Cascading IFTTT Hacks for a Fat-Free Project Management Stack
Use IFTTT to automate overhead tasks and keep consistent records.
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IFTTT stands for If This, Then That. IFTTT is a web service that creates an atmosphere where other web services can connect to each other. While IFTTT isn't new, it still does, in my opinion, a great job of managing these integrations gracefully and intuitively for the user.
Since the rise of pick-your-favorite-flavor SaaS (and concurrent drop in popularity of "fat clients"), you may involve multiple applications to track and plan an activity. Usually each service is configured separately, but IFTTT can connect, for example, weather and email services together and then send a user an email when the temperature drops below a threshold. But that's far from the end of its usefulness.
IFTTT is, in a sense, a cloud, binding each service to the next like a cloud does water molecules. And because IFTTT has support for triggers and actions across everything from the connected home to productivity tools, it's flexible enough to meet many needs.
IFTTT makes If...Then propositional statements the nerve center of your stack. Although a simple trigger and action pair can suffice, it's possible to create a cascade to automate overhead tasks.
For our purposes, I'm going to discuss those which contribute to what I'm going to call a "fat-free" project management stack: email, GitHub, Trello, Slack, IF Notify (IFTTT device notifications), calendar, and a Wolfram databin for logging.
Let's take a look at what this means from a top-down perspective: from the left to the right, we can generate an entire chain of issue creation, assignment and communication, and finally record-keeping from a single email.
[In this example, I assume a couple of things: first, is that you're comfortable with creating email alias and filtering schemes, and second is that you have multiple Trello boards operating in a KanBan-like arrangement.]
One limitation of IFTTT is that although you can create multiple triggers satisfied by one event, or multiple actions per trigger, you cannot create nested conditional constructs. For this reason, I don't recommend that you create a trigger, for example, to allow a new Trello card's creation to create a GitHub issue--because once created, that same issue will trigger a new Trello card (possibly ad infinitum).
What other IFTTT cascades have you got working? Reply below.
Here's some recipes to get you started ("/" denotes an alternate path, such as different paths for team/individual communication):
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