if this then that

Pop quiz: How many browser windows and tabs do you have open right now that you're not using? If you find yourself doing what I call tab hoarding, read on for an easy two-part solution.


I love Instapaper. This free tool lets you save websites for later via browser bookmarklet.

To use it, sign up for an account and drag the bookmarklet into your browser bar. Save essential articles in your Instapaper account by clicking the tab to bring the window to the front and then clicking the bookmarklet.

I use Instapaper as a sort of "holding cell" until I figure out whether I'm going to a) tweet the article, b) write a blog post centered on the article or c) save it for future reference. After handling the article appropriately, I'll archive it in Instapaper so it doesn't clutter up my unread feed.


This is the big boy. I've written about IFTTT before; it's an enormous part of my automated workflow. To really maximize your use of this tool, think about your most-frequent tasks and how you can automate them.

For example, I only peruse my Twitter feed at specific intervals. To avoid bombarding my followers with 10 or 15 retweets in a row, I use IFTTT to add starred tweets to Buffer and format them like an old-school RT. Buffer will then gradually tweet these retweets out, presenting a seamless social media experience.

For another fun integration, use IFTTT to save an article to Instapaper each time you star it in Google Reader. That will save you a click or two per article.

What ways do you use Instapaper and IFTTT?

UPDATE: Twitter has changed how applications like IFTTT use its API, so the above workflow with Buffer will no longer work. Bummer.

Share this post