Put the internet to work for you with IFTTT

if this then that

A couple months ago I discovered IFTTT (If This Then That) and let me tell you, I’m pretty amazed. My life has felt really hectic lately, so I’ve been learning the importance of organization – especially organizing my “virtual life”. IFTTT essentially lets me create cause and effect relationships between the various different online sites and applications I use everyday. It’s like the personal assistant I never thought I’d be important enough to have (seriously, that awesome).

Here’s how IFTTT works:

if this then that

Basically, you are able to create relationships between various platforms and tools that are not typically connected. For example, I created a recipe that states, “if I star a post on my Google Reader RSS feed then create a note from that post and add it to a notebook in my Evernote account”

if this then that recipe

So now, when I star my posts in Google Reader, such as this one from Jess Lively:

if this then that

It’s added to the notebook I created in my Evernote account:

ifttt evernote

This one recipe alone has made it so much easier for me to manage the blogs I subscribe to. So often, I come across a post that I want to reference later, but simply starring the post often meant that I forgot about it or had a hard time finding it later. I use my Evernote account constantly for organization (both personally and at work), so this was a perfect solution!

The best thing about IFTTT is that the possibilities are practically endless. I’m pretty sure anyone could find a use for a few “recipes” in their life.

Here are a few more ideas:

  • Looking for something specific on Craigslist? Set up an email notification when a Craigslist posting is added in your area that matches a certain criteria (this one comes with a warning – I set up a “mid-century furniture alert, and it started driving me crazy at work. All I wanted to do was stop working and start craigslist-ing!)
  • Want to know when it’s going to rain? Set up a text message to be sent to your phone each day rain is forecasted in your area.
  • Want to save your photos? You can have photos you are tagged in on social media automatically sent to Evernote or Dropbox.
  • Constantly losing your phone? Create a command that calls your phone each time an email reaches your inbox that matches a specified query (next time I lose my phone, if I send myself an email with #findphone in the subject line, IFTTT will call my phone for me)
  • Ever had one of those awkward moments when you “wanna get away”? You can ask IFTTT to call you whenever you send it a certain text message. (so next time you’re trying to get away from your overly talkative neighbor, just send a “help me” message to IFTTT and you’ll be getting a “very important call that you just have to take” within minutes)

See, totally life changing.

You can browse a ton of recipe ideas on their site.

So what do you think? How can you see yourself using IFTTT?




  1. you just blew my mind. i need this in my life.

  2. Wow, I’ve never heard of this… so interesting! I can totally see how this could increase efficiency once you have your system in place. Love that last idea… ha! :P

Speak Your Mind