Mind the App: If This Then That

We’re very excited to announce IT World Canada’s Andrew Love, our video production specialist, is launching a new series of videos called “Mind the App” on IT Business.ca.

His videos will show the best of what app stores everywhere have to offer, explaining how businesses can use them to boost their productivity. Check out his first video for easy process automation with If This Then That.


What if I told you that you could program your phone to receive a text every time your competition tweets about a current sale, just by writing a single sentence? If you ever wanted to create perfect synergy between all your different apps, look no further than If This Then That.

Built as a way to empower everyday users to do more with their apps, If This Then That, or IFTTT, is a Web, and as of recently, iOS app that allows anyone to link events and actions between any of its 68 channels.

If you use Google Drive and you work with somebody who refuses to make the move from Dropbox, tell IFTTT to share your files between the two services. If you run a technology blog and want to post a link every time there’s a new Mind The App video, in 30 seconds IFTTT will be ready to automate that process for you. With most of its 68 channels having multiple actions, if you can imagine it, IFTTT can make it happen.

Here’s how it works: you start with this sentence: “If this then that.” This is your recipe. The word “this” is the trigger, and the word “that” is the action that trigger will perform. I’m a jerk and ignore emails all day, but there’s always that one person who needs a response from me right away. But I can’t afford the time to check my email on the off chance they’re going to send me something. So I have IFTTT send me a text message every time I receive an email from them.

So let’s create a new recipe. For the trigger, we’ll select new email from and type in the address, and for the action we’ll select “send me an SMS.” Now if I receive an email from Andrew, I get notified immediately so I can get back to him as quickly as possible.

And you don’t even have to create your own recipes, either. IFTTT has a huge library of recipes created and shared by users that you can browse by popularity, what’s trending, or simply search for a function you’d like to use if you can’t be bothered to make it yourself. I’ve found lots of incredible recipes here, like this one that automatically saves all my new contacts to a Google Docs spreadsheet and this one that sends me the weather forecast by SMS when I wake up.

Here’s one I made myself. Whenever my friend posts one of his awful Instagrams, IFTTT automatically tweets at him for me to make it seem like I care, without ever once having to look.

IFTTT really is an amazing tool that gives limitless potential for both business and personal use, allowing you to spend less time on the little things and focus on what’s really important. To start using IFTTT you can go to ifttt.com, or download it for free on the Apple iOS app store. If you can think it, then you can make it happen with IFTTT.

I’m Mat Panchalingam. Thanks for watching Mind the App.

Is there an app you’d like to see featured on the show? Drop us a line in the comments, or send us an email to [email protected].

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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