The path to becoming more productive isn’t always clear and direct. Not to mention, having dozens of online resources telling you about the hundreds of different services you should be using to be a more productive person often only increases your level of frustration, complicates something that should be very simple, and eventually destroys your efficiency. But when you consider a tool like IFTTT, the popular online automator that integrates all your favorite online services with just a few clicks, you can actually simplify your digital life by reducing the number of services you actively use and putting many of the others on autopilot in the background.
With just a little time and dedication, you can dramatically reduce the friction between the dozens of online accounts you have and actually get more done with less effort. That’s what it’s all about, right?
Below you will find 10 essential IFTTT recipes for productivity. I’ve also embedded all the recipes included in the video, so you can simply click and add them to your own IFTTT account if they suit your needs!
Create tasks in Todoist for missed calls
I’m probably the world’s worst about returning phone calls. But there is a little trick I use to help remind myself to return a call when I can. Using the Android Phone Call channel, I created a recipe that will create a task in Todoist whenever I miss a call. The task includes the caller’s name, number, and the time at which they called. Seriously, without this recipe, I simply do not return calls.
Add Todoist tasks for Pocket articles with the tag mustread
Another one of my all-time favorite recipes is transferring the items I save in Pocket to Todoist tasks. I mainly use this method from mobile, since the updated Todoist extension saves me the step of saving something in Pocket altogether. The thing is, I don’t want everything I save in Pocket to be created as a task in Todoist. So only items tagged “mustread” get sent to Todoist and filed under the Reading project.
Send productivity posts from Feedly in a daily email digest
Part of being more efficient and more productive is learning about new methods and tools to help you along the way. There are a handful of really awesome sites out there dedicated to doing just that, like say … the Todoist blog. Getting this sort of content pushed to your devices is a lot simpler than you would think, too. One of the easiest ways is to add all of your favorite productivity blogs to a Feedly category titled Productivity. In IFTTT, use the Feedly channel to setup a daily (or weekly, if you want) email digest of all the content from that category in Feedly. If you don’t want the entire Feedly category pushed to a digest, you can simply use the RSS channel in IFTTT to accomplish the same thing.
Any new calendar event added, create task in Todoist
Since I hate entering the same thing twice, another really helpful Todoist recipe is having all new calendar entries automatically entered as tasks in Todoist.
It’s pretty straightforward. Any time a new event is entered in my work Gmail calendar, a task is pushed to my inbox in Todoist with all the necessary information. I push it to my inbox since not every calendar event will go into the same project in Todoist, but you can have it save to any project you’d like. My setup does require editing the tasks after they’re in Todoist, but I found this saves several steps and works exactly as intended.
If an email gets starred, create a task in Todoist
Just like with calls, I can also be pretty bad at responding to emails from time to time. To remind myself to get back to someone, I simply star that email and a corresponding task is created in Todoist with the appropriate information.
Add package delivery dates to your calendar
A really simple way to get package delivery information is by using the Slice channel. It aggregates all the things you purchase from around the internet and puts it all in one place, plus it can notify you of shipments with tracking information. Pair that with IFTTT and Google Calendar and you can get package tracking added straight to your calendar in an event scheduled for the delivery date.
This is a recipe I have to credit my friend Jason Cipriani for. Very awesome stuff, man!
Save important tweets to Pocket by favoriting them
When I’m not using IFTTT to use external events to add tasks to Todoist, I’m usually having it save items to Pocket or Evernote for safekeeping or for future reference. For example, a recipe I use a lot is saving tweets that I want to come back to later that day to Pocket, simply by starring them.
Taking this a step further, you can create a chain of IFTTT tasks. I do this by starring the tweet, which then saves to Pocket with the tag mustread. This then triggers the above recipe that creates Todoist tasks from Pocket. Few things in this world feel better than causing a chain reaction with IFTTT recipes.
Tweet upvoted reddit posts
When I’m browsing reddit, I normally share the posts that I upvote. To save myself a step or two, I simply use IFTTT to automatically tweet any posts that I upvote. If you prefer Facebook over Twitter, simply swap the two social sites out in the IFTTT recipe.
Track your work hours by location
I’ve also experimented with several different methods of using IFTTT to track my work hours. The one I’ve come to like the most, although it doesn’t work so well for me since I work from home, is using the iOS or Android Location channels and creating two separate recipes, one for entering and one for exiting a geofenced area. Have these channels append timestamps to the bottom of a spreadsheet in Google Drive or to the end of a note in Evernote. It’s really up to you, but as this one requires the least amount of input from the user, it’s my favorite hour tracking method. I just wished it worked better for those of us who work from home.
Save Gmail attachments to the cloud
And finally, if you never want to lose Gmail attachments ever again, you can have all incoming Gmail attachments automatically upload to your Dropbox or Google Drive as soon as they come in with this simple recipe.
If you have some favorite IFTTT recipes for saving time and making you more productive, feel free to share them in the comments below!