Automating the Internet: IfTTT

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by Steve Holt on March 29, 2012

I love sharing cool things when I find them. In fact, I have been accused of over-sharing from time to time because I am finding cool stuff more and more these days. And because of all this cool stuff that has come to fill my life the past couple of years, I am always on the lookout for things that can save me time and make my life easier. I have discovered just such a thing. Well, I didn’t discover it obviously, but I learned about it and now I am sharing it with you: IfTTT. (If this then that).

Do you find yourself doing the same tasks over and over? If so (and that is indeed probably the case, right?) then IfTTT.com is for you. The best way for me to describe what it can do is to give you some examples. So here goes…

1. If you like to keep your social media account profile pictures up-to-date and all the same, then you can use IfTTT to change your Twitter profile pic every time you change your Facebook profile pic.

2. If you are like me, then you share alot of links. I often found myself going back through my sent Twitter posts and Facebook posts to find links that I had shared. Just about everything that I share was found by reading through my Google Reader feeds, so I set up IfTTT to take any link that I star in Google Reader and send it to my page on Delicious. That way, I go to my Delicious page to see every link that I wanted to save. And my Delicious page lives online, so I never lose those important links.

3. I have IfTTT set up so that if the weather forecast is calling for rain tomorrow it will send me a text message. Oh, and it will also include the high and low for tomorrow as well.

4. How about this… every time you send a Tweet a Google calendar item is created with your tweet in the calendar details. Or maybe instead of sending it to a Google calendar your Tweet is sent to Evernote. I can see all you Evernote users smiling.

5. What would you do if you lost all those Facebook photos you have uploaded? You know, if for some reason your account got shut down or something? Well, let IfTTT send a copy of every Facebook photo you upload to your Dropbox account. Safe and secure and backed-up.

6. One of the most-used tasks that I created is one in which I call IfTTT and leave a voicemail and it transcribes the voicemail and emails it to me, along with an MP3 file of the message. All for free. There are several services that do this, yes, but this one is dead simple and completely free. I use this to get reminders into my inbox when I am unable to write anything down. Lord knows I can’t remember anything anymore, but if I can get it into my inbox I can deal with it.

What’s really cool about IfTTT is that you don’t have to try and think of cool things to do with it. You can use “recipes” that have already been setup by others on IfTTT. So there you go. Try it, I promise you’ll like it. Then come back here and post in the comments when you thank me.

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