I am a big fan of automating as much as I can in life. As a husband, a daddy to 5 kids and a busy wedding photographer I am always looking for life hacks that can save me time in my day and help me live more efficaciously. One free program that I'd highly recommend to anyone who is looking for a little automation in their life is IFTTT. Here's why.
IFTTT stands for If This, Then That. It is a free program that allows you to set up triggers so that when one of those triggers is met then a particular action takes place. I think the best way to explain it is by sharing some of the IFTTT recipes that I have set up. Here are a few of them.
- If I label a video on Vimeo to Watch Later, then send it to my Plex Queue so I can view it from my cell phone Plex app.
- If I get tagged in a photo on Facebook, then save that photo to my Dropbox.
- If I star an email in Gmail, then forward that email to a folder in Evernote.
IFTTT is a powerful program that allows you to do a number of things and it's all for free. For instance, here are a few more triggers that are popular right now.
- If Apple posts a free app of the week, then email me a link to it.
- If I like a photo on Instagram, then save it to my Dropbox.
- If the weather says it might rain today, then send me a text message letting me know.
- If I take a picture with my iPhone, then email the photo to me.
- If I post a photo on Instagram, then post that same photo to Flickr.
- If a new Craigslist post is selling __________________ (camera gear), then email me.
- If it's the 25th of the month, then remind me to pay my rent with a text message.
When you go to the IFTTT.com website you will first set up a free account. Then you can either browse the recipes that people have already set up and shared or click to create a new one. You will first need to activate some channels. By activating the channels IFTTT will give you numerous options for triggers and actions within each of those channels. Here is a full list of all the channels (or programs that participate) in IFTTT.
When you first click on the link to create your own recipe you will be presented some large text that says, IfThisThenThat.
You will click on this and be presented with a number of channels to choose from.
Once you've activated a channel the process is really quite simple. IFTTT will walk you through each of the steps helping you set up the trigger you would like followed by the action for when that trigger is met.
It seems that just about every week I see new channels being created and new and innovative ways people are using the website to set up automation in their life. For instance, using the new Philips Hue light bulbs you can set up the following triggers. Have your lights turn blue if it starts to rain outside, have your lights blink if you receive an email, or change color as a reminder about an event on your calendar. Really the possibilities are quite endless.
If you haven't yet, go check out IFTTT.com and see what ways you can set up some automation to shed time off your day or add some convenience to it. Also let me know in the comments below about some of your favorite recipes that you are using with the help of IFTTT. Thanks!