IFTTT is a great way to superpower and automate your life. From saving and making money, to organizing your social life and automating you Facebook Page; with your iPhone, or even with your own IFTTT recipes, there are endless ways you can use IFTTT to make your day better.
Your calendar is a big part of your productivity, and managing it right can make the difference between being organized, arriving on time and remembering your tasks, and being late, forgetting to do what you’ve promised, and arriving soaking wet to the office because you didn’t know it will rain. The right IFTTT recipes can help you take charge of your Google Calendar, and make it perform feats you didn’t know were possible. Use them.
Remember To Act On Starred Emails
You’ve been through this: you receive an important email you have to act upon. You don’t have time to do it right this instant, so you star the email to remember to go back to it. This scenario repeats itself 5 times during the day, and by the end of the week, your starred emails have accumulated, and you simply put them out of your mind. You’ll deal with them at some point. Not with this IFTTT recipe.
Use this recipe to automatically create calendar events every time you star an email in Gmail. You can set the event text to include the date the email was received, the sender’s address and the email’s subject. Now, every time you star an email and forget about it, your calendar will make sure it’s not so easy to forget.
Add An Event When A Certain Email Arrives
If you don’t use Gmail stars, or if you want something even more automatic, there are two more recipes you can use. This Gmail search to Calendar recipe will add a new event to your calendar every time an email arrives that matches your set search criteria. This can be anything you need to do, from picking up a prescription, paying a bill, meeting someone, or anything else you get via email and has to turn into a task. Any email matching the criteria will turn into an event, and can include the email’s sender, subject, attachment URL or file name, the email’s body, etc.
Another way to go about this, is to use the new email in label recipe. If you use labels in Gmail, this recipe will create an event every time a new email arrives with a certain label. You can use this in the exact same way as the recipe above, but if you receive a certain type of email you need to act upon on a regular basis, this is an ever better way to automate it.
Log Your Events & Appointments In A Spreadsheet
Your calendar is a good way to track your meetings and other tasks, but since these are spread over different times, days and weeks, it’s not always easy to get a clear idea of what you’ve been doing. Use this Google Calendar to Google Spreadsheet recipe to add a row to a spreadsheet every time an event in your calendar begins.
You can give your spreadsheet a name, specify a folder path in Google Drive and decide what information you want the spreadsheet to include. For example, you can grab the event’s title, description, location, start and end times, and even the event’s URL. The result would be a nice spreadsheet, with each row representing an event. I only wish there was an automatic way to create a new one every month, but you can easily do this manually.
Schedule Events From Google Talk
Scheduling events in your calendar is by no means a complicated task, but when you’re out and about with your mobile, or when you’re simply too busy to bother, a short Google Talk (Hangouts) message can do this for you. We’ve told you about secret ways to use hashtags in Google Talk before, and by using this Google Talk to Calendar recipe, hashtags will become even more useful.
In order to use this recipe, you’ll need to add the IFTTT bot to your contact list (the recipe will guide you), and set up a hashtag that will automatically trigger the recipe (e.g., #cal). When you want to quickly schedule an event to your calendar, message the IFTTT bot with the event’s details, and include your preset hashtag anywhere in the message. The resulting event can include the entire message text, a URL, and the time the message was received.
Schedule Events Using Text Message
If you don’t use Google Talk, or if you just find it inconvenient, you can also schedule events using a simple text message from your phone. This SMS to Calendar recipe is very similar to the above Google Talk one. Set up a hashtag to use in these text messages, and send them to the IFTTT SMS channel number. Appropriately tagged messages will be scheduled as events including your message body.
Remember To Read Saved Feedly Articles
This one will aid your productivity by way of elimination. By making sure you won’t forget to read those saved-for-later articles, you can continue your working day without distractions. Using this Feedly to Calendar recipe, you can automatically add an event to your calendar, reminding you to read the articles you’ve saved for later. Simply set up the time you want the event scheduled to, and get a reminder with the article’s title, source’s title, article’s content, URL, etc. This way, your 5 minute break can consist of marking some interesting reads for tonight, and getting on with your work.
Create Automatic Meeting Minutes On Evernote
If you often keep meeting minutes on Evernote, this little recipe can automatically create a note with your specified information every time a marked event starts. The recipe monitors your calendar, and triggers when it finds an event that contains a specific keyword you’ve set up. For example, you can include the word “Evernote” in the event’s title, description or location to trigger the recipe.
When such an event begins, an Evernote note will be created with the appropriate title, content, and tags, and will be placed in the notebook of your choice. All these things can be set up when enabling the recipe, and the note can include details such as the event’s title, description, location, start and end times, and more.
Prepare For The Weather
Checking the weather forecast is simple enough, and yet we often find ourselves leaving the house in the morning without bothering to do so. Rain can creep up on you, as can sudden cold and warm weather, and you don’t want to be caught unprepared, underdressed, or overdressed for the weather.
This weather to calendar recipe can check tomorrow’s forecast for you, and add an event to your calendar in case of rain, snow, cloudy, or even clear weather. When it catches the weather condition you’ve set it to catch, it adds an event telling you what it is and what to do about it. You determine the time of the event, so set it to sometime in the early morning before you leave the house, to make sure it alerts you in time.
Do you have a favorite IFTTT recipe that makes use of Google Calendar? Have any Google Calendar tips and tricks to share? Tell us all about it in the comments.
Image credit: Adelle & Justin