I often feel like my digital life is all over the place. I use so many services and tools that don't always play nicely together. Why can't my Dropbox files instantly show up in Google Drive, or my Trello cards in my Google Sheets?
Spreadsheets are my favorite way to organize my life and business. What if every app could connect to a spreadsheet to review and analyze?
If you want to centralize and log everything in your digital life to a spreadsheet, this tutorial will help you do just that. Learn how to connect a variety of services to Google Sheets using IFTTT. Let's get started.
IFTTT stands for "If This Then That." It's designed to link up your services. Think of IFTTT as a universal adapter for different apps and services. It helps connect all of these apps that don't integrate on their own.
IFTTT is a free service. Go ahead and jump over to the IFTTT website and create an account. When we use applets, IFTTT will ask us to sign into our favorite services so that it can connect them.
IFTTT is the connection between apps and services that make everything play together nicely. In this tutorial, I'll help you use IFTTT to connect Google Sheets to other apps.
How to Use IFTTT With Google Sheets (Watch & Learn)
In this screencast, I'll show you how to use your very first applet to connect a service to Google Sheets.
Read on to find out more ways to connect all of your favorite services and log your digital life into Google spreadsheets.
For each of these applets, click on the link to jump over to IFTTT's site. Then, you'll need to give IFTTT permission to access those services, and set a couple of options. Let's look closer at a few options you can set up:
1. From Tweets to Google Sheets
If you run a small business or company, you'll want to keep an eye out for what people are saying about your brand on social media services like Twitter. Unfortunately, Twitter's brand management and monitoring tools leave a lot to be desired.
The easiest way to monitor for mentions of a specific hashtag are by sending them straight to a spreadsheet to review later. There's an IFTTT applet for that!
After you've given IFTTT permission to access Twitter and your Google Drive accountant, you'll need to set a couple of options: the hashtag to watch for, and the name of the spreadsheet to create with the tweets.
Set those options, and voila! IFTTT will start watching for mentions of your hashtag on Twitter, and automatically add them to your Google Sheet.
2. Save Pocket Articles to a Spreadsheet
You've probably heard of Pocket, which is a "read it later" type service. When you're web browsing and find an article you want to read, you can click on the Pocket browser extension to save it to read when you have time.
I do a lot of research when writing for Envato Tuts+, and it helps if I can save everything for review later in a spreadsheet.
On its own, Pocket is a service I use every day. But, paired with Google Sheets, it becomes a powerful research tool that I use while writing tutorials or working on my side project businesses.
Jump over to that applet to get started. When you setup the applet, you'll set two main options: a tag to watch, and the name of the spreadsheet to log your saved articles to.
Round up your favorite tutorials using Pocket, and easily review them with Sheets with this applet.
3. Dropbox Files Create Google Sheet Rows
You're probably no stranger to Dropbox, the cloud connected file storage service. Dropbox is also a great tool for collaboration with synchronized folders.
When I'm collaborating with many others, the number of files that are coming through can feel a bit overwhelming. If I could just log the files to a Google Sheet to review later on...
And of course, we can do just that with an IFTTT applet! Hit the link above and connect your Dropbox account to get started. Simply set a watched folder in Dropbox, and Sheets will log all of the files.
This applet will capture your synchronized files and make them easy to review later on. Again, it's all about helping services talk to each other using IFTTT applets.
4. Log Completed Trello Tasks to Google Sheets
Have you heard of Trello? It's a project management and collaboration system. Trello is what keeps the Envato Tuts+ editorial teams in sync, as we collaborate to put together tutorials like this one.
I also create a Trello board for all of my side projects. Lists are used to group similar tasks together, and I use the cards (individual white box below).
Even though I love Trello, I still like listing my new cards in a spreadsheet. Use the applet (linked above).
This applet has two options to set:
- A Trello board and List to watch for new cards.
- The name of the spreadsheet to log new cards to.
This applet will sit in the background periodically check for new cards, and log them to your Sheets.
Again, spreadsheets are my favorite way to consolidate my digital life. I want to log my new Trello cards to a spreadsheet so that I can review tasks within Google Drive.
5. Log Work Hours in a Spreadsheet
This one requires the iOS or Android IFTTT app, but is great if you want to monitor how much time you spend at your office.
- The link: simplynaman's applet.
- The services used: Location services of your smartphone, and sheets.
After you've setup this applet and set your work location inside of the app. It will automatically track the hours you spend at your work location, and insert it into the spreadsheet. I'm getting started with this applet as a way to keep an eye on my work hours each week.
Recap and Keep Learning
In this tutorial, you learned to link services to Google Sheets using IFTTT. While many spreadsheet enthusiasts are ecstatic about Excel, this tutorial showcases some advantages of the internet-connected Google sheets.
If this tutorial got you thinking about how to use Google Sheets, check out these tutorials as well:
- Harry Guinness has a great list of IFTTT Recipes for Business Automation, which includes recipes outside of Google Sheets.
- Another great use for Google Sheet is as an internet-connected stock tracker, which I taught in How to Track Stock Data in Google Sheets.
- If you enjoy other nontraditional uses for spreadsheets, check out How to Create an Actionable Project Plan Using a Google Spreadsheet.
What services do you use IFTTT to link together? Let me know in the comments.