IFTTT, which stands for “If This, Then That”, has been around for a good long while. But I didn’t start using it until very recently. Why? I kind of figured it’d be tricky to set-up and, being a lazy ass, I never bothered looking into it properly.
This was a mistake; IFTTT is a brilliant application. I’ve been missing out on so much cool stuff – and I don’t want you to make the same mistake. Hence this article, which is basically a simple primer on what IFTTT is, how you use it and, for the more adventurous, how to make your own protocols.
You can literally use it for anything online, from managing your Instagram and Facebook pages, to keeping notes about things you’re interested in.
Like gaming? You can set up an applet to alert you about free game deals in Steam. Want to stay on top of your finances? Get the applet that logs all your receipts inside Evernote.
The list goes on and on and on…
What Is IFTTT?
At its core, IFTTT is essentially a task automation tool. You program things into the application (example: save all your photos to Google Drive automatically) and this creates what’s called an Applet. Once created, everything is done automatically in the background.
You are free to create your own Applets as well as browse through the thousands of already created ones inside IFTTT. What you do with IFTTT is entirely personal to you, but there are TONS of useful Applets that you can implement right away with zero fuss; simply select the one you want and activate it.
If you’re still not sure what I’m going on about, relax. Think of IFTTT as an automated task manager that features micro-apps that can be programmed to do things (actions) when certain events (triggers) occur. Like, logging how much time you spend at certain locations, for instance, which is handy for site managers and hookers.
Another Applet automatically shares your Facebook pictures to Instagram, Tumblr and Google Plus. These types of AppLets are the ones I use most, as they automate much of KYM’s social feeds and channels.
You can use IFTTT in your car, so when you pull up to your house, the garage automatically opens. There are TONS of Applets for cars, especially if you’re running a newer BMW or Tesla, as there are dedicated Applet stores for these brands.
Check The Automotive Applets Out:
- Remember Where You Parked Your Car
- When You Car Comes Home, Your Lights Will Come On
- Track Your Car’s Engine Issues In Google Calendar
- Track Your Car Trips In a Google SpreadSheet
Another really cool one is the ability to automatically log your gym sessions in Google Drive. All you have to do is install this Applet, set the location of your gym, and IFTTT will do all the legwork (pun intended), logging your trips to gym and duration, so you can stay on top of your progress.
Best Way To Use IFTTT?
Simple: download it and have a play around. There are literally hundreds of thousands of Applets on there for all kinds of activities from fitness tracking to music, communication, and blogging. Also: you can do it all from your PC as well, rather than fiddling with your phone. Once your account is setup you can change things around on your PC and they’ll instantly take effect on your phone and around your home.
Whatever you’re looking for, regardless of how obscure it is, I guarantee you there will at least be something similar already setup. And if there isn’t, well, you can just make your own “recipe” to do it.
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.