Monday, 9 January 2012

Making online life easier with IFTTT (part 1)

One online service I use to cut down on repetitive tasks and to be a bit more organised is IFTTT, which stands for IF This Then That.  A couple of people asked me about it, so I thought I'd write a short post to demonstrate how I use it. I'm not an especially 'techie' person, but I haven't had any problems with it, so it can't be that difficult. However, I can be a bit blinkered, so if you a see a use for it, that I've not shown here, please share it with the rest of us - we will all learn that way.

It works with a number or programs like Twitter, Facebook, your web-based email, Dropbox and Evernote and RSS feeds . It calls them CHANNELS.

It will then carry out IF instructions on items in the programs. It calls these TASKS. The procedure it uses is called a RECIPE. Recipes are general, and tasks are more specific.

You can use RECIPES that already exist and personalise or modify them to become your TASKS.

Then, if you wish, you can share your TASK as a RECIPE and then share it with others (I'm going to share mine with you.
First you'll need to sign in and choose your channels and specify which accounts to use (e.g. your Twitter account and your email address). You can add them later too.

HINT: Unless you're feeling particularly confident, set up one TASK at a time and test it out. If you revisit the TASK it will tell you if it has been triggered, and then you can see if you can find if/where it's been saved.

Example 1

If a new person follows you on Twitter, automatically send a Tweet to thank them for following. It is then easier to see who is new if you have a lot of followers.

Locate Recipe 15577 then change the greeting and create the task, as shown in red below.

Example 2
If I make a Tweet a favourite, send a copy to my Evernote account and put it in a folder.
I  used Recipe 10380 (made by @usernametaken)

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