a ton of services to catch up with later during the day, from catching up with the latest on Instagram to documents received in Dropbox.

IFTTT_whatisIFTTT

Regardless whether you are finding a way to separate work from play, merging them together, or a little bit of both, we can all benefit with a little automation. We can have the Internet work for us. That’s the motto of IFTTT. Today, we will go over how it can help to with your daily syncing regimen.

IFTTT’s purpose is to get the Internet to work for you. It will create a syncing regimen by piecing together your various social networking sites and online services and carrying out your tasks without you initiating them.¬†From automatically having business email attachments saved into Dropbox to setting a text message alert each time precipitation is in the forecast for the next day, IFTTT makes it possible to have a free automated personal assistant.

In IFTTT, a recipe is created in large part with the help of channels. These are the services and networks that drive IFTTT. The following are some of the popular services supported by IFTTT:

  • bitly
  • Blogger
  • Box
  • Buffer
  • Craigslist
  • Date & Time
  • Delicious
  • Dropbox
  • Email
  • Evernote
  • Facebook
  • Flickr
  • Foursquare
  • Gmail
  • Google Calendar
  • Google Drive
  • Google Talk
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • SkyDrive
  • SMS
  • Tumblr
  • Twitter
  • Weather
  • WordPress
  • YouTube

You can view all the channels here.

1. On the IFTTT dashboard, click “Create” at the top region of the screen.

2. You will see the IFTTT phrase (If this then that), click “This”.

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3. With trigger channels presented, choose the channel (service/network) that you want to begin your recipe with. This is the channel that will cause an action to occur. For example, if you want to email a photo once it hits a Dropbox folder, Dropbox will be the trigger.

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4. In step 4, you will be presented with two or three additional options that allow for you to have a more specific recipe.

5. Options from here on out are custom to the type of recipe and service you are creating and choosing.

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6. You will then choose the “That” or action channel. Back to our example in step 3, Gmail would be the action channel.

7. When finished with all prompts, click “Create Action“.

IFTTT_SampleRecipes

Syncing: For Work

  1. From Email Attachment to Dropbox: Got an email from the boss with the latest report? Have it saved in Dropbox without having to lift a finger.
  2. Receipts from Email to Evernote: Bookkeeping and tax records made easy with this recipe that automatically adds receipts from your email to Evernote.

Syncing: For Social

  1. Backup Your Photos: Each time you take a photo on Instagram, it is automatically saved to Dropbox. Works with Facebook and Flickr as well!
  2. Convert WordPress Posts into Ever-“notes”: From WordPress to Evernote, this recipe does just that.
  3. Keep Social Profile Pictures in Sync: Whenever your Facebook profile photo changes, your Twitter one changes as well.

Syncing: For Life

  1. Weather Alerts Each Morning: Not everyone has a smartphone. When waiting for the local news to tell you the weather holds you back in the morning, this recipe can help out.
  2. Send Family Photos To Grandma’s Email: From Dropbox folder to recipient’s inbox, automatically. You select the folder and recipient’s email.

As you have just learned, IFTTT can provide a wonderful way for you to keep your digital life in sync without even having to leave your web browser. In what ways do you think IFTTT can help your syncing regimen? Let us know in the comments below.