Useful Automation – Todoist + IFTTT + MS Flow + Azure + Unroll.me
I always wanted to automatize a little bit all possible actions, which I repeatedly had to do every day. Just an example – I will go out from house to work and forgot to turn off Wi-Fi on my smartphone. When I will arrive to office, I would like to turn the Wi-Fi on as well and when I will go out from the building I would like to turn it off again. The same geo activities I would like to do with tasks. I like reminders at some specific time, but to be honest, there are millions of situations, when you are just late, or plans changed or…something J you know. So, I decide to get a change to Todoist as one of the best task manager I know – I already bought premium version after few months of testing. Another helping software is IFTTT and Microsoft Flow. With this combination, you have really ultimate guns in the cloud.
Let's start with Todoist premium. There is an add-on for Outlook on company pages as well as a standalone app in windows 10 store as well as desktop client or app for Android/iOS. After you will buy a premium subscription, you will get a chance to set GPS reminders, so when you will arrive to work, home or will go to market, you will immediately get all the tasks for that location. Another great thing regarding Todoist is fact, that you are able to transfer email directly to task – what wonderful job guys! Love this function, just click on an email, click on the icon in the ribbon and task is created – after that, I am able to set the category for this task as well as tags, project, a reminder for an hour, or location, priority, due date etc. After that, I can move email to some folder and when I will click on the task in outlook add-on, it automatically go through all the emails and will try a find specific one, connected to the task. After that task with email will be automatically opened for specific actions. OK, so I have all the tasks in one place, from all the important emails, which I have to work with, sorted by projects, tags, and priorities. Even that there are more great features in this software, this basic is enough, let's moved to automation.
Smartphone Management – battery, services, data, etc.
IFTTT is service, which provides really a lot of automation. Firstly, I want to use Microsoft Flow as I am Microsoft oriented person, but the fact is, that I am able to automatize only a little bit of thinks I want to, so I just tried IFTTT and I was really surprised. I provide a LOT of automation possibilities, but I am not interested in many of them, what I bring for was:
- Post on my blog -> put announcement about new post on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter
- Leave my home – Turn Off Wi-Fi
- Arrive to home – Turn On Wi-Fi
- Rain notify
- Lost Phone – text for example "lostphone" -> turn the ringtone to 100%
- Wallpaper – change wallpaper from NASA one everyday – nice space pictures
- Morning – unmute phone
- Evening – Mute phone
- Arrive to Office – Mute phone, start vibration
- Leave Office – Unmute phone, keep vibration
- Played and saved songs on Spotify -> save to OneNote list
- WordPress publish - auto publish article to twitter/LinkedIn
- How much time I will spend at work – based on GPS – auto save to excel timesheet in OneDrive
Emails on Office 365, Attachments, Tasks, Prioritization
OK, super cool – my phone is fully automated 😉 tried it, love it! All the things I am able to forget about now. So, let's move to Microsoft Flow. What is actually great on Microsoft flow is fact, that Microsoft generally connect everything with everything last days and Microsoft Flow isn't out of this 😉 So everything you want to connect with Office 365, OneDrive for Business, OneDrive, SharePoint, PowerApps etc. – everything possible. As I said, firstly I wanted to automate everything with Microsoft Flow and Azure Automation, but when I saw possibilities of IFTTT, I just had to say that it will take some time to be able to compare those products. Not only because of internet of things, but also from the possibilities of separate platforms and vendors. Flow, on the other side is great for Microsoft products. My choice regarding Microsoft Flow was really simple. I just want to make some improvements in emails (versus tasks), attachments (I still searching for them in mailbox) and rest of things? Let's see. So, the first wave is:
- Emails – high priority & from boss -> task in taskledo
- Emails – attachments -> OneDrive for Business
OK, the last thing is to automate a little bit azure environment which I have. It's no some huge environment, just a few virtual machines, which should be shut down, when I am at home, because I almost use these, when I am at the office, because it's my only connection to normal windows 10 / server as on my company laptop, I am not an administrator, just standard user with a lot of limitations. I know, that you are able to do LAB environment in Azure, where you are automatically able to select at which hour the lab will be shut down and since when the lab will start up, but I want this on the standard virtual machine, outside the lab. OK. Let's do this – there are many predefined automation scripts regarding azure automation services, so let's use them in this case.
- Auto turn on virtual machine in the morning
- Auto shutdown virtual machine in the evening
Regarding most common automation scripts, there is a gallery, so the only thing you have to do to begin with some basics is to select script and put there some parameters like resource group of virtual machine, times, etc.
Daily newsletters etc. – Unroll.me
Uroll.me is interesting service, which I never heard about before, but seems really useful for me. I still received some subscribed emails. I think that everyone knows that. When you want to download some whitepaper, when you put some information on seminar or conference, when you want basically anything today. I always reserved some time once a half a year to unsubscribe from the services which I don't want to, but looking for all the emails and small letters in the bottom which tell me – do you really want to unsubscribe? Click here, then here, bla bla. This service just scan your email for such a these emails and put them on one page. Then you are able to select from which services you want to unsubscribe by just one click on magic button and which of these services you want to collect to one email. ONE EMAIL J then you are also able to select in which time you want to receive this email with all the news you are interested in. Well maybe not for everybody, but I think that this is actually good idea.
- Summary email instead of "n" emails from subscribed services each morning
So let's tested all these services for some time and maybe I will give some update, but at the moment I feel a little bit more free, than before 😉 with more battery on my mobile, with automated important task and reminders on the go, with more data on my mobile….nice! So enjoy, test it, comment it in the bottom.