How to save time: Automate your life with IFTTT | Tyler Pernes | Skillshare

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How to save time: Automate your life with IFTTT

teacher avatar Tyler Pernes, Data Analyst & Engineer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

10 Lessons (33m)
    • 1. 1 Trailer

    • 2. The visualize your life worksheet

    • 3. Filling out the worksheet

    • 4. Identifying relationships

    • 5. IFTTT introduction

    • 6. Using existing applets

    • 7. Creating new applets

    • 8. Sample applets

    • 9. Other features and resources

    • 10. Conclusion

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About This Class

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of items and tasks to do on a daily basis?  Well, you're not alone.  Today's society is as fast-paced as ever, and we can all use a little bit of simplification.  This course serves to do exactly that: simplify.

Join productivity expert Tyler Pernes in this interactive course.  First, you will examine your life through a simple, introspective exercise.  Then, using the easy-to-use tool If-This-Then-That, you'll learn how to automate tasks you do on a daily or weekly basis.

By the end of this course, you'll have more free time to focus on the things you love!

Download: Visualize your life worksheet.

Meet Your Teacher

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Tyler Pernes

Data Analyst & Engineer


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1. 1 Trailer: think about how many different forms of technology you use on a daily basis. You likely have multiple means of communication tools, including various social media applications. You may use a schedule to do list for one of the hundreds of productivity APS out there. You may even never. Technology in your home through security systems are smile lights in this vast array of tours and platforms allows us to juggle all of these different priorities at once. You may be highly focused on your career, but still prioritize socializing with friends, learning new skills or building something on the side. Now why are technology does provide us opportunity? As individuals, it can get overwhelming. At times, it's hard to keep up with so many different tasks at once. One potential solution to this complex, overwhelming knife is having the option to simplify. The goal of this course is to help with that simplification. Now this course is split up into two sections. The first section is focused on you providing an exercise that you'll go through to help examine and reflect on. All the different types of technology you use in your own mouth are simply going through and reflecting on all the tools you used, what their purpose is. Our may help identify areas of improvement so that you can be more productive as an individual. Section two introduces what I car the tool of our tours. And that's if this, then, that this is an automation tool that hooks into numerous platforms and tours. You use and allows things towards to link together to help automate some of the manual work you do. It's an extremely robust tour that is very user friendly. You just need to click a few buttons, fill in a few fields in your set. There's no programming needed. At the end of this course, you'll have your own set of tours and processes that communicate with each other to help automate and streamline some of your work. There should open up time and hopefully even know where some of your stress 2. The visualize your life worksheet: now. Normally, human intervention is needed for two related applications to communicate with automation. You take out the human element in the two APs can communicate automatically now, in order Forced to automate some past in my life, we need to first figure out what we should automate will be using the Visualize your life exercise. To do this in the course description, you should see a worksheet to download or print out. Open that up now you're noticed. This is a highly visual worksheet, not much text. I did this on purpose because it's much easier to understand relationships among objects when looking out of visual slate. In our case, we want to see the relationships among different tools we use. Here's how the worksheet works on the top Isom. Quick extractions in the main area Here is where you will create the visualization. It's been up into two sections, personal and professional. The tours we use for both our professional and personal life may be similar, and though maybe instances where bacon crossover before the most part, it's easier to separate them as the often for separate purposes. All we need to do to create this visualization is to write down each technology reuse as worth the purpose of each. I have included a list of questions that can help you get started if you're stuck at the bottom here before we get started, I want you to think about two things first. Ever any areas of your life that can benefit from some new technology. Second, do any two technologies for, if the same purpose. If so, you may have an abundance of technologies, and it could be worth from moving as it should save some time. This exercise is meant to show are the APS you use, but it's also meant to evaluate your current set up and see if it's worth making changes. 3. Filling out the worksheet: So let's go through this exercise and out. Just do it according to my own applications. In my own technology, Now you're noticed. This she looks slightly different than us. That's because I set up a version that should be easily printable for you guys. I'll start off by adding APs I used in my personal life for communication. I use both Gmail and just general texting on my phone and our label these as formal communication and informal communication, respectively. Next up is things about task tracking. I like to do ist I use this kind of as my to do list to keep track of items for scheduling . I use Google Calendar, and my main social media tool is Facebook, although I'm sure several of you may use Instagram Twitter or a couple of hours I use ever know, actually, for both know, taking in goal setting and in terms of hobbies, I like the game. I'm gamer now used twitch for streaming at times, so that's my personal life. In a nutshell. My professional life, the low bit different. I still use Gmail for formal communication. My company uses slack as the internal communication or kind of Instant messaging collaboration tour and Louise Trail. Oh, as our product management slash task tracking tool. We use Google Calendar for scheduling. I also do some teaching on course school share and then to get some ideas, both for design of my teaching as well. Just general teaching tactics. Actually, look at both Instagram and Twitter, and I say this is for inspiration. So here's my my worksheet. This is my landscape of different technologies that I use. Yours will look, I'm sure, completely different. You might have way less apt. You may have many more doesn't really matter as I want to put everything down so you can visualize it at this time. I suggest you go through yourself, and I are the tours you currently use or plan on using in the near future. In the next video, we'll build the relationships between these APs, which will act as a template for using the If this, then that application 4. Identifying relationships: now that we had done adding all of our technologies in the worksheet. The next step is to identify the relationships. Now, when I say relationship, these are APSTAR either already communicate with the Trevor or so elated that you act as a mediator for them to communicate. And never. If you may take an item from AP A and migrate over to AP, be mentally now. Go through this for my own life and then you can do it for your own work. She as well. But for me, number one thing I do take a lot of emails and bring it into my to do list in to do list. I do a similar thing with Evernote. A lot of my notes go as a to do item in my to do list app. There was a relationship for me between Tritch and Facebook. Specifically, when I stream I want to post on Facebook so others can see and I often migrate some of my tasks on my to do list into my calendar. I think that's about it for my personal technologies. I don't think anything else is related. Eso Let's look at the professional side now Sometimes I do have some emails that need to get sent from my personal email to my professional one. So are at a relationship there, and pretty freaking me during a slack conversation will need to add an item into trail. Oh, so these two away as well. And since both Instagram and Twitter have the same purpose, I say we just add a relationship here. I don't currently have any man your effort between the two by condemn Finitely. Imagine a world with these two do communicate, though, is some type of potential relationship there. So there we go. This is my finalized worksheet. Now feel free to go through this yourself and when you're done after just taking a step back and just looking at this entire entirely escape, see if this looks right. See if there's anything I'm missing, anything worth adding and so forth. Now we can use this as a template for if this, then that application. So next up we'll go over. What if this thing that looks like and then we'll start doing the fun stuff in building out these APS 5. IFTTT introduction: all right, so let's talk about the application will be using to automate these tasks. And that's if this then that. So here's how this total works. You set up a trigger by causes, some type of action. When the trigger occurs, the action automatically occurs as well. Here's an example. Let's say we want to send the email every day at 9 a.m. In this case, the trigger will be time is equal to 9 a.m. and the action would be to send the email simple right now, one of the coolest things about if this then that is, it's meant for non programmers, and ever it's no coding is needed. Typically, automation would cry or some type of programming language or require some type of engineers help. But with if this thing that you're able to be an engineer yourself regardless of your background, in terms of where you can find this platform those of browser version as well as a pretty solid mobile app, I believe they have effectively the same functionality, so feel free to use evil one. So here's the platform. When you get on creating account and in the drop down go to services. This will take you to the services screen. I want to talk about two terms, specifically services in Apple. It's services are simply different applications that the platform king connected. Now let's go down and click our services. You'll notice those are locked. This just shows you how many different problems you can connect to those different categories. You can see Kraut storage on here. A ton of communication ones a few related to developer tours. Education email you name now not every single app is on here, but if you use a common app, there's a good chance it's going to be on here. Let's say you have a flux smart light. You just click into it. Click connect, and I'll take you to your account and password screen. Every single application is going to require you to sign in in order to connect, so that services. Now let's go back and talk about apple. It's an apple is a single wall, you specify. It includes, as I mentioned, a trigger in action just to give you an example. What the slips like. Here's an apple I created called dining room Relax, which makes a relaxing atmosphere in my dining and then click on the settings. This is a configuration screen, so you can configure some customization. In this case, I say any of these phrases, and then it's gonna set a specific scene to whatever I specify now. Those two types of apple, it's Freebo tablets and customize app it free bold ones are those that someone else have created for anyone to use. Well, usually very easy to set up. You just configure a few items and you needed to go. A customized app gives you a bit more flexibility to set of APs exactly as you see fit. To be honest, in most cases, you likely use a customized app. Since it doesn't require too much coding or programming or anything like that, it's still relatively simple. 6. Using existing applets: All right, so let's start building APS. We'll start off with using an existing apple it for this purpose. Let's go over this left line here, which relates my Gmail to my to do list account. Specifically, what I tend to do here is any time I get email that requires a follow up item I copy and paste that email into my to do list so it would be nice toe automatically have to do is create a task any time. I've, let's say four, that email with a specific tackle to a specific alias. So that's going to if this and that and see what Pre buck it'd apple it's we can use. So let's go the top in search for to Do ist and Gmail just to see what options they already have. Let's see if we see anything that's useful. He was one create to do his task for email, so let's see what this has Click into it now synthesis pre belt. We don't really have to do too much. Just check out the description and make sure it matches toe what you're looking for. In this case, it does. I would like to afford an email to if this than that which will create a to do his task. All you need to do is first make sure your services are connected. In my case, I already connected both Gmail and to do ist so I will just click turn on. Which brings us to the configuration screen. Now, if you want to change the name, you can change it here. So I'm going to call it e mail from email to to do list to create a task again. This is gonna be what you see and only you see, so feel free to name it however you like. And then here we just say, OK, which project do you want to connect it to? I'm a keypad inbox, and it's safe. And there we go. Now, if you go under my apple, it's You should see the new one in the very top left. Click into it to see if it works, and I suggest testing it out. So whatever it is, make sure the output is correct. So in this case, for the email to if this Matt see what happens and see if you get any type of error so That's an example of us creating a pre built up it. Now there's a ton of app. It's out there, and if there's a specific service you want to search for, you can just go up and search for it. And you could see the list of all the different apple taking connected this. You know, I can help you brainstorm and figure out some maybe some useful items you never even thought of, so feel free to go in and explore yourself. 7. Creating new applets: All right, so next up, let's start building our own custom app. It's most cases you'll be doing this because it gives you flexibility. Now I'm going to start with a pretty basic one on the desktop app, and then we'll go through a mobile version that's a little bit more complicated. So the first thing you need to go into the app it section and click new Apple it and this takes you to the trigger inaction screen. First, you have to set up what the trigger is, which is the this So click Plus on this, and for this first apple, it we're gonna make it extremely simple. We're gonna get a notification at a specific time every day. So in this case, the trigger is time and day. So let's click date in time. And these are the five triggers that if this then that allows for us. We wanted every day at a specific time. So let's say every day at 11 a.m. Why not create trigger? Now we have to build the action, so in this case the action will be a notification. So let's click. Send a notification from the APP and we just say whatever message you want. So let's say this is a reminder to, um, walk the dog, create action. The new a quick review This is what the title of the Apple it would show within if this and that if the title is clear enough, you don't have change it, but you're more than welcome to change it. So I'll changes to walk the dog notification been If there we go now, we're done now I every day at 11 we should get a notification toe walk the doc. We'll use the mobile app to build this bottom Apple it here. Any time we add something into a to do list, we put it into a Google counter. Now, since reality show to do, it's in the previous section, I'm gonna change it up and we'll use a sauna instead. It's a very similar app. I disliked to introduce you guys to a few different applications. Okay, so here is the If this been that mobile application, as I mentioned, has effectively the exact same functionality as the browser version. Actually find it pretty easy to use as well. So first that's going to be my app. It section and let's create a new apple it by clicking the plus on the top right. Which brings us to the same screen as before. Again. This is the trigger. So let's set the trigger to asana. And again, I've already set up these services beforehand. If this is your first time using a service, you'll need to set it up. So just make sure you do that, and then you should be able to use it moving forward with these. So here is our the different asana triggers I would like. I'd like to add a calendar event anytime I add its hat, because I don't want everything to be in my county, just specific tasks. So let's select the tag added to task Trigger. I will select my workplace and my tag name is going to be. If this, then that, And that's it. Pretty simple. Trigger. Next up, let's add the action. Action here will be Google calendar, and you want to create a detail event. All right, I'll just go through each field and fill it out first. I'll be using the to do list calendar now when he gets a start time. This is going to introduce up to the concept of ingredients they're all in. The ingredient is it's pulling data from the trigger. So in the trigger, there's a number of different items that maybe you filled out or that's already included. You can pull that data to tell the action what specifically you want to increase. And here's what I mean by that. When you click add ingredient, you'll see all these different islands. The timing was created at the project. Name the task name Tassan. It's and so forth. These were different field in asana that you can import now for the start time. We want to be the Duan Field so we're select in Fert Done and same thing for the end time. We'll have a B a one day event, and since it's one day, we'll click all day. Yes, that set the title to the task. Name the description to the task notes, and I'm gonna leave location in. Attendees blink for now, it's created action and we're done creating the apple. It now it takes us to a little preview. I'm going to change this title. I don't think it's particularly intuitive. Okay, now let's test this out. Let's make sure this actually works. So Step one, let's go into a sauna and that's create a new event. Let's say you need to pay the bills, pay the bills and the dude A is going to be November 12th. Why nots it now? This hasn't treated anything yet because I didn't include that tag. Remember, of a tag was the trigger. So it's actually have a description that test that as well I need to pay, went and car insurance, Okay, and then that's at the tack. The trigger is whenever we add attack. If this thing that and that should have triggered it now, different app Lets take different time. Toe one. Most of them take just a few seconds. You can actually go into the apple it to see it right here. You see this apple? It usually ones within a few seconds. Let's go into Google calendar in that 1 November 12th you can see a new event caught. Pay the bills. It has been, though, as expected, and everything looks good. So we have now confirmed that this looks good to go. So that's how you create a custom app. 8. Sample applets: all right. Now that you know how to build custom apple, it's I want to go over some of my favorite app. It's just to give you guys some ideas and to walking through them. I've loved this course to be, you know, very interactive. So if you guys have some app, it's that you really like with some ideas. Feel free to add a discussion in the course Now the first apple it I'd like to talk about our Bridget. So let's click on a new appetite and I'll show you how this works. Now the trigger here is going to be one of the three Ridge IDs that if this then that comes with now what a rigid is. It allows you to add a button on your phone that either tree goes in action or allows you do something else to help guide the action. So I'm going to use a note widget and what this does. This allows me that I don't know, and then based off the note, you can have some type of action update. So I actually have a sauna as one. Any time I had a no, I want to create a task? No, As long as we have the task name as no text, then it should update the task exactly as you expect him. Now all you need to do is at least on iPhone. Go to the left. You can build your own rigid. I already have a few built. So let's add ago shoes item. Let's say I need to buy some some eggs, this type of eggs. Click it in the asana. Now, if we go into a sauna and the groceries greasy eggs, we actually see it twice because I really had on on there. But this newest one, this was just created. All right, now, this next one this is one of my favorites. This is using smart lights. So I have some of these smart lights that respond to the Google assistant on dykan, set up my own scenes and have fully customized lights update accordingly. So what I have here, the trigger is my Google assistant, and I say dining room read and what this does This gives me a very, very good atmosphere in the dining room so that it set for me to start reading in terms of action. Already had to tap is a scene set up. I have a scene I think of Defar. Scene is actually called lead, and that's good to go. Another apple that's kind of similar to relate to your home with the Google assistant is I have the Google automatically make coffee when I say make coffee. So let's see this one in action. Hey, Google coffee on initiating copy protocol. Si, si, it's on. Hey Google Coffee off. Done Now I have this set toe one automatically every morning. I mean, it's not really that right to keep the button, but this makes it so that the coffee on it might be happens. And since we're on the topic of Google assistant, I like to bring up one. That's just kind of fun. So I believe you can do this with Amazon Alexa as well. But at least with Google assistant, you can have Google was spawned to any phase you want. So I hear what I have here is say, what is the time, the respond and the only thing that's kind of weird about this. You have to have an action both what I say to Google and what Google Response is technically a trigger, so I usually just say, Okay, I'll get a notification. Um, just because you have to Google, What's the time? Time for you to get a watch. My dad jokes pretty bad, but you can imagine you can do some pretty fun and clever things. So just kind of a kind of fun of the apple. You can definitely messed with some people with this. Another app that I use, I called the Daily Focus s Oh, my ghost change every week, every month And so I like to keep up to know OK, what exactly is my goal for for today? For this week? So what I do is I created a Gmail trigger that happens every day, and I just go in and change the email. I get so I every day at 6 a.m. I get a email that says he is your focus with the body having a number of items saying This is your focus for the day. This is your focus for the week. Whatever it might be now it's a pretty simple apple. It one item to bring up this is a common with several apple. It's though Maybe some coding elements required toe use a few things. Now you would expect I can just add an enter and adds a line break between these three words. Meditate, gym and read a book. That's not how this works. You have to add a line break using programming language, which is this B R B. That's HTML. Again. You don't need toe. Know what ton of programming those somebody sources. If you d need to know a little bit of the coding syntax now, the last one I'm going to go over cause I can honestly go on for days. Here is an app that logs data into a Google sheet. Now, this one, I think, can be useful in a lot of situations, especially in a professional setting. So what I have here is I have really any trigger can work. I use a note widget. So you guys saw them know which earlier in this video you really just open it up and type in something in this case of typing in some type of habits so you can track it in a sheet. Now, the one thing I'm gonna bring up here is you can see this this for minded road section. Now the reason I have this is I wanted to include date in time. Sometimes if this and that doesn't work exactly as you expected it, you might have to mess around with it. But usually you confined. Reese was online to build it. I bring this up because this is a little bit more evident. Vince Topic. If you guys are interested in learning how to pour some data into different spreadsheets, I can show you that in a separate video. But I want to bring this up to let you know that you can do some things you wouldn't really expect do. It just takes a little bit extra effort. So those are just a few of my favorite apple. It's, as I mentioned, feel free to add in the discussion some of your app. It's that you guys were using 9. Other features and resources: in this video. I want to go over a few kind of peripheral features of this, and that is what I go over. Some of the resource is you guys can use cause it's pretty common to run into a couple issues. It's useful to know where to go when that happens. Now, first feature I'd like to talk about is this activity tab. So if you go up to activity, you'll see all the activity you have operate men. You'll see some any time you skip an update any time there's not created Toledo updated and so forth. Now this is useful, really mostly for troubleshooting. So let's say you want an apple it and it just didn't work well, why didn't it work? Well, you can go into the activity to see a did the APP. It won in the first place if it did. But there are still issues Creek on the show details. It may provide something that can guide you to what the issue is now, if he still can't figure it out. There's a few other items you can do for troubleshooting. One. Try to refresh or close the browser, and we first Whatever app you're doing, cause sometimes everything worked fine on the if this than that side. But one of the other application just hasn't refreshed. Or maybe it's cached. So just be patient and may not be showing off the bat. You may need to refresher. If nothing else works, I'll show you some resources that you can use. It's just going online and seeing if you could fix it. If you still can't figure it out. One potential solution is to reconnect your service. So if you go into any service, you can click into it, click on the settings and you can go. You can update the connection was disconnected. Now the only issue is when you disconnected, it's going to completely delete any apple it that's related to it. So if you have just one apple it and made no, maybe fine. Um, but if you have a lot, it can take some time to reset those up. So this is kind of a last resort situation, Another item that I want to bring up just just quickly. There is something called, if this, then that platform for any developers out there. This allows you to create your own apple. It's either private or publish for other people to use. This does require coating. You'll be using the AP eyes for different platforms, so just, you know, may not be needed for everyone. But if you have some engineering experience and you want to get involved, that's an option. Now, lastly, I want to talk about some. Resource is really the number one resource you should be using is just just Google it. Usually if you have, you know between issues someone else potentially could have. It's not, though. Isn't if this, then that Read it. Now you can post something. People can probably give you some answers and how something works. Or you can just search for different conversations that already occurred. Maybe you could learn something. So those are just a few other features of if this in that, as well as a some of the ways to troubleshoot and some resources 10. Conclusion: Oh, I guys. So this is the end of the course. Just as a quick little re capital you went over first, we went through the visualize your life exercise where you used this worksheet to visually show all your different applications and get an idea of what your what your process looks like. Hopefully, you're able to use that to both. Use Freebo tablets as well as customize your own apple. It's Don't forget to post your worksheet on the project section. If you use the physical version, feel free to just just take a picture. No judgments here. Alternatively, if you want to show some of the app that you created your more than welcome to just show a little screenshot of some of your your tablets and then last but not least, I want to thank you for taking this course, and I hope you learn something. I hope this was a value to you, and hopefully, at this point you're able to save some time and conduce more things you love. Thanks again