I’ve always been a big user of tools and services that automate tasks. Computers are perfect for automating things that have to be done over and over. With IFTTT (If This Then That), you can automated things in your life and across services. Below are some of the tasks I have automated with IFTTT recipes.
The first method that I use is based off my phone connecting and disconnecting from the work WiFi access point. This method works pretty well but has several drawbacks. The biggest one is that if I have my WiFi off on my phone, it obviously won’t record anything in log. In addition, I work in a large building so there are times when I am out of WiFi range. This is also a bit of an advantage, because I can use it to track when I am actually near my desk versus going to other departments within the building.
The second method is to utilize the Android Location trigger. This seems like the perfect solution, but I am a little leery of battery usage. I am using this recipe for now, but keeping a mindful eye on my battery usage. So far, it hasn’t been a major problem
In any case, it doesn’t really hurt to use both methods. In fact, it is sorta useful to look at and compare the logs to spot any differences. One thing I did notice right away is that IFTTT triggers are not instantaneous. Many of the personal recipe triggers take up to 15 minutes to kick in.
The first recipes that I implemented for Nest Thermostat where notifications for when the thermostat when into or came out of Away status. First of all, I wanted to see how accurate it was in determining when no one was home. I also discovered it was a good way to get a notification that my son was home safe after school. That made me think it was also a good (but not perfect) way to know if someone entered my home when I was definitely away for a few days.
I have also tried using some weather based programming recipes. For example, when the temperature has cooled off significantly because a thunderstorm rolled through or it was getting into the evening, I wanted to adjust the house temperature up slightly since it would be cooling off naturally. This has worked, but a couple times I still felt warm. But then I had the choice to change the thermostat setting or to open some windows to take advantage of the cool air.