How To Automate Activities Across The Web Using IFTTT

April 26, 2015

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What’s This?

IFTTT is an acronym for If This Then That, an automation service for small tasks between Internet-connected services. With an IFTTT account, you can create connections between 152 Channels, each having its own set of “triggers” and “actions.” With IFTTT you can create recipes or formulas that automatically trigger actions.

How To Automate Activities Across The Web Using IFTTT

Create a Daisy Chain of Triggers and Actions

Each channel has its own set of triggers. And as PC Magazine explains, “if you make a status update on one service (a trigger), IFTTT will ensure an action takes place on another channel to, for example, repost that update. Combine them just right and you can create a daisy chain of triggers and actions across a number of services, where just one post could hit almost every corner of your Web presence.”

PC Magazine also notes that all the big names are supported on IFTTT, including social media such as Facebook profiles, Facebook Pages, LinkedIn, and Twitter. There are Google services like YouTube, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Talk, as well as sync services like Dropbox, Box, and OneDrive, plus blog services like WordPress, Tumblr, and Blogger.

The iOS-specific channels require use of the IFTTT for iPhone app, and IFTTT also has an Android app to take advantage of your location, notifications, photos, SMS messages, even phone calls to your handset. Additionally, IFTTT has generic channels for activities like stocks, weather, date, time, and taking or making SMS messages and phone calls.

This is a breakdown of IFTTT terms:




Channels

The basic building blocks of IFTTT.

Triggers

The this part of a Recipe is a Trigger. Some example Triggers are “I’m tagged in a photo on Facebook” or “I check in on Foursquare.”

Actions

The that part of a Recipe is an Action. Some example Actions are “send me a text message” or “create a status message on Facebook.”

Ingredients

Pieces of data from a Trigger are called Ingredients. For example, the Ingredients of an Email Trigger could be: subject, body, attachment, received date, and the sender’s address.

Recipes

Personal Recipes are a combination of a Trigger and an Action from your active Channels. Personal Recipes look like this: Any new photo by you: ltibbets. Add file from URL to Linden Tibbets’ Dropbox.

On / Off

Personal Recipes can be turned on and off. When turned back on, they pick up as if you had just created them.

Polling Period

Most Personal Recipes check for new Trigger data every 15 minutes, some are even faster.

Here are a few recipe examples provided by Braden Handley:

1. Get an email if an Instagram post is taken in the location of your choice

Get an email if an Instagram post is taken in the location of your choice

Set your desired location and get all the pictures in that region sent to your email. Pinpointing specific locations, like your store or venue location, will cut down on the pictures you don’t have use for.

Listing tools

This recipe guarantees you never miss a great piece of content to re-post or interact with that you may have missed on your online listening tools.

2. Liked Instagram videos > add to your Dropbox

Liked Instagram videos > add to your Dropbox

This is my absolute favorite recipe. Any video you like on Instagram will go straight to your dropbox in an mp4 file. I am not aware of any other way to export Instagram videos so this one is fantastic.

Facebook and Instagram video posts

This is extremely useful for Facebook and Instagram because now you are able to post the video directly on your page for increased reach and engagement; don’t forget to give credit to the original poster!

3. Liked Instagram pictures > Evernote

Liked Instagram pictures > Evernote

Save time by getting the pictures you liked in Instagram saved directly to your Evernote. If you don’t have Evernote yet, get it and start taking notes.

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