Use If Then, Then That to automate your day-to-day Internet

How many times have you uploaded a photo to Instagram (or some other service) and wished that there was a way to save a local copy automatically? How many times have you looked at a bunch of your web services and wondered “I wonder if there’s an app for doing X, Y and Z”?

I ran into a webapp called If This, Then That the other week that’s saved me a lot of time online and has made things a bit easier in how I conduct myself. The title describes the site well in that you choose a condition (“if this”) and then a reaction (“then that”), and the site will perform it automatically. It requires a lot of sign-ins (Twitter, Facebook, Google, everything under the sun) but that is how it does its magic: by consolidating and automating a lot of the stuff you were doing already, you save a lot of time.

For example, I can set:

  • If I post a photo to Instagram, it automatically saves a local copy to my Dropbox
  • If my Facebook photo changes, so does my Twitter avatar
  • When I star a post in Google Reader, it will at it to my Read It Later list
  • When someone follows me on Twitter, I can send an automated reply to them (with pre-typed text)
  • When a blog updates, I can be notified via e-mail, or text

The possibilities are endless, and there are a number of “recipes” that other users have come up with to spark new ideas. Mess around with it: who knows? You might even save some time.