5 Tips to Make Life Easier using IFTTT

IFTTTDo you ever secretly wish for an assistant that would bring you coffee, a newspaper, and tell you everything that’s on your agenda for the day?  Maybe write your to-do list for you and send an email?  The IFTTT app can’t bring you the coffee (yet!), but it can do everything else and more.

Let me show you how I tamed my daily life, getting more time for my family and business.

Opening the IFTTT app, can initially be daunting.  You can link over 60 web services in a myriad of combinations.  These combinations are called “recipes”.

How many recipes can you make?  Do that math!  It’s insane!

 Getting Started

In order to get started making recipes (and not get overwhelmed), let’s get very strategic … thinking about what you do every day.

  1. Do you check the weather, send a text, leave a voicemail, write a to-do, back up photos, read the news online?  What are the small things you are do constantly?  These are great tasks to automate.

  2. Next, think about how you like receiving and organizing information.  Do you like emails, texts, calls, to-do list, Evernote?  Maybe how you receive it depends on where you are in your day.

As you build your recipes, you will want to think about the best way to “digest” the info at the time you want it.  The whole point is to make life easier for you.  Here are my faves…

Weather

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I love my Weather.com app, but it can be slow to load on my phone.  This recipe sends me a text at 7pm every night and then again at 6:15am to let me know what the weather will be doing so I can adequately prepare the family for the day.

  • Other ideas for Weather: You can also this recipe up to let you know if there is a severe weather alert issued, or maybe even just to remind you (your kiddo or spouse) to bring an umbrella tomorrow because it is going to rain.

Tasks

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You can set up this handy recipe a number of ways.  You can set it up that when you “star” an email in your Gmail account it creates a “to do” on your iPhone iOS reminders.  Or, if you subscribe to “Inbox Zero”, have the event triggered when you move an email to a “To-Do” label in Gmail to get it out of your inbox.

  • Other ideas for Gmail: You can also set it up to delegate to someone else by labeling the email “Honey-Do” and then it pops up on your spouse’s iOS reminders (sneaky I know!).  Or have IFTTT back up all of your Gmail attachments to your Google Docs drive.

 

Shopping

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Do you search Craigslist for items regularly?  You can even set up a search in Craigslist and have the results sent right to your Gmail or SMS text message. You can even set up a search and send it to your spouse.  And go have a cup of coffee.

Phone back-up

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This recipe is so handy! Ever lost or damaged your phone (I washed mine… ooops!)?  You can set up IFTTT so it will automatically backup your iPhone pictures to my Dropbox (or Google Docs, or Box).  Now you can organize and share your personal photos automatically with family (via Dropbox), push them to Shutterfly to print, or share photos with a virtual assistant for business projects…hmmm…

Writing

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If you’re more of a talker than a writer, than this one is for you.  First, set up an IFTTT phone number.  Now anyone can leave a message at this number and this recipe will send you a dictation of the voicemail (that actually isn’t bad).  The crazy part, you can use it to make an errand list on the run, take notes and send to colleagues, or even get a first draft of a blog post going.

After setting up this recipe, it finally dawned on me just how powerful IFTTT is as an application, but also how it can be used to build a system for life and business.  So how could I leverage this little app to automate different parts of my business, especially the processes that drain me of the most time and energy?  I share how I did just that here.

There are so many ways to use this amazing service, you can even send a loved one a text when you reach your destination (seriously!).

So how will you use it to make your life easier?  Create a recipe and share below!

(I wrote this post in response to my friend, Katy Blevin’s, post on how to motivate your kids and make parenting easier using the statement.  You can check it out here!)

About The Author

Whitney

Whitney, author of the forthcoming book "Making Your Shi(f)t Happen: A 6 week bootcamp to prioritize, organize, and simplify your life", helps professionals get waaaay more done in far less time (with far less stress), so they can get back to the important things in life. She is a wife, mom and lifestyle strategist. Grab her FREE videos here.