IFTTT: The App That Does Your Thinking For You


Any app that promises to "put the Internet to work for you" is always going to pique my interest, and when my husband - a man I'd describe as a choosy app fanatic - began singing its praises, I had to check it out.  It, my friends, is IFTTT, otherwise known as "If That Then This".  Why are you going to love it?  It let's you preserve precious brain space and get more time back in your day by letting you program "recipes" into your phone that will trigger your phone, app and other products to do things automatically for you after you set up an "IF" or "DO" recipe command.  In other words, things will happen during the day that will trigger responses from the apps on your phone.  Sound confusing?  I promise it's not.  In fact, here's an example of an IF recipe one could use on IFTTT:

Here's another example I'm using in my own life: one of my IF recipes emails me when a New York Times Technology article becomes popular. This has become a fantastic way for me to source and get access to content that is relevent to both me and my business, and I don't have to do any of the work to make it happen.  I simply open my Gmail and bam there are all the articles that have been sent in real-time to my inbox. 

Another example of this recipe that IFTTT shares is "Post your Instagram photos as native Twitter photos" (when you post on Instagram the photos will show up in your Twitter feed as full images rather than just links).  That's another recipe I've recently begun taking advantage of, because like all of you, images make Twitter posts so much more popular and more likely to be shared.

But wait, there's more! 

That's because there are two different types of recipes you can program with IFTTT.  We discussed the IF recipe above, now let me tell you about the DO recipe.  Now I'm going to be honest with you right now and tell you that I've yet to test out many of the DO recipes, but for those who want to dive into the world of instant action by creating one touch commands on their phone, keep reading!

The DO recipes allow you to do things with the tap of a button that normally would take multiple steps.  If you know you'll do things regularly, from meeting friends for Happy Hour to turning on and off your lights to sending an email to everyone on your team telling them that you're team Skype session will begin in 15 minutes, this is the app for you.

What I love about the DO recipes is the elimination of multiple steps to accomplish something. You are only required to trigger the steps or actions to begin by pressing a large, digital button on your mobile device's screen.  Then PRESTO you're machine and the app do the rest. 

I'll be the first to tell you that sometimes the modern world we live in can bother me: too much face-to-smartphone contact, too little face-to-face contact. The case of IFTTT however, is one in which the high tech world gives us our time back, and allows us to create more space and ease in our day which allows for more in-person contact. Now that's technology I can get behind!

Are you using IFTTT yet or do you plan to try it out?  What types of recipes do you plan to use?  We'd love to hear in the comments below!