The Magic of IFTTT

Matt Beswick October 5, 2012 0
When it comes to maximizing efficiency and productivity, IFTTT (“IF This, Then That”) is a site owner’s best friend. This relatively new startup uses the APIs of various web platforms to provide centralized control of your digital workload. Essentially, IFTTT allows you to define Recipes for automating tasks based on Triggers, Actions and Channels. Here are just a few ways that IFTTT can streamline your online activity to make blogging easier.

Advertising Blog Posts via Social Media

If you’d like greater exposure for your blog content, advertising new posts to your Twitter and Facebook followers is a must. IFTTT can help out by automatically sending updates whenever you put out a new article. While you could create your own special Recipe with custom Triggers and Actions, there are already Shared Recipes for updating Facebook and Tweeting your posts when you publish on WordPress.

Uploading Photos

Another cool way to use IFTTT is to automatically upload Instagram pictures to Flickr. The Shared Recipe already available is good enough for most purposes, although you can easily roll your own solution. The beauty of IFTTT is that it makes web application automation incredibly simple but gives you flexibility at the same time. To create a custom Recipe, just click on “Create a Recipe” under the “My Personal Recipes” section in your Dashboard.

Intelligence Gathering & Staying Current

A terrific use of IFTTT that will require a custom Recipe is to inform you of new blog posts by your favorite authors on your preferred sites. During the Recipe setup process, you’ll need to choose the right Channel to apprise you of recent publications. You can get notifications through RSS, via Gmail or by SMS. To demonstrate the concept, here’s a sample Recipe that relies on new RSS entries from a specific feed to Trigger an Action.

File Organization and Data Compilation

With so much raw information to deal with every day, it’s no wonder that digital scrapbooks and file lockers are becoming so commonplace online. To keep track of important snippets, use IFTTT to archive blog posts, tweets, infographics or any other content you value to Evernote. There are literally thousands of publicly shared Evernote Recipes already available, so it’s likely that your desired formula has already been worked out.

Syncing Your Social Media Images

It’s important to present a unified front online as far as your own personal brand identity is concerned. Wouldn’t it be cool if you could change your Facebook profile picture and have your Twitter profile avatar be updated as well? With IFTTT, it’s a snap. Just add this Shared Recipe, activate your Twitter and Facebook Channels and you’re good to go.

Online Journaling

We don’t always have time to digest our favorite Tweets, starred Google Reader entries or RSS feed items right away. That’s probably why Instapaper has become such a big hit in the last year or so. You can easily send that content to your Instapaper account with a bevy of IFTTT Recipes that have already been configured to interface with the web’s most wildly popular services.

Backing Up Your Backups

With so many fantastic cloud storage services to choose from, it’s difficult to pick just one. Most people rely on a mix of Dropbox, SugarSync and Google Drive to store their files for easy access from any location. IFTTT comes through in the clutch again by letting you sync Dropbox files to Google Drive or vice versa by switching up source and destination folders.

We’ve Only Just Begun

Clearly, there’s no limit to what can be accomplished with a little imagination and IFTTT. Thanks to the widespread availability of APIs for nearly every popular web service online, we can expect even more options with IFTTT in the coming year. The recent addition of Box and Yammer as Channels only increases the time-saving possibilities. In short, IFTTT is one cloud-based up-and-comer you’d be foolish to ignore.

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