Cloud storage and backup services work well for saving traditional file types like documents, photos, and music to the cloud. But there are a lot of things that don’t fit the mold of traditional files that we might also want saved. Perhaps you want an archive of your tweets stored in Evernote. Or you want your phone contacts kept in a spreadsheet and saved in Dropbox. Maybe you want blog posts on the web archived in Google Drive. Backing up these everyday things can be a pain to do manually. That’s where IFTTT comes in.
Short for « If This Then That, » IFTTT is a free app that automates tasks in other apps based on specified events. For example, by connecting Gmail and Twitter to IFTTT, you can automatically send thank you tweets each time you get an email alert for a new follower. IFTTT connects to almost 300 different apps and services, each with a plethora of possible « recipes » to choose from. We’ll look at a few examples of how IFTTT can be used to store stuff in the cloud, mostly with either Dropbox or Google Drive, and then you can feel free to experiment from there.
First off, head to the IFTTT website and sign up. Don’t forget to verify your account via email. Then you can search or browse for recipes. When you find one you like, simply authorize both apps to work with IFTTT and hit the big Add button. Here’s some of our favorites:
Download songs you like on Soundcloud to the cloud
Connect your Soundcloud account and either Dropbox or Google Drive so that every time you like a song, it’s saved to your storage. If your storage syncs to your phone or computer, you’ve now got a locally stored playlist!
Keep SMS and contacts in a Google Docs spreadsheet
Every time you add a new contact to your phone, the contact’s info as added to a spreadsheet in Google Drive. The same can be done with text messages. Works with both iOS and Android. You can also back up your phone photos to a storage service, if you don’t already have that ability on your smartphone.
Save Gmail attachments to the cloud
If you receive a lot of attachments, saving them all in one place can be a useful practice. Connect your Gmail account and Dropbox or another cloud storage provider to make sure every attachment is stored online, even if you have to delete your emails to save space later.
Save blog feeds to the cloud
For bloggers who need an easy way to back up your blog content from WordPress, Blogger, or Tumblr, IFTTT lets you connect those accounts and automatically save posts as new files in Evernote, Google Drive, and Dropbox.
Store Facebook photos on the cloud
Every time you post a photo on Facebook or Instagram, or even if someone just tags you in a photo, IFTTT can save it to your cloud storage. The vice versa also works: create a special folder on Dropbox or Google Drive so every time you place a photo in it, the photo is uploaded to Facebook.
Cloud to Cloud
If you use both Google Drive and Dropbox and want to keep files synced between them, for instance, IFTTT can do that too. Set it up to sync all of your files or just specific types like photos. You can also tell it to only sync a specific folder or folders.
These examples only scrape the surface of what IFTTT can do. Try mixing and matching and you’re sure to find a recipe that suits your needs.