Aug 31

#TechTipThursday: If This Then That

If This Then That (IFTTT) is a free service which allows users to create “applets” that automatically complete certain tasks. These applets work together with many different services including Google Drive, YouTube, Slack, and even smartphones. A full list of services which work with IFTTT can be found here. IFTTT is available for download on iOS and Android devices.

Ready-Made Applets
Users have the option to access a list of applets that IFTTT has already created. Once you find an applet that you want to use, simply select it and “turn on” the applet.

IFTTT will ask for permission to access the appropriate services on your device. Here, you have the choice to accept those terms or decline.

Manually Created Applets
Don’t see anything that you’re interested in? IFTTT allows users to create their own applets. To begin, navigate to the “My Applets” tab at the top of the page that appears once you have signed in. To the right, the option for “new applet” will appear. Click on this to begin designing your personalized applet!

You will start by choosing a trigger, event which cause the program to run, for your applet. Choose the light blue “this” on your screen.

Next, select the service from which the trigger will come. For example, if you want to create an applet that runs every time you save a file to a specific folder in Dropbox, your trigger will come from Dropbox. You will be asked to sign in to the trigger service if you have not done so already.

Select the trigger which matches your identified goal, then input any information you’re prompted for. In the case of our example, you would be prompted to input the name of the folder for your trigger.

You will be redirected back to the “if this then that” page once you select “Create trigger”. This time, you will see the icon for the trigger service before the word “this”. Select the light blue “that”.

On the next page, choose your action service. This is the service which will be changed or targeted when your trigger occurs. For example, if you would like to send yourself an email every time you save a file to a particular DropBox folder, you can select Gmail. You will be asked to sign into the action service if you have not already.

Choose the action which matches identified goal, then input any information you’re prompted for. In the case of our example, you would be prompted to enter a subject, body, and file attachment. These items can be left on their default settings or changed.

Select “Create action” and you will be shown your applet’s contents. Review these to ensure that the applet is accomplishing your identified goal. If so, select finish.

IFTTT and the Teaching and Learning Environment
IFTTT makes organization a little easier with an applet that adds tasks with due dates  to your Google Calendar. If you receive an email, IFTTT has an applet that allows you to “star” it and that same message is copied to Evernote.  If you’re looking to enhance your vocabulary for writing or speaking, this applet will send a weekly vocabulary list to your email.

If This Then That offers unlimited opportunities to streamline the processes you complete every day. IFTTT integrates with many services that you may already be using for course content including WordPress, Dropbox, Fitbit, and LinkedIn. You can also use it to post content from news sources to a feed, which may be very useful in classes which address current events.

If you have any questions, or difficulty duplicating the steps detailed in this post, please contact us directly.

*This post was drafted by Paige, an Instructional Technology Collaborator.


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