I was recently writing a guest post for the Formstack blog about IFTTT recipes, which resulted in a good amount of time spent browsing the site. That led to falling even more in love with the service. If you’re not familiar, IFTTT is a service that allows you to connect other services together to perform automated actions. It stands for “if this then that” and is pronounced like “gift” without the “g.”
Its basis is formulas, called IFTTT recipes, that are made up of channels, triggers, actions, and ingredients. Channels are the 60 different services you can connect, such as Facebook, Twitter, email, Dropbox, and more. Different tasks, such as posting something on a social network, are used for the trigger and the actions. The trigger is the “this” part of “if this then that,” with the action being the “that.”
IFTTT recipes translate to sentences like “if I’m tagged in a picture on Facebook, then upload it to a Dropbox folder.” The channels involved would be Facebook and Dropbox, with getting tagged in a picture as the trigger (this) and the upload as the action (that).
Here are a few IFTTT recipes that I think have the potential to be super life-changing:
Twitter IFTTT Recipes (Note: Twitter actions cannot be used as triggers)
- Twitter image from Instagram - Take that, Twitter cards! Who says that our Lo-Fi and Kelvin filters can’t be seen in our Twitter streams anymore? This recipe uses the Instagram image’s URL to upload the picture to Twitter, where it can be previewed in the stream.
- Every Friday at 8am, post a link to Rebecca Black’s “Friday” on Twitter - Otherwise known as “quickest way to be hated by the internets,” I love it. I’m thinking about making a recipe inspired by this that tweets my favorite “wake up and get pumped” song on Monday mornings.
- Tooth Hurty - I believe I first heard about this recipe on Mashable. I had never heard the pun before, so I immediately activated it, let it tweet once, and deactivated it. I just wanted to do it once. Totally worth it.
Email IFTTT Recipes
- Newly Added Netflix Instant Streaming Titles – Send me an Email - I always get so excited when I happen to catch a new Netflix Instant release, but it doesn’t happen frequently. With this recipe, you won’t miss a single one.
- When a new book is added to Kindle Top 100 Free eBooks, send me an email - If any of you are as attached to your Kindle and Goodreads account as I am, this one is perfect for you. I can attest that the free reads can be just as entertaining as expensive bestsellers.
- Get the Dilbert comic strip delivered to your inbox daily - If white-collar comics are your thing, this recipe guarantees a daily chuckle.
- Email me celebrity paintings from Etsy - because who would want to miss seeing this watercolor of Audrey Hepburn or this 3D Jay-Z made out of New York blueprints?
- Weekly digest of Lifehacker’s most popular posts - For this recipe, I will say just one thing: we are lifehacking the lifehacking blog. Is that meta?
- Get BuzzFeed WTF? posts via email - find out as soon as possible when someone does something that makes the internet go, “huh?”
- Get BuzzFeed posts about TV delivered to your inbox - similar to the previous recipe, but it emails you stuff like ‘The 25 Best Fashion Moments on Friends‘ and ‘Why Chandler Bing is Like the Teenage Girl Inside of All of Us.’ It’s one of the greatest sitcoms of all time, right?
Phone IFTTT Recipes (calls and text messages)
- Escape call with elaborate walk through from snarky computer - This one’s hilarious. If you want to get out of an unpleasant situation, send a text to activate this IFTTT recipe, which calls you with a customized message read in a robotic voice. Say you need to take the call and make your escape.
- Serenity Now! reminder - This one is for the Costanzas. Sent a text to IFTTT for a call reminding you to calm down and coping tips. Like the above recipe, you can customize the message it says to you.
- Send yourself a good morning text - If you’re #ForeverAlone (seriously, that hashtag is in the recipe’s title), activate this recipe to send yourself a text that says “good morning :)” at a certain time each day. Alternative: “goodnight :)”
- Craigslist search item triggers SMS message - This recipe is great if you’re looking to buy a certain item on Craigslist or looking for a job or place to live. Set up a search for your desired item and receive a text alert whenever a new search result comes in.
- Will it rain tomorrow? - This IFTTT recipe uses the awesome weather channel. If tomorrow’s forecast for your location calls for rain, it will text you so that you know to take an umbrella with you the next day.
- Text me if the CDC reports a Zombie outbreak - This one uses an RSS feed to find any CDC reports containing the word ‘zombie.’ When the outbreak happens, you’ll receive a text and know to get your go-bag right away.
Recipes with Other Channels
- I want all the Google Doodles in ma Dropbox! - This is one of the better recipe names. But it’s still a cool idea. When a new Google Doodle (the home page image) is uploaded to the feed, it will use the image URL to upload a file to a Dropbox folder.
- Log scrobbles in an Evernote note - For fellow audiophiles, this one is records your scrobble history (either through last.fm or the last.fm Spotify app) into a note in Evernote, including links to preview each song, the date and time you listened to it, and the artist and album title.
- Turn on living room light at sunset - I think this one is actually kind of crazy, but still awesome. It uses the weather and the WiMo Switch channel to turn on the lights in a certain room at the time of the day’s sunset.
- Let me know if the pollen count rises so I can take Benadryl - Excellent! I’m not completely sure what Pushover is, but this recipe will send you a notification on Pushover reminding you to take Benadryl when the pollen count is expected to rise above a certain number.
- Add new US movie releases to my Google Calendar - Can’t keep track of what movies are in theaters? This makes it easier by adding their theatrical releases to a calendar in Google Calendar.
The best part about all of these is that they have tons of variations. You can switch up the channels and actions. You can make them more specific by adding ingredients, so that the IFTTT recipe is only activated when you upload an Instagram picture with a certain hashtag or getting a phone call when you text IFTTT a certain message.
What are your favorite IFTTT recipes? Share the URLs below in the comments!
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