Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Put The Internet To Work For You

Let's face it. The easier and more automated I can make certain things I do, the better off I am. While I haven't perfected my "Get Out Of Bed, Dress Me, Make Me Bacon" machine...yet, I have found a site that puts the power of the Internet to work for me.

If This, Than That (or IFTTT) is a powerful website where you set up triggers and recipes to do tasks for you. You connect IFTTT to your favorite web tools like Twitter, Facebook, Pocket, Foursquare, etc and set up statements that if this happens, than that should happen.

It starts with the If This:

Here, you decide if something happens. Maybe you check in on Foursquare, take a picture with Instagram, an RSS feee is updated, you get an email, the list goes on and on and on.

I am going to create one for the weather. There are all sorts of triggers for every tool. For the weather it is things like sunrise, if it is going to rain, if the temperature is rising or falling, etc. For this example I picked when the current condition changes to rain.

Then you decide what should happen:

Now you have several options, some of which make sense, like triggering an email or sending a text, while others don't make much sense like updating your Facebook status or sending an update via RSS. You can make some interesting combinations.

Once set up,  you are good to go. You sit back and wait for the triggers to fire and see what happens.

I have several recipes I use. One takes my favorites from Twitter and sends them to a notebook in Evernote. Another copies the pictures I take on Instagram and Facebook and sends them to folders in Dropbox. A favorite is a daily email of all the free books available from Amazon on the Kindle. There literally 1000's of combinations.

One of the best parts of IFTTT is the sharing. You can share you recipes you create with the world and use those created by others. The gallery there is a great place to start as newbie because the work is done for you. Then you can experiment with creating your own.

So be like me. Let the Internet do the heavy lifting for you and check out If This, Then That.

Do you use IFTT? Have a favorite recipe you use? Share it below!

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