IFTTT, short for "If This Then That" (and pronounced "ift"), is a free service that lets you connect various "channels" together through simple conditional statements known as "Recipes". There are over 120 channels available, ranging from social media websites to online storage, mobile phones and even programmable light bulbs!

IFTTT is very cool, but a common question seems to be "what useful things are you using it for?"

In some ways, the huge selection of channels is part of the problem. Although the website lets you browse various recipes shared by others, its not immediately obvious what real purpose IFTTT will fill in your life.

How I use IFTTT

Keep copies of photos on Facebook

Firstly, IFTTT lets me keep a backup of any photos posted to Facebook that I might be interested in:

IFTTT Recipe: Download new Facebook Photos you post to Dropbox connects facebook to dropbox

IFTTT Recipe: Download new Facebook Photos you're tagged in to Dropbox connects facebook to dropbox

If you follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn, then you'll occassionally see links to articles that I've found interesting. I use Feedly as my news aggregator and Pocket as my bookmark store. By tagging an item in Pocket with _shared, it will be posted to social media sites, courtesy of IFTTT.

IFTTT Recipe: Pocket items tagged with '_shared' are posted to Twitter connects pocket to twitter
IFTTT Recipe: Pocket items tagged with '_shared' are posted to LinkedIn as links connects pocket to linkedin

As an aside, I'd love to use Buffer to manage distribution and add Google+ support, but Buffer's IFTTT channel is quite limited and Google+ doesn't seem supported by anyone yet!

Weather Reports

I don't tend to check the weather before I leave the house, so it's nice to get the occassional warning of particularly nasty weather.

IFTTT Recipe: If tomorrow’s looking cold then send a Boxcar notification connects weather to boxcar-2

IFTTT Recipe: If it's going to snow tomorrow then send a Boxcar notification connects weather to boxcar-2

Is That It?

This post only scratches the surface of what IFTTT is capable of; really, its a function of your imagination! I'd encourage you to check out the huge list of available channels, browse the pre-made shared recipies (including my own), and don't be scared to write your own!