Are you having problems posting your Instagrams to Twitter? Read on…

It seems that Twitter is not getting on too well with other social networks including Instagram.  So now if you post on Instagram and use the direct link to Twitter to post there too your picture is no longer shown natively on Twitter (this appears to be happening with YouTube too).

If native photo posting to Twitter is important to you I have some IFTTT recipes to help.  This is a two part arrangement that requires a Dropbox account.  Part 1 downloads your Instagram photo to a specific folder in Dropbox using the caption as the filename.  Part 2 is triggered by a new file upload in that Dropbox folder, it uploads the file to Twitter natively.  The file name (which was the Instagram caption) is used as the tweet text.

Please note that there are no spaces in the tweet text as this process replaces spaces with underscores.  I hope this doesn’t prove too troublesome for you.

The recipes you need are below.

Here’s example output from Twitter:

Add both of these recipes and you’re good to go.  Please note that if you want to use a different folder in Dropbox you must update the file path accordingly in both recipes.

Recipe 1

IFTTT Recipe: Save Instagrams to Dropbox

Recipe 2

IFTTT Recipe: Tweet Pictures from Dropbox


Keep an automatic timesheet for work with this IFTTT recipe

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 14.51.32

Keep a log of your work hours automatically with the above recipe and a spreadsheet available here:

UPDATE 14/1/2016: If you want to track lunch times when you leave the office version 2 of my spreadsheet will enable you to do that.  It has both the original timesheet and timesheet 2 which includes new time slots for departure for lunch and arrival back at the office from lunch.

Locate your workplace on the map, rename the spreadsheet if you want – I recommend keeping the data fields for the spreadsheet the same if you want to use my spreadsheet (link above) and you’re good to go.

The spreadsheet will log your arrival and departure times, then calculate the time you spent at work and graph it. The spreadsheet includes some example data so you can see how it works.

Two Step Recipes / Zaps and Combining IFTTT and Zapier

Did you know of this potentially cool way to extend the power of IFTTT and Zapier a little further:

Both services offer adding a row to a Google spreadsheet as an action to a recipe/zap.  That much is obvious to most.  I have largely made extensive use of that feature for logging data that is useful to me (e.g. exchange ratescontacts or weather forecasts).  But it is also possible to insert formulae into cells in the new row created when the recipe/zap runs.  This makes it possible to do some processing within the spreadsheet when a new row is added and then reference the result in the new row with a simple formula (e.g. =H$1, where cell H1 contains the result of your most recent computation).  At the moment IFTTT doesn’t allow users to do anything with that information, but Zapier does.  Zapier allows for a new row being created in a spreadsheet to trigger a zap.  So a user could, for example, email or text the result of the latest computation to themselves when a new row is added.

In this way Google spreadsheets can form the link between a two stage recipe to zap or zap to zap combination.

I haven’t yet given a lot of thought to how this can be used since I cooked it up in my mind.  So I have only begun to scratch the surface of this methodology.  One simple use is a countdown timer: each day or week a new row is added to a spreadsheet, the sheet calculates how many days or weeks are left to a target, the result is pushed / texted and posted to a Google calendar.  This is pretty mundane but the thing is it works.

Another use is with a weekly email with a list of names of students who are severely behind with their work.  The gradebook I use is on a Google spreadsheet, it collects the list of names into one cell.  I then use IFTTT to add a new row to the spreadsheet once a week – one cell in that row duplicates the cell with the names.  A Zap is triggered by the new row and its action is to send out the list by email.

Here is the recipe

IFTTT Recipe: Create a daily countdown to a target date in Google Drive connects date-time to google-drive

Here is the Zap

Here is a spreadsheet template

Boom! This is the best recipe for Siri to Evernote yet

Important!  This recipe does not work with iOS 9 present.  Something about the way Siri sends notes to the Notes app has changed and they do not sync to Gmail.

Add your Google account to your iOS settings.  Make Google the default account for iOS Notes.  Add the IFTTT recipe (below) for adding Gmail notes to Evernote.
Prefer to read this as an Evernote note?

We all know that Siri can take notes for us if we ask, they will be filed away in the Notes app.  Useful if you use Notes.  However, I find the Notes app less than practical for handling large amounts of notes and it also cannot handle rich content.  For those reasons in addition to its many positive features Evernote is my go to note taking/searching app.  So wouldn’t the following be a great method for taking notes:
Evernote Camera Roll 20140514 125851
I know that many people agree with me as there are numerous ideas around including several recipes on IFTTT designed to accomplish just that functionality.  All of them are awkward in some way, e.g. you have to compose an email in Siri or add a reminder to an “Evernote” list.¹  So I started to think about a way to use Siri’s built in note taking functionality to create a note in Evernote.  By default Notes are handled by an iCloud account, but they can be synced with Gmail instead.²  I investigated how Gmail handled notes – it uses a label: “Notes”.  Simple.  Notes operate like a standard email but they arrive in All Mail not Inbox and they are labelled with “Notes”.  I then put an IFTTT recipe to work.  The trigger is any new email labelled “Notes”, the action is to add the content to a note in Evernote.  I was pleasantly surprised that this actually worked as I had tried using the “sender” of the email (i.e. my email address) as a trigger but that was unsuccessful.  View the recipe on IFTTT here:

IFTTT Recipe: Boom! This is the best recipe for Siri to Evernote yet. connects gmail to evernote

Now I can add Evernotes from Siri with ease.  Here’s what the result looks like for the example above:
Siri to Evernote - the final product
Admittedly the title/body break down is not very sophisticated but its pretty good.  Additional information can be inserted into the note via the IFTTT recipe if desired.

¹ Also for the IFTTT recipes that use Reminders you will need to have the IFTTT app open and if it’s in the background it may not work, whereas this recipe will reliably handle everything in the cloud. 
² For this to work Gmail has to be the default account in Notes.  If you’re not sure how to set that up here are some instructions – screenshots are shown below.
Open the Settings app.  
1. Go to Mail, Contacts, Calendars > settings for the relevant Gmail account > Turn on Notes for Gmail.
Next go back to the main screen for the Settings app.
2. Go to Notes > change the default Notes account to the Gmail account.
1. Turn on notes in the Gmail account.
60bba94336637aa7969815cc6d223749  d01d6adce9560c0ac80b382cb12827d0  d6e4a03957070d6442427a487f8d355d
2. Make the Gmail account the default.
f9c26f8650d94bd84c49e32def5b957d  Change_default_notes_account_to__Gmail_2