Programmers are well aware of the logic “If this then that“. But don’t worry, you don’t need to be a programmer to use this logic, as its very simple to understand. If This Then That is a simple, yet powerful tool to automate certain tasks and events between different web services that you use. It may sound complex but it is too simple. This tool works on the logic of if this then that. You will need to configure two parts in this sentence – this and that. Read on to know more how exactly this works and you can benefit from this.
Lets understand this with the help of an example. Suppose I want to save every new photo which I take with Instagram to my Dropbox account. Doing this manually is of course possible, but we’re talking here about automation. Do you think automating this is possible in any way? Yes, it is possible now with the help of ifttt (short for if this then that).
Automate Web Tasks With IFTTT
This tool can be used to automate tasks across different social networks and other sites. As you may have understood by the example above, this tool can do a variety of tasks, like whenever you save a new photo with the help of Instagram, it will be automatically added to Dropbox. This is just one of the many things that this tool can do. This is called as “recipe”. You can create any other interesting recipe and automate tasks across different websites/tools. Just think about the possibilities and what you want to do, and it shall it be done. It is just like telling a genie what to do and when to do. What do you want to do, and when do you want to trigger that event.
For now, you can create recipes between any of the 31 added tools/sites. Basically, a user will be creating an action and when that action needs to be performed. Now that you know how exactly this works, you can head over to their website, create an account and start creating a recipe that suits you.
To create a recipe, select from a list of web services that you are interested in, example currently these sites can be selected: Facebook, Craiglist, Date and time, Delicious, Diigo, Dropbox, Email, Feed, Flickr, Foursquare, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Reader, Instagram, Last.fm, Phone call, WordPress, YouTube, Tumblr, Twitter, etc. After selecting a “this”, you will need to “Activate” that service, basically this is to authorize and give permission to access that particular service. For e.g. if you select “Facebook” as “this”, the next step would be to activate that facebook account. For this, you will be asked to login with Facebook login credentials, do so and then next step would be to select “that” part. This is really not that complex as it seems.
After creating a recipe, you can also share that recipe with your friends and if they like it then they can turn that delicious recipe into a task. There are thousands of ready made recipes till now, so if creating a recipe seems to be hard task (which is not so), then just select a ready made recipe and get going. Tasks can also be turned ON and OFF. Suppose for some time you don’t want to perform that task, then just turn it OFF and then later you can turn that ON.
Recipes for If this then that
Here is a small list of recipes (tasks) that you can perform with this amazing tool.
- Create a recipe that whenever someone mentions you on Twitter, you receive an Email informing about that
- Create an Evernote every time you “star” an item in Google Reader
- Sync Google+ public posts to Twitter
- Stocks Fall Notification
- Every time you are tagged in a photo on Facebook, it will be sent to Dropbox
- Let me know if it’s going to rain
- Tomorrow’s forecast calls for rain send me an email
- Greet new twitter follower automatically
- Download any photos of me to dropbox
- Archive your tweets on Evernote
- Instagram Photos to Facebook Album
- When Facebook profile picture changes, update Twitter profile picture
- Get an SMS alert before any event starts on your Google Calendar
- Remotely download a torrent by sending an email from your phone
- Tweet my Facebook status updates
- Wake-up call
- Save my email attachments to Dropbox
- Back Up Facebook Photos
- Google Plus to Twitter
- And much more
A user needs to perform 7 steps. The steps are really simple to follow and you just need to follow it. Just think about the possibility, what you want to do, when you want to do and trigger that event. It goes in this order – Task, trigger and action. Ifttt will check for new data every 15 minutes and then perform that task, if the condition is valid else won’t do anything. User can do variety of tasks with the help of this amazing online tool. In the future, more web services can be added to the current list. Till then, try this out.