The tricky thing about any self-improvement task or project is actually getting it done. It’s easy to say we want to do something, but actually following through on it can be a goal in itself.
Luckily for the procrastinators among us there’s IFTTT (an abbreviation for “if this, then that”), which allows you to create a chain of automated actions called “recipes” connected to various apps, websites or functions on your smartphone. You can create and utilize recipes for any number of tasks, including those related to self-improvement.
With Halloween just around the corner, what better way to re-frame your thinking about self-improvement than by casting some automated magic spells with IFTTT? If there’s a goal you want to reach or a daily habit you could use some help maintaining, IFTTT can help you out.
Here are 10 recipes you can use to magically improve your life, starting today.
1. Follow Through on the Articles You Plan to Read
How many times have you flagged an article to read later, only to completely forget about it or opt to do something else instead?
With this IFTTT recipe, any article you tag on Pocket will automatically add a task on your Todoist app. As you try to check off everything on your to-do list each day, you’ll be more motivated to read those articles you tagged. It’s an effortless way to make sure you read articles of interest, keeping you informed and up-to-date.
2. Keep Your Facebook and Twitter Profile Consistent
Employers scour social networks to monitor current and potential employees, so it can be important to use a united front for your online presence. This IFTTT recipe automatically keeps your Facebook and Twitter profile pictures in sync, saving you one more step in your personal branding process.
3. Improve Your Gratitude With Daily Mental Check-Ins
It’s a great way to assess and journal about various aspects of your day while also writing about the things you’re grateful for. Now, you don’t have to remember to make time for your journal — the recipe reminds you automatically.
If you’re someone who adds a lot of events to Google Calendar, you can jot down a few grateful thoughts for each event. Or, if you don’t use Google Calendar that much, you can create a re-occurring event to remind you to write in your Evernote gratitude journal.
4. Make Up for a Night of Lost Sleep
Everyone knows how important it is to get a good night’s rest, but in reality, that’s not always possible.
With this IFTTT recipe, any time your Fitbit recognizes a particularly sleepless night, Google Calendar reminds you to go to bed earlier the next night. After all, the importance of resting well can’t be overstated.
5. Keep Your Cloud Files Organized and Synced
Cloud computing makes life easier, in theory. But it can also be very tedious to upload files to your various cloud accounts and maintain each account separately.
This IFTTT recipe simplifies that process by adding files to Google Drive anytime you add something to Dropbox. Just like that, you’ve cut the time you’ll spend uploading files in half. If you need to share a file with someone who doesn’t use Dropbox, you can share your Drive copy with them, or vice versa.
6. Be More Mindful of How You Spend Your Time
There’s nothing wrong with working hard; it’s a trait to be admired actually. However, working too much can strain not only you but also your relationships and your sense of work-life balance.
This IFTTT recipe allows you to easily track how much time you spend at work by using your iPhone’s location tracker to automatically add the time you arrived at and left work to Google Calendar. There’s also a similar IFTTT recipe available for Android users.
7. Keep Up With the Latest Health and Fitness Trends
Most of us would like to be healthy and fit. However, keeping up with the latest fitness research isn’t always number one on our to-do lists.
This IFTTT recipe makes the process easier by automatically forwarding the most popular health-related articles from The New York Times to your email inbox. Now there’s no excuse for not knowing about the latest in health and fitness findings.
8. Save Inspirational Quotes for When You Need Them
Everyone needs a bit of inspiration every now and again. So, it’s nice to have a collection of quotes and thoughts quickly available.
With this IFTTT recipe, send highlights from the offline web-reading app Instapaper to Evernote and compile them all in one easy-to-find list. Rather than doing the old copy-paste routine from one app to the other, you can highlight the quote you find inspiring and save it right to Evernote.
9. Stay Accountable for Going to the Gym
Visualizing how often you actually go to the gym is a great motivator to get you there more often.
This IFTTT recipe uses your iOS location to track when you enter and leave the gym. That data is then recorded and logged in a Google Docs file. You can see how much time you’ve spent at the gym in a given day, week, month or year. You can create a similar recipe using your Android phone, too.
10. Ensure You’re Meeting Your Fitness Goals
While the above recipe helps make sure you physically go to the gym, this one helps make sure you’re active when you’re there.
It uses your Fitbit to track your activity and sends you a notification if you don’t meet your daily goal.
When you combine this IFTTT recipe with the one above, you can feel great about meeting your self-improvement goals.
What Other Magic Spells Will You Cast on Your Life?
IFTTT and similar apps have enormous potential for automating our self-improvement goals. This list is just the start. There are so many other ways you can use IFTTT to track your habits and improve your life.
What other recipes do you use for self-improvement? Or is there a recipe that you wish existed, but aren’t sure how to create it?
Tell us about them in the comments section below!