When the people on your staff or members of your board work together, isn’t life so much easier? Aren’t we able to accomplish more when we work as a team? Well, that’s the whole idea behind IFTTT—a website and phone app that is also known as “If This, Then That.” The best part about IFTTT is that it helps you work smarter, not harder.
The basic principle behind IFTTT is that when a trigger happens, an action will take place automatically. No longer do you need to go searching to see if a trigger has happened, IFTTT takes care of it for you. To understand this a bit better, a basic example would be: IF the weather forecast predicts rain tomorrow THEN send me a text message on my phone to alert me. Now that you hopefully understand the concept, here are a few fun applications.
IFTTT has probably thousands of different applications for social media platforms—everything from synchronizing updates across all platforms to more simple tasks. One that I like is the action that automatically says thanks to a new follower on Twitter. Or share Facebook page updates automatically on Twitter. Maybe you posted a new video on YouTube. Why not automatically share it on your Facebook page?
Say you are on a business trip out of town and you are taking an Uber from place to place. Use IFTTT to log your completed rides in Google Calendar or in a spreadsheet so you can easily keep track of your expenses.
Maybe you are traveling alone and want to share your information. As a precaution you can send an email to someone that includes information about the driver and the destination whenever a new Uber trip has started.
Do you use MailChimp? IFTTT has a whole host of automations available for it. A few of my favorites are:
• Add scheduled MailChimp campaigns to your calendar;
• Save your MailChimp campaign statistics to a Google spreadsheet;
• Save contacts added to a Google Contacts group as a subscriber to a list in MailChimp.
If you use Microsoft Office 365, you can get a notification when your boss emails you or get a mobile notification when a high priority email arrives in your inbox. Square credit card processor users can add new payments to a spreadsheet.
Nowadays, our homes are so connected with things like security systems, light bulbs, refrigerators and washers and dryers. Because they are all internet-based products, IFTTT technology is available for these products as well.
If you have the right equipment, you can have the lights at home turn on when you pass a certain landmark on your way home, make sure your garage door is closed at night, brew coffee when you wake up, or run your vacuum when you leave the house.
The possibilities are nearly endless. So, if you are inclined to automate more things in your life, look into some of the things you can do with IFTTT.
Submit Your Ideas
If you have ideas you want to share about new programs or features you are using, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Russell Lahodny is vice president of W.A.C.E. and vice president of local chamber relations at the California Chamber.