#ProsperWisdom Tools to Try — We’ve Reviewed them, Now you Can Use them

IFTTT logoIf you’re looking for a way to be more productive in your business – or delegate some of the more tedious tasks from your to-do list – check out If This Then That, aka IFTTT.com

This useful web service allow you to create recipes (or use recipes already created by their active community) to automate tasks based on certain trigger events.

The premise of these recipes is based on simple cause and effect. If “this” happens, then “that” action occurs on your behalf. For instance, you can create a recipe where the trigger is an upload of a new video to your YouTube channel, and the action caused by that trigger is an automatic status update, including a link to the video on your Facebook page.

Automation – Only in Small, Thoughtful Doses

Automation is great for certain business functions, but when it comes to sharing socially with your audience, an auto-heavy approach will back-fire.  That said, let’s look at some ways that automating with IFTTT comes in handy for streamlining processes and creating some systems that make your life easier, especially when it comes to repeating everyday tasks.

Getting Started

When you first create an account at IFTTT, you’re treated to an immediate recipe, which is to receive a daily email with other recipe suggestions. Since you provide an email address upon registration, a simple click of the button is all you need to receive your daily email.

My first suggestion is to browse the other recipes, which are created and shared by other IFTTT users. You can see at a glance the Trending, New and All categories and there’s a large Search bar at the top of the page.

As of this writing, some of the trending recipes include:

  • Mute my phone when I get to office & turn on vibrate
  • Automatically set your latest Instagram photo as your wallpaper
  • Rain tomorrow? Get an Android notification

Using IFTTT in Business

Browsing through the myriad creative recipes is great for inspiration, especially when you don’t know what you don’t know, right?  But be sure to think through some of the realistic informational tasks that you need help with beforehand so you come up with a list of recipes that truly serves your purpose.

  • Do you follow certain business journals or blogs? You can create a recipe to be alerted when that journal or blog has a new article posted
  • Are you using social media everyday? Set up a recipe to capture the RSS feed of your favorite blogs/news sites and repost to Twitter
  • Do you thank new followers? It’s easy when you set up a recipe to automatically thank anyone who has started following you on Twitter.

You can also save your email attachments to Dropbox, create a reminder to take care of starred emails in Gmail, and whenever you add a new contact add it to your calendar. This is just a very small sampling of the recipes you can use when testing out IFTTT.


Photo: (cc)Global Reactions via Flickr

Creating Your Own IFTTT Recipes

After you log in to your account, simply click the Create button at the top right of the page.

Then click on This and you will see a page of 98 Trigger Channels. These are the apps associated with the “If This Happens” part of the IFTTT equation. Some of these trigger channels include WordPress, RSS, Dropbox, Gmail, Bitly and CraigsList.

Now it’s time to choose a trigger action by clicking on the “Then That” icon you see on the screen.

Choose any one of the apps on your screen and you will either be given choices of how frequently something should be done or you may have to activate a social media page or allow access to your email account, all depending on which action you choose.

If you have a clear plan of what you want to create, then this whole process only takes a couple of minutes.

Some Popular IFTTT Recipes

Here are just a sampling of some of the recipes you can use in your daily business life.

1. Organize all your receipts on one spreadsheet automatically
2. Organize and save your Linkedin connections to a Google Drive spreadsheet
3. Back up your iOS contacts automatically on a Google spreadsheet
4.  Organize your Feedly Subscriptions into a Google Drive spreadsheet
I hope you enjoy the efficiencies of automation and IFTTT.  We’ll be reviewing Tweepi and other business tools and toys in the coming weeks, so use IFTTT to subscribe to my RSS feed!

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