Using The Free Program IFTTT To Automate Your Life

Using The Free Program IFTTT To Automate Your Life

I am a big fan of automating as much as I can in life. As a husband, a daddy to 5 kids and a busy wedding photographer I am always looking for life hacks that can save me time in my day and help me live more efficaciously. One free program that I'd highly recommend to anyone who is looking for a little automation in their life is IFTTT. Here's why.

IFTTT stands for If This, Then That. It is a free program that allows you to set up triggers so that when one of those triggers is met then a particular action takes place. I think the best way to explain it is by sharing some of the IFTTT recipes that I have set up. Here are a few of them.

  • If I label a video on Vimeo to Watch Later, then send it to my Plex Queue so I can view it from my cell phone Plex app.
  • If I get tagged in a photo on Facebook, then save that photo to my Dropbox.
  • If I star an email in Gmail, then forward that email to a folder in Evernote.


IFTTT is a powerful program that allows you to do a number of things and it's all for free. For instance, here are a few more triggers that are popular right now.

  • If Apple posts a free app of the week, then email me a link to it.
  • If I like a photo on Instagram, then save it to my Dropbox.
  • If the weather says it might rain today, then send me a text message letting me know.
  • If I take a picture with my iPhone, then email the photo to me.
  • If I post a photo on Instagram, then post that same photo to Flickr.
  • If a new Craigslist post is selling __________________ (camera gear), then email me.
  • If it's the 25th of the month, then remind me to pay my rent with a text message.

When you go to the website you will first set up a free account. Then you can either browse the recipes that people have already set up and shared or click to create a new one. You will first need to activate some channels. By activating the channels IFTTT will give you numerous options for triggers and actions within each of those channels. Here is a full list of all the channels (or programs that participate) in IFTTT.

When you first click on the link to create your own recipe you will be presented some large text that says, IfThisThenThat.

You will click on this and be presented with a number of channels to choose from.

Once you've activated a channel the process is really quite simple. IFTTT will walk you through each of the steps helping you set up the trigger you would like followed by the action for when that trigger is met.

It seems that just about every week I see new channels being created and new and innovative ways people are using the website to set up automation in their life. For instance, using the new Philips Hue light bulbs you can set up the following triggers. Have your lights turn blue if it starts to rain outside, have your lights blink if you receive an email, or change color as a reminder about an event on your calendar. Really the possibilities are quite endless.

If you haven't yet, go check out and see what ways you can set up some automation to shed time off your day or add some convenience to it. Also let me know in the comments below about some of your favorite recipes that you are using with the help of IFTTT. Thanks!

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This is great man!! Thanks for sharing

Trevor Dayley's picture

Looking forward to hearing what kind of recipes (triggers/actions) you all use to automate your day.

I'll have to check this out. As a mom who homeschools her son as well as run a business on top of all the regular household chores this might be a timesaver.

ummmm this is super rad. I can't wait to try it! Now, if it could make coffee when I wake up, that would be really awesome! :-D

This would be awesome. I want a coffee making alarm clock. Never managed to find one though.

YES!!!! I want it now!!! :p

The coroflot is simply a project. Here is something being sold since the 70's.

Advertised as teamaker clock, but I don't see why instant coffee wouldn't work.

I use IFTTT to keep an eye on Craigslist for equipment I am searching for. It is a great timesaver.

It's great for that and cross posting your twitter, flickr, wordpress, etc all to eachother. My favorite was to update my personal tumblr blog w/ all of the pictures that i favorite'd on flickr.

Oh man this is awesome! Not quite the flying cars we were promised by this time in history, but pretty darn good.

I use IFTTT for uploading instantly from my photobooth to facebook.
People who visit The Photo Camper loves this, as they can go to facebook the second they leave the camper and share their photos with frinds from there own phone.
The process is like this: I ude Goodsync to sync from the Breeze DSLR Remote Pro local folder to the Dropbox local folder on the pc. Dropbox then uploads instantly. And seconds after IFTTT uploads the image to a Facebook gallery.
Works great!


David Apeji's picture

Thanks for bringing this to our attention - very useful.

I have been using a wordpress trigger to automatically post to facebook and twitter, but this takes things to the next level...

We use tweetdeck to achieve some sort of automation, but know we can be so much better at it. Definitely going to check out IFTTT.

Thanks for the info.

I don't see Google+ on the channels list!!

5 kids?! You're awesome! :) I'm a homeschooling mom running 3 businesses, including photography, but I have no smart phone. It would have been helpful but I feel like having a smart phone would actually not be good for me - it would steal more of my time than make things easier.

I LOVE this! Now saving all of my instagram photos to dropbox (was manually saving them to desktop for a 365 project and it was such a pain!), facebook page updates now get simultaneously tweeted and tumblr'ed (I'm bad with keeping up with tumblr). Also plugged in a few craigslist searches to be texted to me. And I am fascinated by these light bulbs. "Oh, the things you can think". Definitely going to keep playing with this.

But how do you use your Facebook PAGE as a trigger instead of my personal profile?

I just tried it and it works great. Thank you very much for posting this.

Nice tools! :) Thanks for sharing!

Hi there, I just did this and the picture showed up just a a twitter link on my twitterfeed, no picture. Any suggestions? I am trying to say If a Buffer Tweet (biz account) then Tweet (personal account). Thanks!