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IFTTT Brings Recipes to the iPad

IFTTT Brings Recipes to the iPad

Have you ever sat for hours sifting through emails, Facebook messages or Tweets, looking for a specific piece of information, only to be disappointed? There are several ways to search for information like this, but one of the best ways is to assign tasks, so that they automatically appear in your email, Dropbox, or anywhere else you need the information to be stored.

If This, Then That

IFTTT (If This, Then That) is an incredibly easy-to-use website that allows you set up or copy recipes for automating just about anything. IFTTT creates a digital link between channels. In essence, it works with sixty nine different channels, including the major social media channels, and aids the process of filling out simple online forms, as well as, getting channels to “talk” to each other. It is not as complicated as it sounds.

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How It Works

Each recipe has three parts: the channel, the trigger, and the action.

  • Channels are the programs you use: Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Evernote, and any other program listed on IFTTT (currently there are 90 channels).
  • Triggers are the “this” part of a Recipe. Some example Triggers are “I’m tagged in a photo on Facebook” or “I check in on Foursquare.” Personal recipes are a combination of a Trigger and an Action from your active Channels.
  • Actions are the “that” part of a recipe. For example “send me a text message” or “create a status message on Facebook.”

So the recipe would read something like this: if any new photo is added to your Instagram account, then add the file URL to Dropbox. See the IFTTT part of the recipe? There are over 10,000 shared recipes on IFTTT, so you can imagine the possibilities are endless.

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    What an IFTTT recipe looks like

    Pre-Existing Automation Recipes

    There are a wide array of pre-existing recipes for you to use, which can automate a wide variety of tasks. One of my favorites allows you to add followers who have mentioned or retweeted you to a private list by collecting the tweeter’s data from your Gmail account. You no longer need to comb through your emails searching for followers’ usernames and then copy them over to your Twitter account manually. Just plugin the IFTTT recipe and it will do all the work for you.

    New IFTTT iPad App

    Now, you can automate a few things on the iPad with the newly launched IFTTT iPad app. The iPad version joins the already existing IFTTT iPhone app launched last year, and brings some new features: new recipe collections, location triggers for iOS photos, and support for push notifications. Push notifications mean you can leverage recipes to, say, alert you (via Notification Center) if there’s rain in the forecast for tomorrow. Or find out when a paid app goes free. There is even a recipe to automate “selfies.” Any time you take a picture with the forward-facing camera, you can automatically send the image to your best friend (or anyone else for that matter).

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    While recipe collections have been available on the Web for some time, bringing them to the iPad was just a small step in the right direction. It should immediately peak interest, as it helps the user see task-specific recipes curated all in one place, for example, recipes for travel, photos, emails, etc. The IFTTT team has also added location triggers to the iOS Photos channel, which lets you perform an action only when you shoot images in a proscribed area. This is good for creating location-aware albums, or only posting images when you’re on vacation.The curated collections of recipes will be rotated every week, so keep checking to see if your personal interests appear.

    Sidenote: there are plans for IFTTT to support Android users, according to the IFTTT blog, so keep an eye on the web site.

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    Featured photo credit: iPad/3rdworldman/Morguefile via mrg.bz

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    Last Updated on May 14, 2019

    8 Replacements for Google Notebook

    8 Replacements for Google Notebook

    Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

    1. Zoho Notebook
      If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
    2. Evernote
      The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
    3. Net Notes
      If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
    4. i-Lighter
      You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
    5. Clipmarks
      For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
    6. UberNote
      If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
    7. iLeonardo
      iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
    8. Zotero
      Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

    I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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    In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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