As a tech-geek, I have long been a fan of the service If This, Then That (IFTTT–rhymes with “gift”). IFTTT is a really easy way to connect the different pieces of your digital information puzzle. It lets you automate the sending of resources and information from one source to another using easy-to-put-together “recipes”. Recipes. That’s a word we all know and love, right? These recipes basically say, “If this trigger happens, then do this action.”
There are three main reasons that I love IFTTT:
- It’s easy to use.
- It connects to a lot of my favorite services.
- It works in the background, so quietly and smoothly I often forget it’s doing anything at all.
But it is doing something. It’s being truly, utterly useful. And now I’m going to show you some ways to make it utterly useful to the average home cook using nothing but variations on a single IFTTT recipe based on RSS feeds. Simple, standard RSS feeds.
In a previous post, I talked about how to use Evernote to “digitize” your cookbook collection and connect your physical recipe library to your digital one. This is another way to expand your recipe library and do it with very little effort.
For each of these activities, we’re going to use the “RSS Feed” channel in IFTTT to send information to the “Evernote” channel. So you’ll want to log in/create an IFTTT account, click on the “Channels” menu and enable the Evernote channel by clicking on the respective button and following the prompts.
Send New Posts from Your Favorite Blog Directly to Evernote
This is a great way to get content from your favorite blog (like Have Fork, Will Eat perhaps?) sent straight to your Evernote recipe notebook (or any notebook you like). You can set this up for as many of your favorite blogs as you like.
The recipe we’re going to follow is this:
It basically says: If this feed has a new update, then send it to Evernote.
Now I’ve already created and shared this recipe. You can start by going to this link, scrolling down to the bottom and clicking “Use Recipe.”
Give the recipe a description (to help you remember what it’s for). Then set the “Trigger”–the action that activates the script–which is the feed URL for the blog that you want to get updates from. Often this will be the blog url followed by “/feed,” such as “http://www.haveforkwilleat.com/feed/” but it can vary so check the blog itself to be sure.
Then customize the “Action” settings. Some of the “ingredients” will already be listed in this recipe, but you could add more by clicking on the drop down menu to the right. The “ingredients” are the bits of information from the feed that you want to include in the note. By default, you’ll see that it will automatically include the URL to the original blog post, the title of the blog post and the content.
Then you can give further customizations. You can specify which Evernote notebook this new note goes into, and you can pre-assign tags if you wanted. (I generally skip the tags unless I’m pulling a feed from a very specific blog. For instance, if I’m pulling a feed from a blog that only does dessert recipes, then I feel safe using my “dessert” tag. But generally, I prefer to add tags later.)
Once you activate the recipe, it’ll go into your “My Recipes” page on IFTTT and you’ll be able to see a log of every time it was activated and how often. And from then on, it will just work. Each time the blog updates, the posts and recipes will automatically be sent to your Evernote account and you won’t have to even think about it.
Send Your Pinterest Pins to Evernote…Where You Can Actually Search and Tag Them!
I like Pinterest. It’s visual and there are a lot of ideas and inspirations. But I’ve been using it since May of 2011 so…I’ve amassed a lot of pins. Thousands of just recipes alone. Until recently, I just pinned all my recipes to one board because…I was lazy. A couple of weeks ago, I made the decision to organize those pins. It took me….five hours. FIVE HOURS of just sitting and staring at my computer and clicking in order to separate out my massive recipe board into smaller, organized chunks.
All I could think was, “God, I’m so glad I use Evernote for the recipes I really carea bout. This is appalling. This would never have happened if I had just used Evernote.” Because let’s be honest–it wouldn’t have. Even if I didn’t have notebooks or tags, I could still search. But I couldn’t even search that stupid giant Pinterest board. What good is a recipe you can’t find?
Immediately after that horrible life lesson, I started using this IFTTT recipe:
Now, when I add a new pin, it also goes into my Evernote account. It doesn’t give me the full content of the original source, but it does give me the pin title, the image and a direct link back to the pin itself. Not perfect, but at least I can then tag, organize and search them! Hallelujah.
To send all the pins from a particular Pinterest account to Evernote, use this recipe here and update the feed URL to: http://pinterest.com/putusernamehere/feed.rss
To send all pins from a particular Pinterest board, use the same recipe but update the URL feed to: http://pinterest.com/putusernamehere/putboardnamehere/rss
There are actually even more ways to use IFTTT and Evernote together than I’ve mentioned here (like archiving tweets and Google +1s!) but I’ll get to those another day. Hopefully this has been good food for thought.
Try these ideas how and see if they work for you. Got other great IFTTT recipes? Share them in the comments!