How To Use IFTTT To Save Time & Automate – Behind The Scenes


One thing I love about the internet, is it always presents new ways to work smarter rather than harder. So in today’s IFTTT tutorial I am going to share the IFTTT recipes I use to do exactly that by automating a my workload.

If you are wondering what is IFTTT exactly, then you really are missing out! If This Then That (IFTTT) is a fantastic free tool that allows you to connect other web services together.

For example you can automatically save photos you get tagged in on Facebook to dropbox, get an email with a map to where you parked your car, schedule tweets from an RSS feed and well the possibilities are truly limitless.

In this tutorial I am going to share a bunch of useful IFTTT recipes with you along with a link at the end of the post to find even more awesome IFTTT recipes!

What You Will Learn

  • What IFTTT is & why it is amazing!
  • How to set IFTTT up & use it
  • How to work smarter, not harder
  • The IFTTT recipes I use to create content & manage the blog behind the scenes
  • A stack of other juicy IFTTT hints & tips

IFTTT Tutorial Video

This is one of the best free tools on the market that is really easy to use but super powerful at the same time!

Click Here to Read the Transcript

Resources In The Video

IFTTT.com – Create your free account now!

The Secret Weapon – The Getting Things Done system I use and mention briefly in the video.

Don’t Like Videos? Follow This IFTTT Tutorial Instead!

Today I’m going to teach you how to use the free If This Then That tool and show you why it is amazing.

I’ll teach you how to make the best use of this free service so you can do more in less time.

Not only will I show you how I use it to manage my blog but at the end I’ll give you some extra juicy tips and tricks!

Let’s get started!

What is If This Then That?

If This Then That is a powerful tool that lets you connect various channels. Channels can be Facebook, email, Twitter, Evernote, Gmail, Buzzfeed and similar things like that.

There’s a recipe option that lets you combine the various channels to set up different updates, notifications and such.

Some recipes are:

  • When Facebook profile picture changes, update Twitter profile picture
  • Starred Google Reader to Evernote
  • Tweet about an RSS update every time it happens

IFTTT recipes

You can even use it to find out what the weather’s like everyday!

If none of the IFTTT recipes are what you want to cook up, you can make your own.

How To Create IFTTT Recipes

Creating IFTTT recipes is really easy, first we have to have an account to use IFTTT. Once you make an account, you’ll come to the dashboard.

IFTTT tutorial dashboard

Now to make our own recipe!

  1. Click Create Recipe
  2. Choose your trigger channel, what “If then” does
  3. Choose your action channel, what “Then that” does

if this then that tutorial screenshot

Let’s choose “Date & Time” for our example.

Say you have a specific task you need to do every weekday. Choose the option for every weekday, set the time and day you want.

Next, you’ll choose your action channel for “then that.”

then that

I made my “Then that” to create a note every Monday at a certain time to remind me to respond to my messages on social media. Add a description and create your recipe!

It’s really simple and now you’ll always have a reminder for whatever task you have to do.

Pretty handy for those with a bad memory :P

My IFTTT Recipe Tutorial

As you all probably know, I publish monthly income report roundups of various bloggers but what you probably don’t know is that I set up my IFTTT to get note of the individual income reports.

Here’s my personal IFTTT recipe I use to set that up.

My IFTTT recipes using Evernote

You can see I set it up so that if a new RSS feed has the words “income report” then it’ll get sent to my Evernote. Below you’ll see my Trigger is “income report,” the feed URL and the Action which is to Append to note.

When the end of the month comes around, all I have to do is check my Evernote and all the income reports will be there in one nice notebook. I don’t need to check every single website so it saves me a lot of time.

Another way I use IFTTT is for my What I have read this month post where I gather a list of my favorite articles from the past month.

what i have read this month connects IFTTT with Evernote

I set up my Google Reader as the first action so that every article starred by me in Google Reader gets sent to Evernote. All those articles will appear in my Reading List folder.

Better than a paper bookmark!

One more I use IFTTT is to update my editorial Calendar. I set it up so that if I have any events that start of Editorial, then it will be sent to Evernote.

Google Calendar To Evernote With IFTTT

I add a few tags like @work and Now to remind myself that I need to get it done.

Can’t fall behind in my workload right?

There’s an infinite number of IFTTT recipes you can come up with, it really is up to you to make it do what you want. You can even use it to back up your blog posts!

IFTTT blog post backup

You can say every time your RSS feed updates, it’ll create a note so that every one of your blog posts get sent to your notebook.

IFTTT has so many different channels that you can even get notified when a particular stock rises or lowers, if it’s going to rain today or send your Tweets to Google Drive.

The choice is yours to decide what IFTTT recipes to make and how to utilize IFTTT to your best advantage.

It’s a great service that is completely free!

Resources In The IFTTT Tutorial

IFTTT.com – Create your free account now!
More Recipes – A list of useful IFTTT recipes to use
The Secret Weapon – The Getting Things Done system I use and mention briefly in the video.

67 Responses

  1. cubicle free Quinn

    Great Video Matt – Cheers! I love IFTTT too – I use it to help me know when bloggers I follow post :-) As you can see it works.

    • Matthew Woodward
      March 11th, 2013 at 3:05 pm

      Hahaha ^^ got any other creative ways you use it?

      • Quinn
        March 27th, 2013 at 2:17 pm

        I also use it in conjunction with my VAs – so that they get notified of important things that require their action or further filtering

        • Matthew Woodward
          March 28th, 2013 at 9:19 am

          Interesting – what services are you blending for that?

  2. Fred Williams

    That’s a pretty cool service, and it’s free. I may have to toy around with that to see how I can use it in my business.

    • Matthew Woodward
      March 11th, 2013 at 3:05 pm

      Awww man there are SO MANY uses for it!

  3. Brian Owens

    This is amazing. Fits perfectly with Profit Hacks stuff (if you’re familiar with that course). Owe you for this post Matthew!

    • Matthew Woodward
      March 11th, 2013 at 3:04 pm

      I’m not sorry, glad you liked it :)

  4. Angela Booth

    Brilliant tutorial, Matthew. I played around with IFTTT, but could never get a real handle on it, so I forgot about it.

    However, after your run throughs of how you use it, I’ve got some excellent ideas of how I can create my own recipes.

    Thank you — I’m off to get started with IFTTT again, now that I know what to do.


    • Matthew Woodward
      March 12th, 2013 at 9:46 am

      Hi Angela,

      No worrys – thought I would throw in a few real world examples of how I use it :)

  5. Marius Fermi

    I love me some IFTT, however I did lose a bit of interest when the Twitter sharing got messed up with API disappearing etc.

    Nice post!

    • Matthew Woodward
      March 12th, 2013 at 9:47 am

      That was only when using it as a ‘trigger’ though I think?

  6. SamMatla

    Wow. I’m blown away. I don’t see how I haven’t heard of this before as a productivity geek! I don’t user evernote at the moment but I suppose I should probably have a look into it.

    Ahh still can’t believe this even exists. I know what I’m doing today! Cheers Matthew :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      March 12th, 2013 at 9:47 am

      A productivity geek that doesn’t use Evernote or IFTTT – what is the world coming to :P

      • SamMatla
        March 12th, 2013 at 9:37 pm

        MS OneNote ;) it’s much easier as I use it on Windows 8 as an app. Hey I do use IFTTT now!

        • Matthew Woodward
          March 13th, 2013 at 11:15 am


          Ahh hadn’t heard of OneNote – does IFTTT support it?

          • SamMatla
            March 14th, 2013 at 12:21 am

            Unfortunately not, I might contact them and see what they think. Not sure if there’d be as much demand for it though.

          • Matthew Woodward
            March 14th, 2013 at 9:36 am

            Well its a big Microsoft product and I know IFTTT are gearing up with new services at the moment, so dont ask – dont get :)

  7. Rob

    Nice post again. Thank you.

    Do you know if it possible to “concatenate” recipes?

    • Matthew Woodward
      March 12th, 2013 at 9:49 am


      I dont think it is sorry =\ You could create a few that chain together though? Where the ‘That’ in the previous recipe triggers the ‘IF’ in the next one

  8. Mike Brewer

    This is so awesome it’s mind-boggling.

    I must say – I have heard of this service more than once but never taken the time to understand it.

    You did a compelling job of dumbing it down us 90mph types.

    Thank you for taking time.

    Your rock.


    • Matthew Woodward
      March 12th, 2013 at 9:50 am

      Hi Mike,

      No worrys =D Hopefully once you have it setup you can increase speed to 100mph ^^

  9. jespana

    Matt you forgot to add the annotation within YT to be able to click on the videos. Or it could just be my iPad3 that will not allow it.

    • Matthew Woodward
      March 12th, 2013 at 9:51 am

      Yeah they are there :) You might have the annotations option turned off

  10. Robert

    I was just about to start using Google Reader to keep up with some blogs related to my niche + some other blogs only to find out Google Reader is being shut down in July.

    Are there any alternatives that will work with IFTTT?

    • Matthew Woodward
      March 18th, 2013 at 9:15 am

      Hi Robert,

      Thinks like readability are already supported but I’ll worry about this once reader shuts down and a new king is crowned ^^

      • Robert
        March 18th, 2013 at 1:33 pm

        True, a lot can happen in a few months. Readability looks nice.

        • Matthew Woodward
          March 19th, 2013 at 9:09 am

          Yeah it is one of the better ones I’ve seen – we’ll see what happens though!

  11. ran

    really great,,, you’re really kind guru..

    nice regards from Indonesia..

    • Matthew Woodward
      March 18th, 2013 at 9:24 am

      Urgh Guru is a horrible world – I’m still learning!

  12. ran

    sorry, I forgot to say ” thank you so much”


    • Matthew Woodward
      March 18th, 2013 at 9:25 am

      No worrys =D

  13. Peter


    • Matthew Woodward
      March 27th, 2013 at 11:03 am

      Now put it to good use :P

  14. Peter

    I’ve already setup Evernote following http://www.thesecretweapon.org/. Only bummer is that I’m on Snow Leopard Mac so there is really no easy way to follow along completely. But the organization method itself is fantastic. Once I combine with IFTTT i’m going to be 10x more productive!

    Thanks again!

    • Matthew Woodward
      March 27th, 2013 at 11:38 am

      It is an amazing system – what problems are you facing with the Mac integration of this?

      • Peter
        March 27th, 2013 at 11:45 am

        Well you can’t integrate evernote with mac mail. There is a script online, but it only works w/ Mac Lion and above. I have Snow Leopard. But other than that it’s great! Just setup a recipe on IFTTT to put any link I post on FB into a notebook on Evernote. Awesome!

        • Matthew Woodward
          March 28th, 2013 at 9:10 am

          Ahhh I see – well don’t forget you can create notes in evernote by forwarding email to your evernote email. In the client click on the usage button to see your evernote email address then just forward notes to it :)

  15. Clifford

    I’m a huge evernote supporter and just found out about IFTTT. This video is perhaps the BEST example of what IFTTT can really do. Thanks for taking the time to put it together and post it. My imagination is running wild with ideas.

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 25th, 2013 at 8:44 am

      No worrys – everyone understands what it does but a lot of people struggle with the application of it

  16. jewseboy

    Im having trouble connecting Thunderbird with Evernote with the add-on Ive found to date. I read that Evernote has stopped supporting TB but noticed you are using TB

    Can you post the link to the TB specific add-on you are using please?

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 27th, 2013 at 2:46 pm


      You need Thunderbird 3.1.7 & Evernote Web Clipper to get them working together :)

  17. Michael

    Hi Mathew, great video.

    I was trying to use IFTTT with my YouTune subscriptions. Want I want to do is if a new video is published then I want to add it to my Watch Later. I have the RSS feed of my new subscriptions videos, but can’t work out a way to get them onto the Watch Later list. Any ideas?

    Or perhaps there’s another way to create a playlist of these videos. I’d also love to be able to have the videos automatically removed from the Watch Later list if that is at all possible.

  18. Trigger IM

    I just set up a whole fancy schmancy string of these for a couple other sites last night. Very funny that my opt-in with you was timed to send me an email about it this AM. :) Such a great tool! I’ll have to check out your recipes later today.

    By the way, I noticed that the links from your email campaign are not tagged. I recently learned that un-tagged links from referrals such as emails often lose the referrer in Analytics and end up being attributed to direct traffic. Therefore, you might not be able to calculate the real ROI/value of visitors from actual direct traffic vs referral traffic since it’s not truly segmented properly. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 23rd, 2014 at 10:08 am

      Hahaha its a strange world :)

      There are lots of cool uses for it though.

      Yeah you are right about that, I should track email better ^^

  19. Jonny Hardwick

    Nice one Matt. I use a lot of automation in my business and I can never get enough of the stuff. I love it! It turns me on slightly :)

    Never heard of this tool until now. I do automate a lot of the tasks you mentioned but never in this way, and this is actually a much easier/simpler way than some of the other systems I’ve built up.

    I’m going to have a play with it now and see what else I can automate. Thanks man!


    P.S. I’m not sure why but I only just received an email about this post. I thought it was a new post until I looked at the date. Can you shed some light?

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 13th, 2014 at 9:13 am

      Thanks Jonny!

      Yeah your in my autoresponder funnel

  20. Sandy

    Hi Matt, IFTTT is cool
    Just heard it from your blog. Thanks

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 18th, 2014 at 10:11 am

      Hope it helps you out Sandy!

  21. Krissanawat

    thank matt
    I use ifttt forward any feedly and email to evernote

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 25th, 2014 at 12:57 pm

      Yeah I use feedly > evernote as well :)

  22. Tushar Thakur

    Nice automation stuff.

    Can I do like this: Once I publish any new blog post on my blog it should automatically shared on FB, twitter and Google+?


    • Matthew Woodward
      June 4th, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      You can if you want but I just use buffer for that

  23. Buddy

    Thanks for sharing such a great tool! I’m now trying IFTTT together with Evernote. The last one is a bit intimidating at first glance, but I will manage. ;-)

    Now that you use Evernote, do you (still) use Google Calender? What is the best way to get everything in one place?

    • Matthew Woodward
      June 27th, 2014 at 3:17 pm

      Yeah I use Google calendar for anything time based/setting up reminds which then funnels into IFTTT and Evernote :)

  24. drew

    Excellent post, Thanks

    • Matthew Woodward
      October 22nd, 2014 at 5:00 pm

      No problem :)

  25. Jay

    Nice post Matthew :) are you use before syndication networks with IFTTT?

    • Matthew Woodward
      October 22nd, 2015 at 5:02 pm

      Yes you can use it for that as well :)

  26. Gary

    Hey Matt

    Great tutorial (as usual), which RSS reader do you use these days now Google Reader is no more?

    • Matthew Woodward
      November 21st, 2015 at 6:10 pm

      Feedly :)

  27. Sam

    Really useful post, I’m going to give IFTTTT a go. I struggle posting on a daily basis, as such I would rather schedule everything in one go.

    Thanks Matt and keep at it!!!!

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 6th, 2016 at 10:12 am

      That makes two of us haha

  28. Phil Gregory

    Been using this bad boy for years. Just running in the background for a list of Twitter/ Linkedin followers.
    Very handy for filtering people into niches and doing #ff posts

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 8th, 2016 at 12:37 pm

      Yeah great tool, and its free!!

  29. Michael Irving

    Just came across IFTTT a week ago.
    Looking for some natural branded backlinks to dilute my rich anchor text profile. Hoping I can get some juice too.
    What are your recommended web 2.0s?

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