Make Life Easier With IFTTT Smartphone Tricks


Your smart phone already makes life easier, right? Well, what if you could make it even smarter? Two big smartphone apps have been revolutionizing what we can do with our little hand-held devices, using simple "cause and effect" recipes.

The apps are IFTTT (If This Then That) and Zapier.  With these online tools, you can connect devices like your phone and smart home products with apps like Facebook, Evernote, Google Drive, Dropbox, and more, for benefits like this:

  • Connect your home
  • Keep in touch
  • Be more productive
  • Get real-time updates
  • Stay healthy
  • Shop smarter

Generally speaking, IFTTT tends to be more beginner-friendly and multi-purpose while Zapier has more complex functions that are handy for business. Today's post will focus on helpful, every-day "recipes" using IFTTT. 

To use any of the tricks below, simply download the IFTTT app on your smartphone. When you create an account, you can access it through your phone or a web browser on your computer. Click the "Add" button for the recipe you want, and the app will set you up.

Get Started: 4 IFTTT Recipes to Make Your Life Easier

  • Get Craigslist Alerts via Email
    Are you looking for a particular piece of furniture, used car, or job opportunity on Craigslist? Now you don't have to keep going back to check the listings every day! Let IFTTT do the work for you. When you do your search query in Craigslist, just provide IFTTT with the URL to the search results. Every time a new Craigslist posting matches your query, you'll get an alert by e-mail.  
  • Know When Rain is Coming
    Get a reminder to pack your umbrella. IFTTT can check tomorrow's weather forecast, and if rain is predicted, you'll get a notification on your Android or iOS device.
  • Create a Reminder to Return Missed Calls
    Want to make sure you remember to call back VIPs, like your child's teacher? Provide the phone number to IFTTT and whenever you miss a call from that number, your choice of the following actions can be triggered: add a reminder in your Google calendar, send a notification via e-mail, respond to the person via automated text, log the call in a Google spreadsheet, add a task to your favorite To Do List app, etc.
  • Find Your Lost Phone
    If your phone tends to go missing, now you can use IFTTT to call your phone by sending an e-mail to yourself with the hashtag #lostphone. Other IFTTT recipes will even ensure that your phone's volume is turned up when you try to ring it.

Hopefully that gives you a few ideas of how you can make these apps work for you. Browse the site for more ideas, and even create your own.

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  • Michelle Chang