Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Automate Routine Tasks with IFTTT (If This Then That)

We all have routine tasks which keep our lives going. Sometimes, those routines involve small things which take little time. Added together, small things can become big things in terms of their cumulative benefit. At the same time, when we add the time required for these individual routines, the total required can be significant.

What if we could put some of those tasks on "autopilot"? For example, examine these routine tasks:
  • I want to check the weather each day, and it would be nice if it simply arrived in my e-mail.
  • If someone retweets one of my tweets, I want to thank him/her.
  • If someone includes me in a #ff (Friday Follow on Twitter), I want to thank him/her.
  • If someone follows me on Twitter, I want to follow him/her back.
  • If someone follows me on Twitter, I want to send a greeting.
  • If one of my scheduled blog posts appears, update Facebook. 
  • If one of my scheduled blog posts appears, update Twitter.
A free site called "ifttt.com" does the things listed above for me. "Ifttt" stands for "If this, then that." After signing up for a free account, you can explore the "recipes" others have crafted (such as having the weather forecast e-mailed to you each day). If you are interested in the tasks which I had automated, clicking the above links will let you choose those same tasks for yourself.

Again, each of these tasks are small things, but small things add up to big things both in terms of their benefits and the time required to perform them. "If This Then That" takes care of the time and lets you enjoy the benefits.

If you already used ifttt, what tasks do you have it performing for you?


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