Monday, July 21, 2014

Making Curation Easier With @IFTTT

There is simply no end to the flow of information available on the Internet. When it comes to trying to organize it and do something with it you may run into some challenges. I know I regularly am looking for ways to make that process better. 

Thank goodness for IFTTT

I've written about If This, Than That (IFTTT) in the past. Of the many tools I rely on each day, IFTTT that is one that I can't live without. It's so simple to use but so powerful too. 

If you need a refresher, IFTTT is sorta like coding. If something happens here, than something happens there. The "something" could be an action on the internet, an action you take in your email or something else. Since I last wrote about IFTTT the catalog of apps that work with the service has grown and you really can do a great deal with it. 

Where I think IFTTT that really shines is it's ability to curate information and organize the curation process. By setting up recipes to automatically send information to specific places, locate new information or more quickly organize that information can lead to better curation. 

There are some recipes you'll want to check out to make your curation of resources easier and more organized: 

Twitter Favorites To Evernote-If you are like me you are getting loads of great content and resources from Twitter. The dead simple way to make save the stuff you find there is to favorite those tweets. But the big flaw is if the tweet gets deleted, so does your favorite. Another flaw is you can't search them. You'll want to get those favorites out of Twitter to somewhere more user friendly. Using this recipe when you favorite something on Twitter the tweet and all it's contents get sent to a notebook you specify in Evernote. Once it's in Evernote, you can search it, tag it, do so much more with it. Not an Evernote user? Not to worry. You can send those favorites to a Google Spreadsheet

RSS To Email-I was a big fan of Google Reader before it shut down. Since then I've moved away from using an RSS reader and find most of my information on Twitter. But that doesn't mean RSS isn't still useful. With this recipe, using the RSS feed for any webpage, you can have new content sent to your email as it happens. While you probably wouldn't want to use it on content that changes constantly, you could set up a search for a particular type of content or news event and when new items were added you'll get an email. This is great for kids doing real-time research on events happening now. Email not your thing? You can save those RSS items to Pocket too

Weather To Anything-As as science teacher I am all about data. And having practical, real-life data for my students was always better than made up data from the textbook. Weather was always a great source for data. There are loads of weather recipes to use. Sending the weather to spreadsheets or getting notified when there is rain. These can be really helpful for capturing easy data. 

Fitbit To Anything-Using a Fitbit is an easy way to keep track of fitness goals. Many of my PE friends are using them to help their kids stay aware of how active they are and how they can improve their fitness. IFTTT has several recipes to get that data out of Fitbit so you can do something with it. Send it to a spreadsheet, Evernote or somewhere else so you it could be analyzed or manipulated. 

Something new is Collections. These are sets of recipes pre-made that instantly give you lots of options. One of the best is Recipes for Following The News that has all the necessary recipes for doing just that. Again, great for keeping up with real-time events. 

Those are just a few of the simple ways you can leverage IFTTT to curate, find and work with content from across the Internet. What are some ways you are using IFTTT to do the same? Leave a comment below. 

blog comments powered by Disqus