Days go by fast. We are all trying to be productive and sometimes manually doing a task over and over doesn’t make much sense. And, sometimes we don’t even notice because we’re just trying to get things done.
Welcome to the first part in a series titled, 5 Ways to Automate Your Life: Part 1.
One thing I’m really big on is efficiency and strongly recommend finding ways to spend more time on the things you love and less time on the “administrative” tasks.
In the past, I’ve struggled with trying to get the most important tasks in my day finished. Sometimes it’s because of having to do the same, repeated task again. Other times, it’s because I just want to find a better way.
The more that can be automated, the better. Queue automation list.
IFTTT: Services and Applets to Automate Your Stuff
Getting started with IFTTT is super simple. All you need to do is connect a couple of services and you’re off to the races. Be careful, though! It’s addicting.
What’s an Applet?
And…what else can I use this for?
You can use IFTTT with a HUGE library of applications. They have services like Facebook, Gmail, Nest, Amazon Alexa, Evernote, Android Wear, and a ton of other services.
There’s even an applet to turn off your lights when your thermostat is set to away mode.
Let’s Walk Through Setting Up an Applet
Here’s an example of adding any starred email in Gmail to Evernote:
> Head over to the IFTTT menu bar and click Search
> Click on the Gmail icon (if shown) or type in the search bar “Gmail”
> Want a shortcut? Here’s the link for the applet.
> See the big Turn On button? You’ll want to push it.
> On the next screen, you can change the title of the applet, change the option to receive notifications when the applet runs, and designate the notebook where the email/attachment will go in Evernote.
> If you click on the + Ingredient button, this will allow you to choose some more information from Gmail.
> Once you’re finished, click the Save button and that’s it.
Zapier: Get More Done with Zaps
This is one of my favorite tools. Maybe I should have listed this first?
Anyway, think of Zapier as the middle man/woman. There’s app A and app B, where Zapier connects the two.
Head over to zapier.com and create an account if you haven’t already.
Once you get that all squared away, look for the Explore tab on the front page.
In the window, look for Facebook and Google Calendar. Look towards the bottom and you’ll have both of them with an “X” next to them.
After they’re selected, scroll down the page and find the Post new Google Calendar events from your Facebook Page posts.
Click the Use this Zap button.
Automate.io: Have Bots Do Your Work
They are called “bots” or automatic robots that will do your work for you. Set up one of the app integrations to see what you can do.
What are some things I can do with Automate.io?
From the automate.io website, they list: Create and send invoices automatically, track payment and send auto-reminders. Automate Ecommerce post-purchase process, Send automated emails, run drip campaigns. Automate social and mobile messages, run smart twitter campaigns.
Google Keep: Time and Place Reminders + Notes
Here are a few great benefits of Google Keep:
- Place Reminders (i.e. get a reminder when you arrive home to do something)
- Time Reminders (set a time in the future to get something done)
- Write your first book with the app! (the majority of 5 feet 10 inches was written in it)
One thing to note here is that the app is only for Android (sorry iPhone users). If you’re looking for an alternative, I’ve heard that Evernote is a pretty good option.
Amazon Echo: A Physical AI Assistant
What is the Echo?
Think of Echo as a virtual assistant. For those familiar with Siri, you can expect to be able to talk directly to Alexa, the voice talent behind the Echo. What makes the Amazon Echo a bit different than other digital assistants is that she can order items directly from Amazon for you.
I hope these 5 Ways to Automate Your Life have been helpful. Stay tuned for part two where we’ll talk about even more ways to start making things happen in your life with the software world – automagically!
What are some ways you try to use technology to your advantage?