A Quick And Easy Guide To Getting Started With IFTTT
If you are still not too familiar with IFTTT, you should get at it. It’s a simple and useful engine for making things work together and can turn out to be a great time saver on a day-to-day basis. Here’s how you get started.
What is IFTTT?
IFTTT is an “If This Then That” engine. Basically, it allows you to streamline a number of activities and create patterns, tying several actions into one.
Here are a few examples.
If you want to notify your friends or family that you will be heading home now, you can set a recipe (pattern) with IFTTT that allow you to do that with the press of just one button. Want your Instagram photos to be posted on Twitter as images, rather than impersonal links? IFTTT can do that for you.
Is it technical?
You may think creating your first IFTTT recipe will be overwhelming. However, the interface for creating patterns in streamlined and easy to navigate. What’s more, if you still prefer to play it safe, you can simply choose a published recipe to your liking from IFTTT’s extensive library.
How does it work?
First, let’s get the lingo down.
In order to make things happen in IFTTT, you need to create a recipe. This is basically a chain of events that you want to unfold, your cause-and-effect scenario.
For this, you will need to choose a channel and a trigger.
A channel is a web service or app that is available in the IFTTT engine. There are lots of familiar names in the list, including YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Evernote, Facebook, SkyDrive, DropBox, Flickr, Foursquare and lots more. There are currently over 160 web services, apps and gadgets available on IFTTT and you will need to sync your accounts for the ones you plan to use.
After choosing a channel, go ahead and select a trigger. As you may have guessed, this is a particular action that will set things in motion.
Once you choose the channel, you will see a list of triggers for it available.
How to get started
Finally, we get to the point. Here’s how you get started with IFTTT.
First, head over to ifttt.com and click on the big blue Sign Up Button. A thing if note here is that the registration process for the engine is really quick and simple. After you enter your email and password, you are good to go.
After that, you will be redirected to a new page, where you will need to click on “this” (highlighted and blue) and then “that”.
After a super simple mini-tutorial, you will be asked to select channels that interest you. You can pick as many as you like.
Once that’s done, you will be redirected to a recipes page with 3 sections: Recommended, Do and If.
All of these are ready and available recipes that you can start using right away.
Recommended is a list of apps that the program itself thinks you should have a look at.
Do Recipes are simple automated actions, letting you accomplish them with the press of one button. For instance, “Save all your liked videos (YouTube) in a spreadsheet” (quite a useful thing to have, by the way).
If Recipes are what the engine is actually known for. They let you create sequences of actions make things happen together. For example, “Get an email IF there is rain your area tomorrow”.
Once you select a recipe to your liking, you will be asked to sync your account for the selected channels. Done. You can now get things rolling.
Creating your own recipes
Once you feel confident with the program, you may get interested in creating your own recipes. The interface for that is quite straightforward and you will be guided all the way through it.
It takes 7 steps to create your own recipe.
Choose Trigger Channel. You will be presented with a list of available web services, apps and tools. Choose the one that start the sequence.
Connect to the selected channel. The app will ask you to allow a certain list of permissions. If nothing looks to alarming to you, click Allow at the bottom.
Choose a Trigger. As you already know, this is the first action in your sequence, the cause.
Create Trigger. Move on to “that”.
Choose Action Channel. Just like in the first step, you will be presented with a list of channels to choose from. Ac action from that channel will complete your sequence.
Go ahead and connect to the channel.
Choose an Action. (For Google Calendar, one Action is available).
If there is more information needed, you will see a page saying “Complete Action Fields”.
Once all of that is done, you will see your complete recipe and will be asked to click on the blue Create Recipe button below.
There you go! You have created your own IFTTT Recipe.