WARNING: This might be the best tool you pick up all year. Get ready to be wowed. (Don’t Worry, It’s Free)
We are all well on our way to living a fully-connected life. We’re wired with our phones, our computers, our TVs, and in some cases, our homes. As the reliance on tech continues to grow there is no time like the present to start thinking about how all of these gadgets and apps can work together and make the Internet of Everything true-to-life friendly.
One attempt at simplifying our tech lives is a nifty little web-based tool called IFTTT – If This Then That.
IFTTT (Pronounced like Gift without the G) is designed to connect more than 300 applications, widgets, gadgets, and tools, and helps them share information back and forth.
For example, with the right IFTTT recipe, that’s what they call sets of instructions to make something happen, you can set up an automated system that will track your time at work via a Google Spreadsheet. This IFTTT recipe uses your phone’s location monitor to create a time stamped entry every time you enter or leave your office.
There is a recipe for IFTT out there that will create a Google Calendar post of every email you star in Gmail. This way, you are reminded later that you starred an email you probably need to revisit in the near future. This notification could be set to come at the end of the work day so you make sure you don’t forget to follow up on the communication.
When it comes down to it, the possibilities are endless. There are thousands of pre-built IFTTT recipes available online at the IFTTT website. What I’ve outlined here are some very simple tasks you can program using IFTTT.
Don’t like using Google’s version of Office you say? You prefer using Office 365, you say?
In 2015 IFTTT finally connected to Microsoft via Office 365, the company’s online, cloud-based subscription service, which is destined to replace the super-expensive Office Suite businesses had to pony up $1,000 to buy every few years. You can do virtually the same tricks outlined above with Outlook or Excel.
The IFTTT app also connects your phone with your productivity tools, your home automation tools, car tools, health and fitness tools (like FitBit), and more. The number of gadgets and apps it works with has doubled over the past two years, and will probably continue to grow quickly as time moves ahead.
If nothing else, IFTTT has thousands of uses in the world of social media. There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,000 Twitter-related recipes on IFTTT’s recipe website alone.
You can create recipes to:
You can do fun stuff too…
IFTTT, or apps like it, will be invaluable as the Internet of Everything consumes our daily lives.