IFTTT Is the Magical Glue of the Internet

eHow Tech Blog


IFTTT, or  “If This Then That,” is one of my favorite web apps of all time. IFTTT is essentially the “web’s glue” — it connects popular sites and services so they work better together and allows you to automate many tasks.  If you haven’t tried this brilliant tool yet, you’re in for a treat.

With it, you can automatically get a text message if it’s going to rain the next day, automatically save Facebook photos you’re tagged in to Dropbox, automatically save emails you’ve labeled “receipts” as new documents in Google Drive, and much more.

The best way to explain IFTTT is probably with their own diagram:

IFTTT recipe

IFTTT hooks a broad range of services together with “If…then” logic. You start by creating a “recipe,” or the instructions for how you want your stuff (called “channels”) to interact. The “this” part is the “trigger channel,” or an action that happens in one of your apps. For example, taking a new Instagram photo or checking in on Foursquare. The “that” part is the “action channel” or what you want to happen elsewhere as a result. For example, uploading to Dropbox or sending an email.

Once you sign up for IFTTT and connect your apps–there are over a hundred channels, including  Box,  Buffer, Digg, eBay, Evernote, Etsy, Facebook, Feedly, Gmail, Google Calendar, Instagram, LinkedIn, OneDrive, OneNote, Pocket, and YouTube, just to name some of the most popular. In addition to sites, you can connect IFTTT to smart devices such as the WeMo wireless home electrical switch and Jawbone UP, not to mention your Android and iOS devices.

In other words, it can be pretty powerful. You don’t even have to create your own recipes, since there are hundreds of premade and shared recipes to get started with.

I’m using IFTT to save articles from Feedly reader to Pocket and save starred articles in Pocket to Evernote as part of my workflow. Here are some other neat recipes you can try:

I plan on delving more into IFTTT recipes in future posts, but what are some of the uses you see for IFTTT? Sound off in the comments.

Photo credit: IFTTT

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