Share on Facebook

A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

The IFTTT Recipes that Will Make Your Life Better

Activate these "recipes" and you'll be an efficiency machine in no time.

1 / 14

What is IFTTT?

IFTTT—which stands for “If This Then That”—is an online service (and now, an iPhone app) that allows users to create “recipes” to automatically complete mundane tasks and streamline their lives. Think of it like a techie personal assistant. With it, you can manage photos, social media, and more …

2 / 14

Organize your photos.

If you’ve got an iPhone, check out this recipe by alexander that automatically emails you any photographs you take. That means less time manually uploading—and it could help catch a thief if your phone gets snatched.

3 / 14

Get the latest scores.

Whenever there’s breaking news from ESPN about your favorite sports team, IFTTT can send you a text message. This recipe by ccarlyanderson sets up an alert for the Green Bay Packers, but you can tweak it how you like.

4 / 14

Boost your home security.

With a WeMo motion detector you can use this recipe, which will send you a text message whenever a specific door opens at home. Activate when you’re away, and you’ll immediately know if anything suspicious is going on.

5 / 14

Find your lost phone.

Handy! This recipe by delphigreg triggers IFTTT to call your phone whenever you email “#lostphone” to yourself.

6 / 14

Escape a bad meeting.

Trapped across the table? Enable this recipe by IFTTT user maxhime and you’ll be able to surreptitiously message a number, which will send you an automated phone call. Act surprised, make up an excuse, then hightail it out of there.

7 / 14

Watch the stock market.

Keep tabs on your investments via text message with two recipes: This one, by ideashappen, will notify you if a specific stock rises above a given price threshold. Another, by ryancvet, lets you know if the price drops below a certain level.

8 / 14

Back up your Facebook photos.

If you haven’t created back-ups of your uploaded memories—in case something ever happens to your Facebook account—this recipe by cmpereira will automatically save any photograph you upload to your Dropbox account.

9 / 14

Get the weather, faster.

A recent recipe created by IFTTT user sullytaylor will automatically send a brief weather update via text to your cell phone every morning at sunrise. If you don’t have to turn on the TV or load up a weather app, you’ll save time and your phone’s battery life.

10 / 14

Be the first to know about a zombie outbreak.

Or any other major disease, of course. IFTTT user cpaone constructed a recipe that texts you if the Center for Disease Control and Prevention posts about an outbreak or incident.

11 / 14

Sync your social life.

Perfect for catfish schemers out there—or anyone who doesn’t want to bother with manually swapping out profile pics on each of their social media accounts. A recipe by derickjackson will automatically update your Twitter profile picture when your Facebook profile pic changes.

12 / 14

Celebrate quitting time!

A recipe by mattysty will send your phone a text message at 5:15 p.m. every day, reminding you to pack it in and head home. Even if you can’t peel yourself away, it might give you perspective on which projects really can wait another day.

13 / 14

Chronicle your social life.

If you “check in” wherever you go via Foursquare, this recipe by IFTTT user alexander will automatically update your Google Calendar with that information, enabling nostalgic thoughts months into the future like, “September 2nd, 2012: Ah yes—that was fun.”

14 / 14

Send season’s greetings.

One oddly specific recipe by glastohead will allow you to automatically tweet “Happy New Year!” from your account right at the stroke of midnight on January 1st every year. How about one to mail Christmas cards, too?

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest