3 ways I use IFTTT

IFTTT can be a great tool for automating and streamlining parts of your everyday life. Here’s three ways that I use it. (Of course, you can also check out my public recipes).

1. Automating workflows

I don’t want to waste my time pushing papers and want to put the power of computers to helping me with my everyday routine tasks and managing information.

  • I was fed up with all the notifications Facebook was sending me for a work group that I’m a part of. Instead of being bothered by the barrage of FB notifications, I configured IFTTT, to send me an email once a day, reminding me to check the group with a link right to the group (so I’m not distracted by entering the front door of FB). This is useful to me since a lot of my work workflows run through my inbox and it cuts things down from multiple emails a day to one, but still keeps the group on my radar. (Dear FB, please create a daily digest for groups).
  • I manage my longer-term workflows in Evernote, so I created a recipe that creates notes based on a tags I assign in gmail. By simply tagging an email in gmail, something gets into my Evernote workflow.
  • Any thing I post to my blog automatically gets tweeted through the RSS/Twitter integration with IFTTT. No more remembering to configure a tweet about my latest post.
  • I often scan Google Reader for items I want to read later, especially when I’m offline. By tagging posts in Google Reader they can automatically show up in my Evernote workflow.

2. Archiving information

There are a number of web based services where I want some control or record of the data or information I’m creating.

  • All my foursquare check-ins are archived to my Evernote because of IFTTT. Once I was trying to remember the name of an Indian restaurant I really liked in Toronto. All I had to do was search my Evernote and it pulled up a copy of my checkin and the relevant restaurant location and info.
  • All my Instagram photos are automatically added to my dropbox and I have a local copy of each.
  • There’s a convenient way to create a Google calendar view of all the tweets you’ve added to Buffer (my preferred service for scheduling tweets).

3. Reminders

Instead of trusting my brain to remember important things, I’ve tried to develop systems to get me time-sensitive/contextual information.

  • IFTTT sends me text/sms messages on important dates I’ve configured like birthdays and anniversaries of loved ones.

There’s a ton more possibilities, but those are a few ways I’ve started to use the innovative service.


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