Who doesn’t love a good automated script? Setting tasks to be triggered by specific actions can reduce a load of hassle, especially when it comes to things you do on the computer all the time. But not everyone’s adept at creating them, and even for those who are, the actions are confined to the terminal and local software.
Well not anymore. You can automate your online activities too, thanks to a service called “If This Then That.” IFTTT.com uses the old “if… then” logic that scripters are well-versed in, and makes it super simple for end users to customize automated actions across a variety of popular services (or “channels”). The site walks users through the step-by-step to create their own personal “recipes” by identifying the trigger (the “If” part of the equation), the action (the “That” part) and the “ingredients” (i.e., the data you designate for the trigger).
Building recipes from scratch is ridiculously easy, but there’s another “wow” factor here: IFTT’s stash of shared, premade recipes. There are some really handy ones in the vast collection, including recipes that:
- save Facebook pics you were tagged in to Dropbox or Google Drive
- send starred Gmail emails to Evernote (or starred Google Reader stories)
- save Instagram photos to Dropbox
If you have specific needs — like, say, apartment hunting — you could use this recipe to set up a Craigslist search (complete with neighborhood, pets, rent and other parameters) and IFTTT will alert you via email every time a relevant listing pops up. How about making sure your Twitter account always uses your latest Facebook profile pic? Or texting to get a fake phone call, so you can bow out of a bad date? You can do all that and tons more.
Have you tried IFTTT? If you have a favorite from the box, let us know what those are in the comments below.