If You Want to Save Time, Then Try IFTTT

How many times have you wondered: If only there was an easy way to… save email attachments, promote blog posts on Facebook, take notes in a meeting – or any number of tasks that take up your time. Well, I have good news! There is a tool to help you streamline or automate certain tasks. It’s called IFTTT (rhymes with “shift”), and it can increase your productivity.

IFTTT stands for “if this then that,” and it’s used to connect apps in a way that streamlines tasks. Its simple formulas are called Recipes, and they include two Ingredients: Triggers and Actions.

For example: 

If “this” (Trigger: Post an Instagram photo) then “that” (Action: Save photo to Dropbox). 

These Recipes are created by app developers and users alike. In fact, one of the attractions of IFTTT is that users can create their own Recipes and share them with other users, essentially crowd-sourcing productivity ideas.  

IFTTT Recipes run in the background, automatically saving your email attachments to Dropbox or Google Drive, tracking shipments, or turning your home lights on or off at certain times.  

While many of the activities relate to personal productivity, IFTTT offers plenty for streamlining work tasks. Here are seven that you’re certain to find worthwhile. 

1. Save Gmail attachments.

Whenever you receive a new email in Gmail with an attachment, it will be automatically saved to a folder in Google Drive or another drive you designate.

2. Share new blog posts to a Facebook Page.

Set up this Recipe, and every time you publish a new blog post on WordPress, it will be automatically shared to a Facebook Page. Other Recipes conduct the same function for other social media sites, including Twitter and Pinterest. 

3. Build a Twitter list from a specific hashtag.

This Recipe keeps a running list of who is talking about your event or campaign using a relevant hashtag. It’s particularly useful for engagement because it automatically tracks everyone who has shown an interest in what you’re doing. Another benefit is that it automates a tedious part of the process for reporting and measuring marketing activities.  

4. Create a Google Calendar view of your Buffer schedule.

For users of social media management tool, Buffer, this Recipe integrates your account with your Google calendar. With it, you don’t need to log into Buffer separately just to view upcoming posts. You schedule a post, and the Recipe adds a new event to your Google Calendar on the date and time the update is scheduled to go live.  

5. Transcribe voicemail to Evernote (with link to original audio).

We don’t always have the time to stop and listen to voicemail, but with this Recipe, your voicemail is transcribed to text and sent to Evernote, where you can read it. It’s especially useful if you’re in a meeting or a spot that makes it hard to play back audio messages. 

6. Automatically share your new videos to a Facebook Page.

This Recipe will help you to keep your communities in sync — when you upload a new public video the link will be posted on your Facebook Page.

7. Automatically create a meeting notes document in Evernote.

If you use Evernote as your notepad during meetings, this Recipe creates a new document for the meeting automatically, as soon as the event is scheduled in your calendar.   

These are just a few of the IFTTT Recipes that can streamline your daily activities and save you precious moments. It’s also just a sampling of what IFTTT can do. Check more out here: https://ifttt.com/search

If you don’t find the Recipe you need in its collection, you can simply build it yourself, which makes the time-saving possibilities nearly endless.



About Tiffany McClary

Tiffany McClary is the Director of Communications, Marketing & Outreach for the New Jersey State Library. She coordinates marketing and public relations initiatives in order to enhance the reputation of the State Library, and promote the value of NJ libraries and the services and programs that they provide to residents.