Published on December 22nd, 2012 | by Guest Author0
How to connect your Gmail, Twitter, Facebook and other accounts together
If you analyze working processes you may find new ways of increasing your productivity. You need to divide the working process into parts in order to see the weak points that can be changed or even skipped.
For example, you use Dropbox as your storage for keeping all files that you receive or send. You receive a message with an attached file, and you want to send this file to Dropbox. In order to do this you need to perform a chain of actions: launch Dropbox, open the email, save the attached file in a Dropbox folder on your hard drive. There’re two important actions in this micro process: receiving of a letter and sending a file to Dropbox. All other manipulations are just intermediate actions that simply take additional time from your busy schedule.
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Working process consists of hundreds of such micro processes with intermediate actions. All in all, such intermediate actions require considerable time during the whole day. Just imagine how much easier it would be if you could pass the burden of performing all these actions onto someone else’s shoulders.
When using web services a person is a mediator between the two of such services. But you should also remember that many web servers have open API and due to this fact they can cooperate with each other directly. That’s why mashups have been created – the services that allow you to gather the data from different web services for getting the required result.
One of the best of such mashup services is ifttt. With the help of this service you can link the events on different services, get rid of those intermediate actions in order to concentrate on the most important ones. ifttt reminds of a game called Alchemy – there you create combinations of services for performing important tasks.
If it has happened on one service then that will happen on another one
The working method of this service is ciphered in its abbreviation. IFTTT means if this then that. ifttt mashup lets you to set cause-and-effect relations among the events on different services. It works by the principle “if this has happened on one service then that will happen on another one”. According to ifttt terminology, this is called a trigger, that – an action, the rule created according to this formula – a task, and the supported services – channels.
When creating a new task on a screen you’ll see the formula “if this then that”. Instead of this and that you need to insert the services you need. By clicking on this you may choose from a list of channels the one where triggers will be watched. By clicking on that you may choose a channel where the action will take place.
ifttt supports 21 web services and some other sources of information (date and time, message to ifttt bot in Google Talk, RSS feeds, etc.). You can create dozens of cause-and-effect combinations out of these services and data sources.
Let’s take a Gmail channel for example. For this channel three triggers are offered: receiving an email from someone, receiving a labeled email, and receiving an email which contains keywords within its body or in the subject. Each of these triggers can be assigned as a reason for action on another service. Gmail channel supports only one action – sending an email to the address you need.
As an example of other ifttt capabilities you may set a task which will make a tweet when you update your Facebook status.
At the moment ifttt can perform 10 tasks simultaneously (you can create any number of tasks but only 10 of them will be active at a time). Such a limitation may be connected with a possible developers’ intention to monetize the service.
If you still doubt whether you need to use this service or not, here’re soma examples of how it may help you:
- Receiving of SMS about interesting tweets, Facebook updates, certain emails, posts in RSS feeds, and other updates in different services;
- Import of all RSS updates (or only of selected ones) in Evernote, Instapaper and Read It Later;
- Quick sending of files attached to emails to Dropbox folder;
- Planning of events on different services for a specified time and date;
- WordPress, Posterous, Tumblr post publishing via SMS;
- Creation of audio notes in Evernote by sending an email with attached audio file.
If you know the functions of different services and can see the benefits of connecting these functions into one chain, then you may create great trigger-action combinations that will make your business and social life much easier. Simple and at the same time brilliant mashup service ifttt will be your assistant. Also it will help you to reflect upon the effectiveness of your working process.
Eugene Rudenko is a tech writer for IT company Intellectsoft. The company specializes in Android, iOS, Blackberry and WP development.