Friday, October 11, 2013

IFTTT for iOS Automates Your Everyday Online Tasks

A big thanks to our friend Wendy Morelli for being our first GUEST BLOGGER! Busy parents need all the help they can get when it comes to keeping their families organized and Wendy has a great app review to share with all of you! Take a look, give it a try and leave us a comment on how it helped with your schedule!

IFTTT for iOS Automates Your Everyday Online Tasks

I love my smart phone aka iPhone. Anyone that knows me knows I can’t go anywhere without it. But in my opinion, what makes my phone “smart” are the apps that transforms my device into so much more than just for talking and texting. I’m a big fan of productivity apps, it’s like having my very own personal assistant by my side 24/7. Though there are many fantastic apps available, the one I want to share with you is the IFTTT iOS app affectionately known as “If This Then That”. This app will change the way you manage your digital daily life on platforms like social media, calendar and photos.

Simply put, IFTTT lets you automate online tasks. So if you’re a big Etsy fan, you can tell IFTTT to send a text message each time your favourite Etsy shop has a new item. If backing up your photos is important, IFTTT can save photos taken from your iPhone to Dropbox. Pretty cool, right?

IFTTT currently has 71 web “channels” such as Dropbox, Etsy, WordPress, Evernote, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. IFTTT started as a web based service but with the addition of the app (Android to come), smart phone users can now create “recipes” using apps directly from their device. Therefore, those with iPhones now have access to 3 additional channels, Contacts, Photos and Reminders.



To create a recipe like saving Instagram photos to Dropbox, you’ll need to set up trigger and action channels. The trigger channel in this example is Instagram and the action channel is Dropbox. Put them together and you got yourself a recipe. For you creative types, you can create your own recipes or if you prefer, you can use one of the many that others have shared.  Before the recipe can go “live”, you’ll need to first activate the required channels first.




Here are more examples of what you can automate with IFTTT.

·         Each time you add a new contact, add to Google Calendar or Evernote to serve as a reminder as to when you met.

·         Send a follow up “hello, nice to have met you” email each time you add a new contact.

·         Text every time Instagram user posts to Instagram (useful to keep tabs on what your tween/teen is posting).

·         Download Facebook photos you’re tagged in to Dropbox.

·         Send IFTTT a text message and have it call you (great for escaping bad dates).

·         Email family or friends when photo(s) has been added to a specific album (that way you only share what you want grandma to see).

·         Post iOS photos located in a specific album directly to Facebook.

·         Use Siri to add tasks to iOS Reminders and IFTTT can add to Evernote.

·         Create Google docs spreadsheet of your every tweet.


As a tech geek, I have to say I’m most excited about recipes that can turn lights on or off with a simple text, turn lights on automatically at sunset or even have the lights blink when your favourite team starts a game. You’ll need to purchase either the Belkin WeMo Switch or the Belkin Light Switch in order to use these recipes, but how neat is that?

As you can see, whether you’re an entrepreneur, parent, teacher, blogger or sports enthusiast, IFTTT can help anyone cut down some of the mundane tasks and even let you have some fun at the same time.

Wendy Morelli is an app-obsessed mom of 2 who can't get enough of her smart phone. Read all about her favourite app picks on her blog AppHipMom. Wendy’s latest adventure Tweenhood, is an online magazine for Canadian parents raising tweens. Follow her on Twitter at @tweenhood and @AppHipMom.



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