Inc Well | Small Business Advice for Chicago Entrepreneurs
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How Online Productivity Tool IFTTT Can Speed Up your Business




    IFTTT will change your life. So will your attempts to recommend it to your friends: There's no easy explanation for this website. You have to dive in and try it to make sense of it yourself.

    IFTTT stands for "if this, then that," and the site promises you can "put the Internet to work for you." Head over to (pronounced "ift," like "lift" without the "l") to see how you can automate your online activities by creating "recipes." These recipes are sets of directions that trigger actions. By creating one, you connect two online platforms that you regularly use and IFTTT will take care of business for you.

    What are popular to help you get down to business? Take advantage of these to keep your company more organized, less duplicative and up on current industry trends.

    1.When a Google Calendar event starts, post the location and event name to my Facebook business page. The trigger? An event you've set up in a dedicated Google Calendar for events that can go public. Enter location, event name and description of reach event. Once triggered, IFTTT will announce the event on your Facebook business page 15 minutes before its start time.

    2. SEO business leads.The trigger? A new tagged item in your Google Reader. Once triggered, IFTTT will update your LinkedIn status update to make you look knowledgeable, organized and on top of the latest news.

    3. If new business e-book in top 100 Amazon list, download to Dropbox folder.The trigger? A new feed item shows up from a feed URL you specify, and in this case, the feed URL is already set to this one. Once triggered, IFTTT will automatically download the e-book to the Dropbox file of your choice.

    4. Star a Gmail, send it to Evernote. The trigger? An email that matches a search query. In this case, each time that your email is starred. Once triggered, IFTTT will create a note in an Evernote notebook that you specify.

    5. Post starred items in Google Reader as "Now Reading:" status updates on LinkedIn. The trigger? A new starred item in your Google Reader. Once triggered, IFTTT will update your LinkedIn status update to make you look knowledgeable, organized and on top of the latest news.

    The site may not cook and clean for you -- yet -- but letting IFTTT take over the tedious tasks in your work day is what the Internet is all about. The power of the cloud is a joyous thing, and for busy small business owners, IFTTT is a major boon to productivity.

    Jill SalzmanJill Salzman is currently growing her third entrepreneurial venture, The Founding Moms, the world’s first and only kid-friendly collective of monthly meetups for mom entrepreneurs.  A graduate of Brown University and law school, she started a music management firm and then launched a baby jewelry company before creating her current venture. Jill has been featured in national media outlets including People Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Daily Candy Kids, NBC5 and WGN TV. She is the author of Found It: A Field Guide for Mom Entrepreneurs, a columnist for NBC Chicago,  and she gave her own TED talk on 11/11/11. In her spare time, Jill enjoys kloofing, baking, and erasing her daughters’ crayon artwork from the kitchen walls.