I’ve always been a big user of tools and services that automate tasks. Computers are perfect for automating things that have to be done over and over. With IFTTT (If This Then That), you can automated things in your life and across services. Below are some of the tasks I have automated with IFTTT recipes.

Phone Log

I have been using SMS Backup+ and will continue to do so even with this recipe. SMS Backup+ does a great job of archiving phone logs (and SMS messages), but using this recipe has a couple of advantages. By storing my phone logs in a Google Sheet, it makes it easier to scan all of my logs, sort them, and even gather statistics if I wanted to.
Also, I am actually using three recipes to create the phone log: Sent Calls, Received Calls, Missed Calls. Instead of having each recipe write to a separate lot, I just have them all directed to the same Sheet in Drive. It makes it nice, tidy, and comprehensive.


Again, I am using SMS Backup+ to do this task, but the recipe has some added benefits. I am able to see all my messages in one place and able to sort them by sender and time. It does not store pictures, so that is another reason to keep using SMS Backup+. As with the phone log, the trigger for the action is dependent on one condition (sent or received), so I use two recipes to create this log.

Work Log

I like to track when I get to work and leave work even though I’m in a salaried position. For this, I have created a work log. I considered several options and decided it doesn’t hurt to have a couple methods to track this.

The first method that I use is based off my phone connecting and disconnecting from the work WiFi access point. This method works pretty well but has several drawbacks. The biggest one is that if I have my WiFi off on my phone, it obviously won’t record anything in log. In addition, I work in a large building so there are times when I am out of WiFi range. This is also a bit of an advantage, because I can use it to track when I am actually near my desk versus going to other departments within the building.

The second method is to utilize the Android Location trigger. This seems like the perfect solution, but I am a little leery of battery usage. I am using this recipe for now, but keeping a mindful eye on my battery usage. So far, it hasn’t been a major problem

In any case, it doesn’t really hurt to use both methods. In fact, it is sorta useful to look at and compare the logs to spot any differences. One thing I did notice right away is that IFTTT triggers are not instantaneous. Many of the personal recipe triggers take up to 15 minutes to kick in.

Nest Thermostat

I installed a Nest thermostat last year and I love it. Using IFTTT recipes makes it even more useful.

The first recipes that I implemented for Nest Thermostat where notifications for when the thermostat when into or came out of Away status. First of all, I wanted to see how accurate it was in determining when no one was home. I also discovered it was a good way to get a notification that my son was home safe after school. That made me think it was also a good (but not perfect) way to know if someone entered my home when I was definitely away for a few days.

I have also tried using some weather based programming recipes. For example, when the temperature has cooled off significantly because a thunderstorm rolled through or it was getting into the evening, I wanted to adjust the house temperature up slightly since it would be cooling off naturally. This has worked, but a couple times I still felt warm. But then I had the choice to change the thermostat setting or to open some windows to take advantage of the cool air.

Instagram to Twitter

Within Instagram, it is possible to crosspost your pics to Twitter and Facebook. However, when it is posted on Twitter, it just puts the description and a link to your Instagram photo. I use this recipe because it also uploads the pic to Twitter. That way, your Twitter followers don’t have to click a link just to see your photo.


As with the Instagram recipe, this recipe is designed to automatically post my WordPress blogs to Twitter. There are some plugins that will do this, but I figured if I had IFTTT do it, it was less for me to worry about on my server. It is a simple but effective recipe.