Work Beyond Mac: 7 IFTTT recipes for on-the-go productivity

If This Then That is easily one of my favorite web services. With a free account you’re able to connect various services, devices, and accounts that have absolutely nothing to do with one another and make magical things happen. For example, you can use Siri to turn on lights plugged into a Belkin WeMo Switch with this recipe. Sure, it’s a bit of a hack but it shows what can be done with a little creativity and tinkering.

Besides trivial tasks like that, IFTTT also lends itself to being a personal assistant—only this assistant requires little to no interaction after its told what to do. In that spirit, here are some IFTTT recipes to help eliminate mundane tasks for your daily work routine.

First thing’s first, sign up for a free IFTTT account. It takes a few seconds to complete, and you’ll need one before you can add any of the recipes below. Oh, and you’ll also want to download the free iOS app to your iPhone and/or iPad.

Log work hours

Whether you’re running your own business, or working for someone else, keeping track of the hours you work is essential. Using a combination of your iOS device’s location and a Google calendar, this IFTTT recipe can log when you arrive and leave the workplace.

While adding the recipe, be sure to set the proper location for your use. It defaults to the location the person who created the recipe used, which is obviously not the same place you work.

If you work in multiple locations, you’ll need to add the recipe for each location. Change both the location and the text under the “Quick Add Text” field to give each location an identifiable name.

IFTTT Recipe: Log your work hours on Google Calendar connects ios-location to google-calendar

Log your miles

Driving around for work and adding miles to your personal vehicle’s odometer is reimbursable, or at the very least a tax deduction. Remembering to fill out a spreadsheet with mileage is a chore, but IFTTT can do it for you.

This IFTTT recipe requires an additional piece of hardware: The Automatic is a $100 accessory that plugs into your vehicle’s ODB-II port, connects to your iPhone via Bluetooth, and provides you with personalized driving stats designed to help you save gas.

ifttt work 1

Automatic collects all your mileage data, and IFTTT dumps it into a Google Spreadsheet for you. Easy peasy.

And wouldn’t you know it, the company also has an IFTTT channel. With that channel you an do things such as automatically (no pun intended) log your miles into a Google Drive Spreadsheet. This receipe can even calculate your fuel cost, among other stats.

IFTTT Recipe: Log miles from Automatic to a Google Spreadsheet connects automatic to google-drive

Track packages

Using this IFTTT recipe and popular package tracking service Slice, you can forget about launching apps or visiting webpages for tracking.

Instead, this recipe will add the expected date of delivery to your calendar without you having to do a single thing. It just shows up.

IFTTT Recipe: Add package delivery date to your calendar connects slice to google-calendar

Get a text when you receive an important email

We all have people in our lives who rarely email us, but when they do it’s super important. The next time your boss or a client you’ve been dying to close a deal with emails you, you’ll receive a text message letting you know to check your mail. This recipe works with a Gmail or Google Apps account.

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Never miss an important email. (Just don't use this for someone who emails you all the time, or your phone will blow up!)

IFTTT Recipe: Receive text message when someone important emails you connects gmail to sms

Connect on LinkedIn

Connecting with a client, colleague or friend on LinkedIn is a convenient way to network and expand your potential reach. At least, that’s what I’ve been told.

With this IFTTT recipe, you can automatically send a friend request to any new contact added to your iOS device. Meaning, instead of sitting down after a big networking event and searching LinkedIn for the people you talked with, IFTTT will send a LinkedIn Connection request as soon as you add the contact to your phone.

It’s a tad creepy, I’ll admit. But it does eliminate a pain point in trying to grow your professional network.

IFTTT Recipe: Invite my new iPhone contacts to connect on LinkedIn connects ios-contacts to linkedin

Know when it’s going to rain

Working outside can be a blessing one minute, and the next it’s a curse. Even if checking the weather is part of your routine, if you happen to forget, you could get caught in a shower. By adding this recipe, you’ll receive an alert on your iOS device if tomorrow’s forecast calls for rain. You can even create a recipe that uses a forecasted snow as the trigger instead of rain, so you can give yourself extra time on a snowy morning.

IFTTT Recipe: Rain tomorrow? Get an iOS Notification connects weather to ios-notifications

Homebrew security camera

Have an old iOS device lying around, unused? Perfect. Download Manything, a free iOS app that converts your iDevice into a security camera.

Once that’s set up, create a recipe that starts the Manything as soon as you leave the premises. Doing so will give you peace of mind that nothing shady is going on when you’re not around, as well as double as a motion activated security camera.

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Manything can not only watch for motion when you're away, but also alert you when the UPS guy pulls into the driveway when you're home. 

Naturally, there’s a lot more that can be achieved with the two services, so be sure to visit Manything’s channel on IFTTT.

IFTTT Recipe: Start Manything recording when I leave home connects ios-location to manything

What about you?

Once you go down the rabbit hole of IFTTT, it’s incredible what you can find. If you have a favorite IFTTT recipe you rely on to stay on track, eliminate boring tasks, or be more productive, please leave share in the comment section.

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