5 Great Uses for IFTTT

Automation of workflow

I have been using IFTTT since 2014 and find the service to be very helpful in streamlining workflow.   IFTTT is an abbreviation of “If This Then That”. IFTTT is a service that allows users to create workflows using conditional statements, called “recipes,” which are triggered based on changes to other web services such as Gmail, Slack, Fitbit or Facebook.  If you have studied the 4-Hour workweek from Tim Ferris, IFTTT can assist with Step III, Automation.   Here are five samples I have set up in IFTTT that I find useful in my life.  

If new email in inbox from search for Subject: Your Fitbit’s battery is low, then create a task in Kevin-to do

IFTTT _ FitBit and ToDoist

This recipe sends a report to our “Family FYI” channel every morning with how much sleep I recorded.

IFTTT _ Slack Sleep

Have you left work yet?  Now I can send an alert automatically when I leave the office our family FYI Slack channel

IFTTT _ Slack

Record recently sold homes from designated zip codes in Google Drive.

IFTTT _ Sold Homes

Text me if it will rain/snow tomorrow.

Text if Weather changes

 

While our family utilizes over 60 IFTTT recipes, it is important to make sure we are intentional about setting these processes up.  I have learned, just because I can automate something, doesn’t mean I should.

Again, my goal is to make every step count, and this is a tool I use to help with that objective.    If you use IFTTT, what have you found beneficial?

 

 

How our family created an “intentional” smart kitchen

removing screens from the kitchen area for less distractions

Ok… I know it may not be the smart kitchen we tech enthusiasts are dreaming about, but it is my first start!  Here is what I like about our kitchen set up.

Simple:  Our smart kitchen doesn’t have wires, screens or lots of hardware.  It only consists of the Amazon Echo.  Like many families, there are too many distractions in the day, and we are trying to keep our kitchen tech free.

Hands-free task/data entry:   Groceries, to do’s or calendar requests.  When things needed to be added to the to-do list or grocery list my wife and I were scrambling for a phone or device.  The problem was when we picked up the phone to add milk to the shopping list; we ended up spending 10 min on unplanned screen time. (thank you Facebook!)

Hands-free Cooking:  Imaging this… you are in the kitchen cooking bacon and eggs for your little girls, and you use the last  drop of orange juice.  Your family has already transitioned to a digital shopping list, in our case ToDoist, but your hands are wet, the baby is crying, and the bacon is burning.  Waalaa..  rather than scramble for a phone and open the app and type in orange juice, you yell over the chaos, Alexa adds OJ to the shopping list.  Bam, added to the shopping list and while you are cooking and your wife is at the store, it updates, and she knows to grab OJ.

***I should note that it is necessary to use one my favorite little life hacks called IFTTT to connect Echo grocery list with Todoist, but it takes just a few minutes to do so.

Hands-free morning routine:  During my morning routine of getting things organized, coffee and kids loaded for daycare, there is inevitably that “thing” that pops in my head that says “do this” or  “don’t forget x” when you get into the office.  Now I can relay the message to Alexa as I buzz through the kitchen, and it shows up in my ToDoist list.

Day to day use cases:

  • How many ounce’s are in a cup?  We will be in the kitchen and my wife will ask how many pints in a quart etc. Now, we just ask Alexa and the cooking magic continues.
  • Is it going to rain tomorrow?  In the old days, we would have to get out a device out and “ask Google”.   Now with Alexa always on standby we ask and she lets us know when the rain will be in our area.

I could keep going with the use cases but here is the summary.  We all have grown accustomed to getting answers from the web; now you can stay connected and not forget things but keep the focus on the family and not go to a device.  I believe we are only scratching the surface of Voice and if you have a voice product that you need more use cases or an enthusiast to test hit me up!

 

In an effort to make every step count, this is our current process.  How do you use Amazon Echo?