How Automation Can Simplify Your Life

By September 12, 2016Blog

I usually have a pretty packed schedule, so I am a huge fan of anything that can save me a little time and make my work more effective. Sometimes those are larger parts of what I do, like effective email marketing tools that help automate emails. But sometimes there are little things that make a big impact, and IFTTT is one of those things.

What is IFTTT?

IFTTT stands for “If This Then That,” which is actually a really descriptive title for what this tool accomplishes. Essentially, you can connect different web services to your IFTTT account, and then create triggers (which they call recipes) that watch for something specific to happen and that then perform an action based on that trigger.

Okay, so that description might be less simple than I’d like.

Here’s an example, and one of my favorites. I really like to share my Instagram photos to my Twitter account, but I really don’t like how the Instagram app formats them (not sharing a native image, but just a link). So I connect both my Twitter and Instagram accounts to IFTTT so that the system can both read my feeds and post to the accounts. Then I create a recipe that says “when I post an image to Instagram, post that image to Twitter.” I can tweak how IFTTT formats the caption on Twitter along with some other options, and then bam! I have a functioning automated link between my Instagram and Twitter.

Really, the possibilities are endless (that is, as long as what you want to automate is an option in IFTTT). If you have a smart home system, you can automate certain actions in your home based on your location, music that’s playing and more. You can set up a text notification if it’s supposed to rain tomorrow before you go to bed. You can even get a notification to your phone whenever an astronaut enters space.

My Favorite IFTTT Recipes

Okay, so here’s here the rubber meets the road. Check out my top five favorite IFTTT recipes below. Some are serious and some are fun, but all of them feel a little like “the future” when they work right!

IFTTT Recipe: Share Instagram photos to twitter as native images connects instagram to twitter

IFTTT Recipe: Sync Facebook profile photo to Twitter connects facebook to twitter

IFTTT Recipe: Share favorited posts in Pocket with a Slack channel connects pocket to slack

IFTTT Recipe: Tweet my WordPress blog posts connects wordpress to twitter

IFTTT Recipe: Save a copy of new photos you take to Dropbox connects ios-photos to dropbox

What do you think?

Do you think this kind of automation is helpful? Or are these just fun toys? Do you have your own favorite recipes that I missed? Do you use another automation tool that you want to share? Leave a comment below and share them with the class!