What Is IFTTT and How Can it Improve Your Digital Life?

Tech Talker gives you an introduction to IFTTT (if this then that), a web service that automates a lot of your web functions to make life easier.

Eric Escobar
4-minute read
Episode #83

As many of you know, I’m an engineer. I like to find ways to make things run as efficiently as possible. I like to reduce steps and complexity. That’s one reason I love listening to my fellow podcaster Get-it-Done Guy! He tells me about awesome ways to work less but do more using systems and productivity tools.

For example, on a daily basis I use Dropbox to store my files, Evernote to organize my thoughts and lists, Gmail to organize my calendar, Facebook to keep up with friends, and Feedly to keep up with the things that I’m interested in.

But wouldn’t it be awesome if I could combine all of these services to work together? Well in this week’s episode I’ll be going how to do this using IFTTT.com which stands for “If This Then That.”


What Is IFTTT?

IFTTT or “If This Then That” is a web service that aggregates many other web apps into one place and can then perform actions given a certain set of criteria. I know, I know, it sounds way more technical than it actually is.

In fact, it’s really easy! Here are some typical examples of something you can have IFTTT set up to do:

  • If you like a photo on Instagram, a picture of that photograph will be saved in a folder on your Dropbox.
  • Text you the weather at the beginning of each day.
  • Send you an email when a new item on Craigslist comes up that matches a certain criteria that you’ve set up.

After you sign up on IFTTT, you will be able to create “Recipes.” These recipes involve two web apps, one app to trigger, and the other app to perform an action.


About the Author

Eric Escobar

Tech Talker demystifies technology and cutting edge devices so that even the most tech illiterate can understand what's going on with their computer or gadget — and what to do when something goes wrong.