The Hack I Use the Most

Ari Meisel Featured Image

When I think about IFTTT, I think about this cool thing a friend told me. “In business,” she said, “just look for two patterns: what gets people stuck, and what gets them unstuck.”

It’s entirely applicable to IFTTT because the platform has isolated all the annoying, mind-numbing, bottlenecks we encounter every day at home or work and has supplied a friendly, expeditious solution. (Sort of like me, but without the whole carbon-based organism stuff).

IFTTT is a post-it note system that actually works.

The Basics

IFTTT is short for “If this, then that,” and it’s built on the simple notion of cause and effect.

Kind of like when your toddler drops a spoon (or a bowl full of cereal) off the high chair. What happens next? Someone picks it up. The game begins.

On IFTTT these actions are called “recipes.” Like a link or image on Facebook? IFTTT will automatically save it to the destination of your choice.

There is an enormous number of IFTTT channels available and it can in and of itself become quite the rabbit hole, as you find yourself exploring areas you never thought needed IFTTT’s brand of optimization.

So keep your search for solutions timely and precise.

IFTTT currently supports over 70 different channels spanning a wide range of services, and it can perform basic actions such as calling or texting a phone or sending you an email.

Once you’ve gone through and activated a few channels, which gives IFTTT access to your various services or provides it with personal details — you’re ready to start.

But wait. Here’s where you control the technology, you don’t let it control you. And it will save you lots of time.

It’s important to remember that there is a vast difference between idea capture and idea brainstorming.

I get A LOT of ideas during the day. But they are just ideas. I can’t allow myself to fall prey to “Shiny Object Syndrome,” where every flash of inspiration leads me down a road I shouldn’t be concentrating on then, throwing me way off track.

So I just capture ideas. I don’t pursue them and IFTTT is my preferred method.

When I’m in a more contemplative, creative space at the end of my day, I can sort through these ideas more efficiently. But during the day, I don’t let the low focus of an idea get in the way of the high focus of my meetings and decision making.

It’s a process that protects my mind space, and it works.

Here’s how I file all my screenshots on any day that ends in “Y.”

Now all I do is go over these screenshots at a time convenient to me; usually, after the kids are in bed. Everything is in one place. So I’m not hunting through twenty different open tabs looking for that next big idea.

This story is published in Noteworthy, where 10,000+ readers come every day to learn about the people & ideas shaping the products we love.

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