Three IFTTT recipes for low-stress holiday shopping

If the thought of holiday shopping has you down, let the IF and DO apps make the task easier with these three recipes, which are a snap to add to your Android device.

Image: Jack Wallen

The biggest shopping holiday of the year is upon us, and your busy IT schedule barely allows you time to breathe, let alone shop. In order to make the best of it, you turn to your go-to aid in tough situations: technology.

One way you can make the shopping season a bit more "ho ho ho" and less "no no no" is to take advantage of IF by IFTTT. With this handy app, you can add recipes to your Android device that will aid you in the tiring task.

But what recipes should you add? These shopping-related options.

How to add a pre-built recipe

If you want to add a pre-built recipe to IFTTT, the easiest method is to log onto your IF account. Browse the recipes and, when you find one you'd like to use, click the recipe and then click Connect. You will have to give the recipe permission to access one or more services or set an option and then click Add.

After you add a recipe from the IF website, the recipes will automatically be pushed to you and/all device(s) running IF (and logged into your account). Your recipes will now show up on your device in IF's My Recipes window (Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A
Image: Jack Wallen
IF recipes on a Verizon-branded Nexus 6.

Some of these recipes will require one of the DO apps: DO Camera, DO Button, or DO Note. Install these apps as needed and allow them to connect to your IF by IFTTT account. Depending upon how the recipe functions, you will find it sync'd to either IF by IFTTT, DO Note, DO Camera, or DO Button.

Now that you know how to quickly add a pre-made recipe, it's time to highlight recipes that might help you this holiday season.

Keep a list of gift ideas on Evernote

The Keep a list of gift ideas recipe's requirements are: install Evernote and DO Note. When you create a shopping list in DO Note, this recipe syncs to Evernote with the push of a button. What's best about this is you can write out a few items, tap the Evernote button (Figure B), and the items will be appended to the Gift ideas note in Evernote.

Figure B

Figure B
Image: Jack Wallen
Adding items to the Gift ideas note.

This adds a location map to the note, which is handy if you want to remember where to purchase the gift. If you don't want or need that notation, you can edit the recipe from within the DO Note app by following these steps.

  1. Open DO Note.
  2. Tap the mortar and pestle icon.
  3. Tap the edit icon associated with the recipe to be edited.
  4. Tap Show All Fields.
  5. Edit the Body of the recipe to remove the LocationMapImageURL section (Figure C).
  6. Tap Save.

Figure C

Figure C
Image: Jack Wallen
Editing a Do Note recipe.

Create a visual shopping list

If you don't want to write notes all the time, add a recipe called Put together a visual shopping list that will instantly send a picture into a shopping list on Evernote. The recipe will automatically sync images taken with the DO Camera into an Evernote list called Shopping List. All you have to do is open DO Camera, swipe to the left until you see the Put together a visual shopping list title appear in the window, focus on the image you want to snap the photo of, and tap the green Evernote button (Figure D).

Figure D

Figure D
Image: Jack Wallen
Sending an image to the Evernote Shopping List.

Add to a Dropbox shopping list (which can be shared)

If you use Dropbox, the Create a shared shopping list recipe lets you append items to a shopping list that you can share with other users. Connect your account to the Dropbox Channel (click the Connect button on the recipe page and then click Allow in the popup window) and then click Add to add the recipe to the DO Note app.

Before you use this recipe, install Dropbox and connect it to your account. Now open DO Note, tap the Create a shared shopping list recipe, add your items, and tap the blue Dropbox button (Figure E). This list will appear in Dropbox in the DO Note folder.

Figure E

Figure E
Image: Jack Wallen
Sending a list to Dropbox from DO Note.

No need to fret

If you're fretting about the shopping season, technology is on your side and will ease your worries. With a little help from IF by IFTTT and the DO apps, it's a breeze to keep your shopping under control.

Have you found an IF of DO recipe that has become a must have? If so, tell us about it in the comments.

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About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website

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