Thursday, June 28, 2012

Automate Evernote & More with ifttt

I was introduced to ifttt.com a few months ago, and I’ve been using it ever since with great results.  It’s a pretty simple free service that allows you to automate triggers to set off actions – ifttt stands for “if this then that” – “this” is the trigger, and “that” is the action.

Not quite with me yet?  Here’s an example of my favorite ifttt “recipe” (as they refer to them):
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Every time I tap to favorite a tweet, it automatically creates a note in my Evernote account.  I like this one because it just takes one tap to save an interesting tweet, and I never forget to follow up because they collect in My Notebook.

Not only does it automatically create the note, you can choose exactly what you want to appear in the note using the drop-down options, and organize it by notebook and tags.  Just set it up and let ifttt do the rest!

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While Evernote is probably my favorite ifttt channel, there are nearly 50 in total to choose from so you can put together all kinds of recipes. Other channels I use are Blogger, Facebook, Google Reader and Instagram.  They also have non-social media channels like weather and date/time, so you could set it to text you if it’s supposed to rain, or email you a few days before your anniversary.

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You can build recipes yourself, or pick from ones that others have shared.  Here are some current popular shared recipes:

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All you have to do to use channel is select it and click Activate on the next screen, and if needed it’ll ask for your information to link up to the account.  To set up an ifttt sequence, tap Create at the top and click on the “this” link to set up the trigger, then click on the “that” link to set up the resulting action. 

Here’s a demo of creating a new recipe to post my blog posts to Twitter:

Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.Full page view - Tutorial - ifttt

Easy, right?  After you’ve gotten it all set up you can browse and edit your recipes under the My Recipes section, and see the most recent date used and how often each has been triggered. 

There are a lot of options available for the service, and they add more channels regularly.  It’s totally free, so check it out for yourself and see how it can work for you!  Want more ideas?  Check out this Evernote blog post introducing the service.

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