IFTTT (If This Then That) is one of the most useful web services you would ever come across. Since 2010, this automation tool has helped millions of users to squeeze even more value out of the apps, devices, and services they use. IFTTT Applets, formerly named Recipes, have always enabled users to automate and simplify their plenty of most routine tasks, absolutely free. From managing emails to posting on social media networks to controlling smart home products, IFTTT has countless possibilities to make your life easier. Some may seem unusual, but in reality, they can be quite useful.
How does IFTTT Work?
IFTTT is an automation that will enable you to connect 2 services (formerly known as channels) so as to discover better uses for services you already use. There are 400+ services available as of now, that you can use for creating recipes and the list is always increasing. Some of the most famous and used services include – Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Dropbox, Evernote, etc.
IFTTT uses two main elements called triggers and actions which are organized by services. Each service has a particular set of triggers and actions.
Triggers are the “this” part of an applet. They are the items that “trigger” the action.
Actions are the “that” part of an applet.
Triggers + Actions = Applets
Applets (formerly known as recipes) are pre-prepared formulas. When a trigger is paired with an action it becomes an applet. An action is triggered between those apps/services when certain conditions are met. For instance, “IF I like a picture in Instagram, THEN save that picture to Dropbox”.
Simply put, an applet is a combination of 2 services, using a “Trigger” and an “Action.” Applets are formulas you set up deciding which triggers will prompt which actions.
There are tens of thousands of applets that are available for your perusal. As of this moment, there are over 1,000,000,000 Applets that are run every month. By connecting various different services that you use, IFTTT allows you to use them as either triggers or actions with varying input options for each. Some services have only a few actions, and others are infinitely customizable using search strings or custom URLs.
Confused? For your better understanding, let’s take a closer look at few Recipes/Applets.
There are pre-made recipes (other people’s recipes) available that you can browse and even sort them out by popularity, date, etc. Just click on ‘Discover’ up at the top and you should see something like this:
You just need to click on the required applets and turn the toggle on. Here are few pre-made applets for your better understanding.
Using pre-made recipes is easier than creating your own. However, if you want to create your own applets, you can follow the below procedure.
How To Create an Applet?
Before you create an applet, you need to create an account with IFTTT. So, head over to ifttt.com and you will be greeted with the following screen:
Then, when you click on ‘Get Started,’ you will be directed to the following page.
You can directly ‘sign in’ using your Google account or Facebook account. After a few seconds, you will be taken to the basic IFTTT information page.
Now we can actually create the applet. Click on the drop down menu of your account on the top right corner.
Select “New Applet,” which will take you to the following.
Then click on ‘+’ icon to choose a trigger service, which will take you to the following.
Let us for example, select the Facebook trigger, which will then ask us to activate Facebook (which may require you log in and authorize IFTTT) just this once. Having done that, we’ll choose a trigger action.
I’m going to select the one with title ‘New photo post by you’ and move on to the next step. We are going to choose an ‘action’ service on the following screen.
We are now going to select Twitter and activate it just the one time that it’s necessary. After doing this, we will be greeted by the second batch of trigger actions:
We’ll select the first trigger and be taken to this:
In this case, it’s asking us where to post the new tweet, how to name them and where it should put them. I decided to change the format of the name so that they’re named according to the date in which I post them. All you have to do is click on the “Add ingredient” and you’ll get a dropdown as shown above. We take care of that and we get this:
Just give a small description of what your applet does, hit the ‘Finish’ button and you are done.
If you want to turn off the applet for few days or forever, you can do so, using the toggle provided.
The entirety of this process takes just a few moments and it will be incredibly useful to you.
Now, you can play with your newly found super powers!