Tag: ifttt

★ Manilla Closing – or Let Me Pay For Your Service

[Manilla is closing down as of July 1](https://www.manilla.com/announcement/). It was a good service, but I’m not entirely surprised. I tried it for a while before switching to [FileThis](https://filethis.com/). I think FileThis is better for two reasons.

One is because it let me automagically download everything to Dropbox. While Dropbox could (theoretically) go away at any time, I’ll still have the local copies of my data.

The other thing FileThis has going for it is it’s not free. Ultimately, servers and bandwidth and employees cost money. I feel much safer relying on a service I can pay for, knowing I’m supporting my usage. IFTTT, I’m looking at you.

★ IFTTT iOS Photo recipes will upload ALL your photos

IFTTT on iOS used 7.5GB of cellular data – iphone usage | Ask MetaFilter:

An IFTTT user found that the IFTTT app used 7.5Gb of data… despite only having two recipes (a weather one and a photo screenshot one). When he inquired of them as there wasn’t any corresponding huge chunks of data he could see, IFTTT’s twitter responded:

So now I’m wondering are there other IFTTT channels that will beat the heck out of my cellular data plan?  

I love IFTTT, and I hope they correct this quickly because right now this just reeks of being a stupid decision on their part. 

Update: As I was typing, I looked – both the Android and iOS Photo channels now say that they upload all the photos. Not sure if it said that before though. 

★ Quick Tracking for Quantified Self

This one is nerdy, even for me. Consider yourself warned.

I wanted to start tracking some data points. I was using FitBit for step and weight tracking, MyFitnessPal to track calories, and mood and environment using Reporter. But there were other things. What time does my daughter’s bus arrive in the morning? How often did I use my rescue inhaler? Neither were things where I needed to provide any more input beyond “event happened”. I’m slowly consolidating my data into a Google Docs spreadsheet, and so I decided these two could go in there as well. The spreadsheet has columns for time, type of record (event, weight, location, etc), a description, and latitude and longitude. 

Bus Arrivals

First up was the bus arrival. While my daughter gets on the bus, I tap an action in Launch Center Pro. That action hits the following URL:


Basically, it tells Drafts to create a draft of “event ||| bus arrival” and call the ifttt action in Drafts, then hand control back to Launch Center Pro. 

The ifttt action in Drafts looks like this:

drafts://x-callback-url/create?text={{!ifttt}}%0A[[draft]]&action={{List in Reminders}}&afterSuccess=Delete

This takes the text of the draft and dumps it into Reminders in the ifttt list. Once it’s done, it deletes the draft, so things stay tidy. 

Finally, I have an IFTTT recipe that takes items in the ifttt list in Reminders, and adds them to my lifelog Google spreadsheet, prepended by the creation date. That recipe can be found at https://ifttt.com/recipes/160434-lifelog-text-via-reminders

Rescue Inhaler

For this, I thought I’d add a location aspect, because while the bus always stops in nearly the same place, I might need my inhaler anywhere. If I see a pattern, maybe I should avoid those places. So, I inserted Pythonista into the equation to get the location data. First up, the Lauch Center Pro Action:


This calls the Pythonista script ifttt.py with the argument “rescue inhaler”. I won’t pretend it’s a good script, but it works. I borrowed a lot of it liberally and if someone recognizes their code here, please let me know so I can give credit for it. Any issues in it are my doing. 


import console
import clipboard
import sys
import webbrowser
import urllib
def getLocation():
import location
import datetime
import time
“Returns current location and timestamp in readable format”
rating = sys.argv[1]
current = location.get_location()
address = ‘event|||’ + rating + ‘|||’ +  repr(current[‘latitude’]) + “|||” + repr(current[‘longitude’])
loctime =  address 
return loctime
# clipboard.set(getLocation())
draftUrl = getLocation()
draftUrl = “drafts://x-callback-url/create?text=” + draftUrl + “&action=ifttt&x-success=launchpro://”

It takes the incoming argument (“rescue inhaler”), gets the latitude and longitude where the phone is now, and mashes it all together with a triple pipe separating them. (The triple pipe is how IFTTT knows how to separate the columns on text headed to Google Spreadsheets.) It then calls the ifttt Drafts action noted above, and the process goes out as described before.

★ Starting with The Secret Weapon and Evernote

I decided it was time to go all-in with Evernote. I’ve been toying around with it here and there and trying to figure out how it would fit into my workflow. I had been using Remember The Milk, and while it worked, it never felt quite right. I had read about The Secret Weapon, a GTD process built on Evernote, and tried it once before, but had dropped it because of two perceiving missing items. One was location based reminders, which I could get with RTM’s app, and the other was an easy way to handle recurring tasks without cluttering up my to do list. 

As it so often turns out, I didn’t actually need the location based reminders. So how could I get recurring tasks? Hm. IFTTT could write to Evernote. So now I just needed to figure out how to trigger IFTTT at the right time. If it was just one or two tasks at predictable times, I could probably use the Date & Time trigger. But I want something flexible so I don’t need to create recipes for each task. FInally, it dawned on me. Create entries in Google Calendar, put “[todo]” in the event description, and create an IFTTT trigger for events matching a search to write into my Evernote notebook. 

I guess we’ll know if it works on Friday when I need to clean the litter box.