How To Supercharge Gmail With IFTTT



Imagine being able to automatically save all of your Gmail attachments to a folder inside of Dropbox or maybe have Gmail automatically save to-do items from your email directly to Google Calendar.

This level of automation was once limited to developers that could write macros and simple programs that would do the heavy lifting. This need for intensive skills is a thing of the past with the awesome webapp If This Then That, or IFTTT for short.

Check out the instructions below to show you how to set up your first IFTTT recipe, as well as four more recipes to get you going. If you already know how to set up IFTTT recipes, just skip to the “Recipes” section below to learn more about supercharging Gmail with IFTTT.

Setting Up an IFTTT Account

The first step in using IFTTT with Gmail is setting up your account. Make an account over at and log in. Click on the Create menu item to start the process.


Next, click the highlighted this link. This is where you set the Trigger for your recipe. Triggers are what kick the recipe into action. You will see a lot of channels listed here. IFTTT can do far more than just help you automate your Gmail actions.

With the basics done, it’s time to check out your first recipe. For this recipe, you will link your Gmail account to Dropbox so any attachments you receive will automatically upload to a folder in your Dropbox.

1. Save Email Attachments To Dropbox

Scroll down to the Gmail link. The first time you use this, you need to activate the Gmail channel by logging into your Gmail account and authorizing IFTTT to access it.


Once you activate the channel, you will get a list of Gmail–specific triggers. For this example, you will click on the Any new attachment link.


Once you click the link, you are all done setting up the trigger for this recipe. Click the Create Trigger button to move on.


With the trigger all set, it’s time to set up the action. Click the that link to continue.


Scroll down and find the Dropbox icon and click on it. You will need to link your Dropbox account here to activate the channel.


With this channel activated, you can add the Dropbox-specific actions. For this example, click on the Add file from URL link.


The next screen lets you alter things like the filename of the saved attachment and the folder it will save to. For now, just click the Create Action button to continue with the default settings.

Type in a good description and click the Create Recipe button to complete the setup.


With this, you’re all set. You just created your first recipe. While not too complicated, there is an even easier way to do this. When people create recipes, they can choose to share them with the world allowing people just like you to select them. The shared recipe only shows the channels and actions used, not the specific account information.

To use the recipe above without going through all the work, just click this link. You will need to activate the Gmail and Dropbox channels to use it.

With your first recipe under your belt, here are four more to get your Gmail really supercharged. The step-by-step is skipped for these in place of a link to an already set-up recipe. No need to do extra work if someone already made it!


2. Starred Emails To Evernote

This recipe takes any emails you star in Gmail and creates a new Evernote note for you in the notebook of your choosing. This can be useful for making to-do lists, saving receipts, or even keeping a notebook of all the emails your boss sends.

This recipe requires the Gmail and Evernote channels and can be found here.


3. Use Gmail To Find Your Phone

Don’t you hate it when you’re home alone and you lose your mobile phone? With no one to call it to make it ring, finding it can be nearly impossible.

This recipe lets you send an email that results in your phone being called. This means you just need access to email to find your phone.

You need to activate the Phone Call and Gmail channels for this recipe, and it can be found here.


4. Automatically Create Your To-Do List

This recipe allows you to create a to-do list by adding any emails you tag with “to-do” to your Google Calendar. This makes clearing your inbox out much easier and more importantly, automatic!

This recipe requires you to activate the Gmail and Google Calendar channels and can be found here.


5. Save Receipts To Google Drive

With the amount of online shopping done today, you probably get receipts via email on a regular basis. With this recipe, any email that has the words “receipt” or “order” in the subject line will automatically be added to a spreadsheet in Google Drive.

This means you never need to search your email for a receipt again. Just look at the spreadsheet and you’re all set.

This recipe requires the Gmail and Google Drive channels to work, and can be found here.


These recipes are only a small sample of what you can do with Gmail and IFTTT. Check out the recipes listed above and alter them as you need. IFTTT is a very powerful tool and can really bend to exactly what you need it to be.

Check out the other channels and see what you can come up with.


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