IRL: Letting IFTTT automate my life
I’ve come to depend on totally different providers to assist energy me via the day: Foursquare to seek out new espresso outlets, Pocket for my studying habits and Instagram and Flickr for photograph sharing. As nice as these apps are, although, I discover myself wishing they might do extra — particularly on the subject of how all of them speak to one another. Being programming-inclined, I have been turning to If This Then That (IFTTT) to attach these numerous providers, in addition to automate a few of my extra primary duties.
Whereas IFTTT provides plenty of methods to crosspost to varied networks, I’ve discovered it useful for archival functions, particularly mixed with Evernote’s highly effective search. I wish to maintain logs of locations I verify into, together with an inventory of my favourite articles from across the net. Foursquare and Pocket can each do that, however there’s all the time that small probability the service will go away or shifts focus. Plus, their search capabilities aren’t as function-wealthy; you possibly can’t even use tags, for example. And whereas I am not loopy about Evernote’s observe-taking functionality, it is nice for archiving and looking. With just some clicks I can save and tag my exercise — metadata and all — inside a labeled Evernote pocket book. This makes it simpler for me to recollect the superior little breakfast nook we discovered when visiting Bar Harbor a couple of years in the past. Not an enormous fan of Evernote and like Drive higher? No drawback: IFTTT helps Drive, too.
I obtained notably good use out of IFTTT a couple of months in the past once I was looking for a brand new place to reside. I’ve two canine they usually’ve by no means had a yard to play in, so having outside area turned an enormous precedence for my spouse and me. Sadly, our a part of New Jersey does not have many pet-pleasant leases, so it was essential that we have now a leg up on everybody else who was wanting. I knew Craigslist provided RSS, so I plugged that into IFTTT and had it e-mail me with any new itemizing. After a number of weeks, a brand new place was discovered, a yard was had, and our canine have been sunbathing ever since.
IFTTT’s iOS app has additionally confirmed extra worthwhile than I anticipated. I wish to seize lots of footage on my telephone, particularly once I’m on my bike. I am 5 minutes away from the seashore and half-hour from the farmlands. In fact, I wish to seize these things, however once I’m driving I haven’t got time to futz with numerous apps. With the app I can set it to watch an album in my photograph stream and auto-add to my Flickr feed with the tag “bike touring.” This makes it straightforward to snap a photograph, dump it in a folder and hop again on the bike earlier than the ol’ legs can cramp up.
The channel record is all the time rising, too, and every new addition has me exploring new methods to additional combine IFTTT into my life. And whereas it is primarily centered round net-based mostly providers, the cellular apps have opened a brand new space for me to experiment with, because of location triggers and push notifications. IFTTT will not be a great match for everybody, and it does not all the time work the best way you’d prefer it to. For instance, I can not have footage auto-submit to Instagram, however I can use tags to auto-publish to Fb, Dropbox or Twitter based mostly on a hashtag. Not the top of the world, however it may well typically intrude with my workflow concepts. This minor annoyance apart, IFTTT’s straightforward-to-use interface and enhancing cellular apps can go a great distance in making the online work the best way you need it to.