Internet Productivity

How to Automate Microsoft Office Tasks with IFTTT Recipes

Gavin Phillips 16-11-2015

A superb batch of Microsoft Office recipes recently appeared on the site of serial web-service linkers The Ultimate IFTTT Guide: Use the Web's Most Powerful Tool Like a Pro If This Then That, also known as IFTTT is a free web-based service to get your apps and devices working together. Not sure how to build your applet? Follow along with this guide. Read More , IFTTT. The recipes, developed by Microsoft with the aid of IFTTT, focus on connecting Microsoft Office services to, well, everything else on the web IFTTT Now Connects to Anything: Introducing the Maker Channel The potential uses for IFTTT are endless. But until now, it's been difficult to interface it with your own hardware projects. Today, that's all changed. Read More . And they haven’t skimped on the recipes either, now with over 50 working connections and more set to arrive.


We’ll take a quick look at eight of the best Microsoft Office connections from the ever-expanding IFTTT recipe book.

What is IFTTT?

IFTTT is an abbreviation of “If This Then That,” and is pronounced like “gift” but without the “g.” They specialize in connecting web services using simple conditional statements, giving rise to the name. For example, a user might create a recipe statement consisting of “if I upload this image to Instagram, then upload that image to OneDrive.” Starting as an exclusive web operation, IFTTT expanded first to iOS, shortly followed by Android.

The Microsoft Office IFTTT Channel

In July, just before the Windows 10 release, Microsoft quietly announced the launch of an Office 365 channel on IFTTT. The channel initially focused on Mail 5 Legendary Windows Tools Replaced by New Features Windows includes lots of tools that you use every day, but some have lasted longer than others. Here are parts of Windows that don't exist anymore. Read More , OneDrive for Business, Calendar, and Contacts, but has since expanded to encompass more and more Microsoft productivity tools 6 Simple Time Management and Productivity Apps for Windows Could your computer help you get more work done? It certainly can. Great organization software can make you more productive. It's a matter of working smarter rather than harder. Read More . A number of actions for the customizable action app Do IFTTT Launches Do Note, Do Button, Do Camera for One-Tap Actions Popular "If This Then That" service IFTTT has launched three new apps that are sure to make your life a bit easier. Learn everything you need to know about them! Read More  are also part of the IFTTT automation system. You can choose from over 50 recipes, but here are our top picks.

1. Add a New Contact to a Twitter List

IFTTT Office Contact Twitter List

Each time you add a new contact to your Office 365 contact list, if you provide the right information, IFTTT will add them to a predetermined Twitter list Most Influential Twitter List: Which World Leaders Made the Cut? A recently released report examined the most followed world leaders, most influential, most active and social media trends surrounding the A-listers. Some of their findings might surprise you. Read More . Handy if you meet people on the go, are passionate about updating your digital rolodex, or meticulously follow your contacts on social media. A friend of mine who runs a PR company thinks this is marvelous!


2. Create a New Task in Todoist when You Receive a High Priority Email

IFTTT Outlook Todoist

I’ve only recently started using this recipe, but it has certainly helped my email prioritization in that short time. I use Outlook, and it is nice to have a running record across my desktop and phone of what I need to remember to email while on the move.

3. Send an Email when there is a New Post in a Subreddit

IFTTT Reddit Outlook

This recipe is great for keeping up with quiet subreddits The Most Sociable Subreddits and How to Find Them Read More , but can quickly get out of hand with anything busier than a few posts a day. I trialed it with /r/soccer, and quickly hated myself. On the other hand, I trialed with /r/coys (my football club Top 5 Football (Soccer) Games You've Probably Never Played But Should If you feel as though you've played the latest, high-profile titles to death, there are alternatives for the armchair pro tired of FIFA, PES, Football Manager, and the rest. Read More subreddit), and found I could engage more with new and rising posts.


4. Archive Photos you Upload to a Facebook Page with #onedrive in the Caption to OneDrive for Business

IFTTT Facebook Business OneDrive

This is another one I haven’t used too much, but has been handy keeping track of images for the two Facebook Business Pages Your Business Can Reach Fans On Facebook: Here's How You can get free marketing on Facebook. It may be a challenge to effectively advertise to your customers on Facebook, but it certainly is not impossible. Read More I take care of. While the action isn’t really that amazing, it does mean the business owners and myself won’t reuse an image in a hurry, so long as we check the OneDrive How to Disable & Replace OneDrive in Windows 10 OneDrive is deeply integrated in Windows 10 and Microsoft might tell you that removing it is not possible. Well, not unless you're willing to dig deep. We show you how to extract OneDrive from Windows... Read More for updates.

5. Send Email with Your Current Location

IFTTT Do Outlook

This is a Do button recipe 9 Easy IFTTT DO Button Tricks to Quickly Automate Your Life Whether or not you already use the wildly popular IFTTT service, you will be able to install and configure one-tap "DO button" tricks to automate and simplify your life. Read More . Well, not a recipe, a single action performed by a button. This button sends an automated email from Outlook How to Blast Through Your Emails in Microsoft Outlook Don't let your emails monopolize your day, use these Outlook tips to take back control of your Inbox. Read More with a scheduled message that also delivers the coordinates of your location. Can be handy in meetings, or if you’re out and about driving, or if you get extremely lost and no-one can find you. No idea where you are? Email the office to send bagels to your location.


6. Send a Note to the Entire Office that Food is Here

IFTTT Do Outlook

Another Do button that will probably make you the office hero, though potentially not a hero of productivity 4 Popular Productivity Tips That Should Be Ignored Some of the productivity ideas sold to us are sometimes unfounded, and often mistaken. Let's debunk a few of these productivity myths by showing that the opposite may just as likely be true. Read More . The button sends a short note to your entire Office 365 An Introduction to Office 365: Should You Buy Into the New Office Business Model? Office 365 is a subscription based package that offers access to the latest desktop Office suite, Office Online, cloud storage, and premium mobile apps. Does Office 365 provide enough value to be worth the money? Read More contact list (or a personalized list), letting them know your take-out order has arrived. This can also be customized to fire everyone in the office, or give everyone a raise. Use carefully!

7. Download New Songs You Like to OneDrive

IFTTT Soundcloud OneDrive

This recipe downloads any new song you “Like” on music publishing platform, SoundCloud. Helps you keep track of the myriad tunes you might browse through in one evening, organizing them into one neat little OneDrive folder. Users should note this service only works with tracks marked for public download.


8. Raining Tomorrow? Add a Calendar Reminder to Take an Umbrella

IFTTT Weather Calendar

One of the simplest but potentially day-saving reminders of all: it’s going to rain later, so remember to take your umbrella. So many times caught without, so many days in the UK where my dreadlocks turn into the most efficient towels you’ve ever seen. If only I’d set-up an IFTTT recipe…

Office IFTTT Automation Roundup

These are just eight of the 50+ recipes available to you in the Microsoft Office channel. It’s great to see Microsoft embracing IFTTT to offer regular users choice in their web applications. For instance, I’ve never used Yammer 6 Ways to Create Your Own Private Social Network A private social network? No, it's not an oxymoron. If you have privacy concerns, or simply want to create your own social network, there are some solid Facebook alternatives out there. Read More , other than to trial features. However, I use Slack for work Slack Makes Group Communication Faster and Easier Group emails can really kill productivity. It's time to put mail clients to rest and use collaboration services like newly launched Slack. Read More , and my friends and I have a channel, and linking these to Microsoft Office services The Ultimate Way to Make Slack Work with Your Favorite Services In addition to communication, there are many ways to bring information inside Slack, but there are few integrations that let you control external services from within Slack -- until now. Read More saves a little time here and there, each day.

Let’s hope Microsoft keep their productivity up and whip up a few more recipes for us to play with.

What are your favorite Microsoft Office IFTTTs? Does it speed up your day, or is it just a nice little tool to play with? Let us know what you think below!

Related topics: IFTTT, Microsoft Office 365, Task Management.

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