If this then that!

Always wanted to automate the internet for you? If This Then That, a service that would remind you of Yahoo Pipes, might be what you’re looking for.

IfThisThenThat lets all your online stuff work together to do way more interesting stuff.

Put simply, ifttt does the following:

  1. Waits for an event to trigger (e.g: a new post is published in one of your favorite blogs)
  2. Performs a specific action according to the trigger (SMSes it to you or saves that link in Instapaper)
If this then that

 

For example, here are some ‘tasks’ I’ve automated with ifttt:

  • Save all the links I tweet in my Evernote.
  • Email me each new xkcd comic strip.
  • Whenever a person tags me in a photo on facebook, download that photo to my dropbox.
  • Send me an SMS on the first day of each month reminding me to pay my bicycle park fee.
  • Email me Gizmodo’s android apps of the week.

Creating a task is simple with ifttt‘s intuitive interface. Consider the first one mentioned above; saving all the links I tweet in Evernote.

  • You click the Create Task button on ifttt.
  • Then it lets you select the trigger channel; in this case it’s Twitter.
  • Choose the trigger; here it’s yourself tweeting something with a link. 
  • Now it gives you with a list of channels to create your action; in this case we choose Evernote.
  • Now select the action; create a note. You can specify which notebook to create it in, what should be the title, what parts of the tweets are to be included in the note, etc.

A part of my ifttt task list (click to enlarge)

For a more comprehensive walkthrough, check out Lifehacker’s article. You can also browse the hundreds of ‘recipes‘ other users have created to save your time.

Bored?

Bored? Wait! Here's more!

Here are some more suggestions for other cool stuff you can do with ifttt:

  • Receive an email when an item you’re looking for goes for sale on eBay or Amazon.
  • Send the Google Reader feeds you star to Instapaper, Read It Later, Evernote, etc.
  • Receive a text when a certain twitter user (your crush, may be?) tweets something.
  • When your facebook dp changes, update the twitter dp as well.
  • Send an automated ‘Good morning, world!’ tweet at 8am every day.
  • Add all the places you check-in with Foursquare to your Google Calendar.
  • When you get a new follower on twitter: follow them back, send a thanking tweet, or add them to a new twitter list.
  • Get alerts when one of your favorite blogs is updated.
  • Get Google Calendar updates as SMSes.
  • Remotely download torrents by sending the torrent file to dropbox.
  • Eavesdrop on twitter conversations between two users. :P
  • Get notified when there’s a fuel price hike (for example, you can consolidate multiple news sources into one feed and make it trigger when a feed contains the words ‘fuel price hike’).
Interesting!

Eavesdrop? Now _that_ sounds interesting!

Pros:

Deceptively powerful service. A few seconds’ brainstorming will give you dozens of new ideas.
Not rocket science. It’s all very simple and intuitive.

Cons:

The number of services you have to choose from is limited, although the list contains most of the major web services.
Available number of triggers are poor for some services. For example, you can’t check for the facebook statuses of your friends.

11 responses on “If this then that!

  1. Binku

    Should start using This and Evernote (I deleted all notes on it). Sightly I feel like migrate to it from OneNote (if I couldn’t find a two-way syndication).

    Yahoo Pipe was brilliant. This sounds promising! Thanks, man! :)

    “Whenever a person tags me in a photo on facebook, download that photo to my dropbox.”
    LOL, seriously? Even those stupid assholes and apps tags you for nothing but for (no) fun?

    1. thameera

      Don’t use OneNote. It’s only available on a limited number of platforms. And you don’t find services like ifttt for OneNote either. And Evernote is free.
      I rarely get tagged on those stupid apps now. Even if I were, deleting is just a button press away. :)

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