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This 'n' That

Social media savvy TAFE students might be able to use IFTTT to keep track of information relevant to their courses.

Over the past few months, I've had the opportunity to play with a web service called IFTTT (If This, Then That). It's pretty easy to use and can do some powerful things. And its price falls right in my budget – free!

How does IFTTT work? It uses recipes to tie your computer services (called channels) together. These channels have triggers, which result in specific outcomes (called actions). For example;

TRIGGER: my Facebook profile photo changes

ACTION: my Twitter profile picture changes to that same photo

Recently I created an automated travel journal for a family reunion in the pipeline for next year. I used IFTTT to automate the gathering and organisation of "memories" for my trip. I planned on using IFTTT to automatically record my Foursquare check-ins and Instagram photos into Tumblr blog.

Taking it one step further, I've been thinking that social media savvy TAFE students might be able to use IFTTT to keep track of information relevant to their courses.

You could create an Evernote notebook just to record your TAFE information (maybe you're already doing this). You could then set up Foursquare to record your check-ins to this notebook, so that you'll have a record of when you've been on campus. Your TAFE notebook won't become cluttered with all your check-ins because you can set up IFTTT so that only check-ins tagged with #TAFE will trigger this action.

Connect IFTTT to your Google Calendar. You can get Google Calendar to feed reminders of assessment due dates to the Evernote notebook. And you can set up IFTTT so a quick email will add assessment due dates to the calendar. You might even want to get your calendar to send you an email warning you a week before your assessment is due, or add a reminder to your iPhone.

Connect your Dropbox to IFTTT. Have it set up so that an email you send to IFTTT with an attachment will automatically add that attachment to your TAFE folder – perfect for keeping your assessment PDFs in one place. And of course, you can feed those PDFs back to your Evernote TAFE notebook.

You can even set up IFTTT to monitor an RSS feed – such as the TAFE Bytes blog – and add a note to your Evernote notebook with a URL to an article every time an article gets posted by your favourite blogger (ahem).

Take a look at IFTTT and start thinking about how you can use it to automate keeping track of your TAFE info. If you have a good idea of how to use IFTTT, why not post it in the comments below? I'd love to see what people come up with.