7 Minute Read

Do You Even IFTTT, Bro?

Imagine making your favorite apps work even better with automation. Well, as it turns out like creating droplets in Photoshop to speed up processes, you can use a web service called IFTTT to do just that. This wonderful integration service can perform actions from automatically saving pictures you like on Instagram to Dropbox to receiving automatic weather updates via email. The possibilities are pretty much endless, as there are hundreds of already pre-made actions and automations you can browse through if you don’t want to make one yourself. Too good to be true? That’s what I thought, so let’s get you up to speed and sign you up!

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Okay, before you unwrap your new present (I’m serious, this service is similar to the joy of trying out your new Christmas present for the first time), I’ve got to explain what this is. IFTTT is a free service that allows you to set up automation by connecting apps with actions. IFTTT itself stands for “If This Then That.” Basically, when you create your automation, “if” is the trigger channel and “that” is the action channel. IFTTT calls this a “Recipe,” as they explain it as “…simple connections between products and apps.”




IF Recipes vs. DO Recipes

It’s not too complex, right? When something happens, something will follow. IFTTT offers 2 types of Recipes. The main Recipe you can create is called an IF Recipe. These Recipes automatically run in the background by running the “If This Then That” statement. You can find hundreds of pre-made Recipes from IFTTT, or you can simply make your own.

The second type of Recipe is called a DO Recipe. DO Recipes are basically Recipes the user can trigger on command. Recipes can be found by searching pre-made Recipes or by creating your own. To perform these DO Recipes, the user will have to use a DO app such as the DO Button, DO Camera or DO Note that’s available on iOS and Android.


Creating & Using Recipes for Design

Let’s get you started, and for free I might add. Head over to IFTTT.com and sign up by clicking on the “Sign Up” text in the right corner of the top nav menu. After you’ve signed up, open up your phone and/or mobile device(s) and download the IF & DO apps (this is optional but I recommend it). Once you have your online IFTTT account and your mobile devices set up, it’s time to set up your Recipes!


Pre-Made Recipes

If you’re not looking to make your own or if you don’t have the time, this is the best route for you as there are hundreds of pre-made IF and DO Recipes for you to choose from. To add these Recipes to your collection, simply go to IFTTT.com/recipes or open up the IF or DO Button apps and click on the Recipe icon  followed by the “+” icon to browse pre-made Recipes.


Creating Your Own Recipes & Using Them for Design

Creating Recipes is a pretty straightforward process. Though you can create IF and DO recipes from the IF and DO Button mobile apps, I recommend creating them all on IFTTT.com/myrecipes as it will automatically sync them with your apps. To get started, go to IFTTT.com/myrecipes and click on the “Create a Recipe” button. Click on “this” highlighted in blue to get started. IFTTT will guide you through the process, but to make sure you get the hang of it, I’ll guide you through my Recipe for an email notification when a new Red Branch Media podcast gets published (you’ll need to sign up for a free Soundcloud account first).

  • Step 1: Choose the “Soundcloud” icon and connect your Soundcloud account by logging in with the pop-up IFTTT generates for you.
  • Step 2: Click on the “New track from search” option and type “Red Branch Midia” into the search field, finishing by clicking “Create Trigger.”
  • Step 3: Click on the “New public track by anyone you follow” option
  • Step 4: Click on the blue “that” highlighted word and choose Email. From here select the “Send me an email option” and only fill out the subject line with “NEW Red Branch Media Podcast!” and click “Create Action.”
  • Step 5: Give your recipe a fresh title if you’d like. I labeled this recipe as “New RBM Podcast!” Finally, click “Create Recipe” and you’re done!


Now that you’re accustomed to the IFTTT service, it’s time to make life as a designer even better. You could start by browsing the pre-made Recipes or creating your own, but here are some great Recipes to get you started right now:


IFTTT is a powerful tool, and you don’t want to pass it up. Since there’s hundreds of pre-made Recipes and hundreds more that can be made by you, it’s important to customize your IFTTT experience to fit your needs and design workflows. Whatever apps you use on a daily basis, automate them. Automation is the key to a more productive workday so why not use this awesome FREE service.

Pro Tip: Fully immerse yourself in IFTTT with desktop and mobile.