Using IFTT to Smooth Family Communications

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My wife loves her paper calendar. It’s one of those big desk-type ones that she magnets to the refrigerator and everything goes on there. In pencil. By hand. I, of course, am confounded by her calendar: it is hardly portable, difficult to edit, and monochromatic. As you can imagine, my calendar is all digital, and i’ve been trying to get her to convert (to no avail, I might add). It doesn’t bother me that she uses paper; to each her own. What bothers me, though, is that I have to double enter, i.e. add events to my digital calendar and then re-add them (by hand) to her paper calendar.

So I’m not sure why it didn’t occur to me before, but I realized that IFTTT can solve my problem. If you don’t know, IFTTT is essentially a web-based automator, i.e. you create a formula (what they call a recipe) and IFTTT executes it whenever the variables are met; in fact, IFTTT stands for If This, Then That.

The two calendars that overlap with home are my Coaching calendar and my Family calendar, so I had to make different IFTTT accounts for each (because each is associated with a different email) but beyond that, and even including that, it took me 5 minutes or so to set both of them up.

Using IFTTT triggers, I set the formula (for b9th calendars) that whenever a new event was added an email would be sent to my wife’s address, so now, rather than writing the events that I already added to my digital calendar, my wife will get an email with the information about those events and she can add them herself (which will likely make them more legible on the calendar anyway…). I’ve included a screen shot below of the final screen.

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And it works. Here’s the email that my wife received about an event I added this morning.

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Twitter via Cell Phone Resources

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Every year my students sign up to receive my Twitter updates on their phones (as I’ve written about); it’s a great way to stay in touch with them when a need more immediate contact. But at the end of every year, how do they stop receiving those messages? (Former students half-joke how they still receive their English homework when they’re in college….)

I knew these commands but it’s nice to have them in one place (and, even though the post is dated, the commands still work) here (and they’re pasted below). So I’ll send this out to all of my classes this morning, and hopefully they’ll cancel their Twitter updates so they won’t get the ’14-’15 assignments….

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