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IFTTT Offers Rule Based Automation For A Host Of Web Services & Apps

There is a multitude of widgets, apps and services that allow you to link accounts on different services. Many of them are extremely useful and work smoothly but just because you’ve got a handful of great apps or services that link two accounts seamlessly doesn’t mean that they’re all as good. What’s more is that you don’t get to choose what information will be shared between two accounts; it’s a take it or leave it bid that you sign up for. IFTTT (If This Then That) is a web service that lets you connect 35 accounts such that activity on one account will trigger activity on another. The service is like creating a command loop, should one condition be fulfilled on one account, it will trigger an activity in another account. The condition/trigger, activity and accounts are defined by you.

You can create your own ‘Tasks’; the name given to a set of triggers and activity linking two accounts. You can share tasks that you’ve created or use ones created by the IFTTT community from the Recipes tab.

ifttt  Tasks

A task is created on a simple principle; an activity that occurs in one account will trigger another activity in a separate account. To create a task, click the Tasks tab, click Create Task and connect your first account. Click This and pick from the list below which account you want to connect.

ifttt  Create task

Once you pick which account you want to connect, pick what activity will act as a trigger. The service itself tells what activities on the service can act as triggers. In the screenshot below, the first account that’s been connected is Facebook pages. The trigger activity that’s been selected is New photo on page.

ifttt set trigger

Click Create Trigger after you’ve picked an activity and proceed to adding the second account. The trigger activity that you’ve defined for the first account will perform an action on this second account. The second account that’s added here is Dropbox.

ifttt  add second account

Follow the same procedure as before and pick the second account that you want to add from the list and choose what activity will be performed on that second account as a result of the trigger.

ifttt  account activity

Once you’ve defined the trigger and the activity for both accounts, define the action fields. Action fields define how an action will take place in the second account you’ve connected. Click inside the action field and a dropdown on the left will let you pick a suitable one. The following screenshot defines where the file will be added from and where it will be saved (file path) in Dropbox. To proceed to the final step, click Create Action.

ifttt  define action fields

The final step is simply naming you task.ifttt  description

To view all the tasks you’ve added, go to the Tasks tab. You will see four buttons next to each task. Click a task to see additional buttons. The trash button allows you to delete a task, the power on/off button lets you toggle the task on and off, the pen button allows you to edit a task. The cauldron icon lets you share your task with other IFTTT users. If you would like to run a task manually, click the Check button and to see past activity by a task, click logs.

ifttt  Task functions

If you’re at all familiar with If, then, else statements, then understanding what this does shouldn’t be a problem. It allows you to create a simple cause and effect statement for any two accounts. To use a task created and shared by other users, click Recipes and pick one. Click the rightward pointing arrow sign to add the task. If you need to activate and connect any accounts for the task, you will prompted to do so. You can edit the action fields if you like. Once you’ve got everything set up, click Create Task.

ifttt add recipe



  1. I’ll stick with dlvr.it

    While the UI is pretty, the huge icons and slowish interface makes using this service silly. Lack of URL shortening, sending 1 to many, and other fine tuning options. Nice try.

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