Do Note by IFTTT

I’ve used both IFTTT and Zapier for allowing collection for GTD Next via my phone before but i wanted to pass how i’m now using IFTTT’s new Do Note app. Previously i’d had a recipe for any note i made to Evernote, be emailed as a task to GTD Next. The new Do Note app allows me to cut out the Evernote middle man and make the process fast.

Basically, Do Note allows you to setup a simple recipe that allows you to quickly write a note and have it actioned in whatever way you make the recipe. In this case i’ve setup a very simple ‘send to’ recipe. That’s simple enough, but i also use Nova Launcher on my Android phone which allows me to setup gestures. Now, when i double click on my home screen, it opens Do Note in edit mode so i can instantly type whatever task or though is in my head and press the action button and it’s send straight to my GTD Next inbox.

I know this isn’t vastly different from just sending yourself an email via gmail, but it is significantly faster as you only need to type the note and press a button - no addresses or subject lines - one double tap, enter your text and send. It’s very smooth and fits well with the collection philosophy of GTD.

This probably isn’t that clear but i hope it’s useful for others.

IFTTT website for info

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I think it is brilliant if specialized collection apps (perhaps in conjunction with IFTTT, Zapier etc) can be used with task manager apps such as GTDNext. This allows task manager app developers to focus on other, more specialized, sets of task management features than the collection itself. And it allows collection app developers (Do Note, Captio etc) to focus on making the collection easy on whatever technical platforms they focus on.

On the iPhone you can use Siri, without logging in, to enter new notes into the built-in Reminders app, but you cannot use Siri directly with third-party apps without logging in. What you can do though, is use IFTTT to transfer the new notes from Reminders to any task manager app that has an email inbox. Unfortunately this will pollute your email outbox with unnecessary emails for each collected thought. Also, it seems you must start the IFTTT app once in a while to initiate the sync. I believe these are limitations in iOS that app developers cannot easily do anything about. (Dropbox have implemented a “hack” which uses changes in the GPS location to initiate a “legitimate” automatic wake-up of the app, which causes a check to be made whether there are any new items to sync.)

It would be unfortunate if the GTDNext developers had to waste time on such experimentation for easy collection, when there are plenty of other developers already focusing on this. Perhaps it would be sufficient to just provide an entry point for the likes of IFTTT and Zapier to enter new items into the GTDNext inbox wiithout using email.

Hi. I’m not a native English speaker, so thank you for your indulgence.

As this is my first post, I must first say that GTDNext is my favourite to-do app I ever tried, and I tried A LOT of different ones.

I was a previous Todoist user. One advantage of Todoist is its integration with IFTTT. I currently use it in my favor for GTDNext.

I created a recipe within IFTTT that sends an email to GTDNext every time I add a to-do in Todoist. This email contains the deadline I set and additional notes, if any. The best thing is that GTD Next is able to interpret most of this information correctly.

Using this, I can use the well-made “Quick add shortcut” in Todoist’s UI from my Android to capture to-dos. These to-dos are automatically transferred to GTDNext, whether I’m online or offline.

I hope this tip will help someone.

Excellent ideas / recipes! Thanks for sharing!

Hi James.

One related thought i’d offer about the mobile apps you’re working on, i don’t believe a mobile app needs to be all singing and dancing from a GTD perspective. It would be nice to have every function of the web site replicated on your tablet or phone, but if that comes at the expense of delayed deployment and troublesome troubleshooting/development issues then it’s maybe worth thinking smaller.

My point is that i think the priority for mobile functionality is collection (as easy and fast as possible) and making your next/focus tasks upfront and centre. I’d be very happy for you to produce an app that focuses on the most important functions first with the addition of more in-depth functionality later as time and prudent development time allows. These tips about recipe use through IFTTT and Zapier are simply highlights of what’s most important.

However, if you able to produce an all singing, all dancing app for multiple platforms quick smart then i shan’t complain.

(and thanks to Folke and Evilmongol for the additional tips)

BTW is there any way i can change my display name - i signed up via my google account, which has a user name assigned to it, and it’s displaying my full name. I don’t mind that much but it’d be nice to just have my first name.

Thanks for the ideas. I agree that simple way collect is important, as well as view next and focus items. But will provide more than that in mobile.

I assume you mean for the forum. You should be able to go into preferences and change the display name. Click the avatar area in top right of forum and choose preferences.

@hamishloveday - Thank you for the information regarding Do Note. I downloaded it for my iPhone and set up a simple recipe to send a short note to inbox@ to create a task as you described. However it appears that a user can only set up three recipes in Do Note (I am using one recipe to send email to myself and one to send to GTDNext, so that only leaves one!). Is that correct or are there ways to set up more recipes?

Also, it appears that the user can only type in one block of text into Do Note. The Do Note recipe then uses the same block of text in the subject line of the email that is sent to inbox@ (so that becomes the task), and the same block of text for the body of the email (where I typically want to include a note related to a task). IOW, with Do Note it is not possible to email a note along with a task; is that correct, or is there a workaround?

Hi @hamishloveday - quick question on this. It looks like only gmail recipes are available for sending your notes to an recipient other than yourself. Maybe you use gmail, so it’s not a problem for you. But I couldn’t find a non-gmail recipe in Do Note that I could use to send the email to inbox@gtdnext - has anyone else found one? Thx!

Hi James.

I haven’t actually found IFTTT or Zapier support for any other web mail services. I suppose it’s easy enough to set up an account just for this purpose.

Hi Charles.

Do Note is limited to three recipes. It’s also limited to one editable text entry so you can’t make notes as well as a title.

However, you can explore IFTTT (who make Do Note) or Zapier (similar to IFTTT) to create more powerful recipes. Take evilmongols suggestion using Todoist. I’ve done a similar thing using Evrnote, where everything i put in a folder called ‘Inbox’ is emailed to inbox@. Using this slightly more complex approach allows you much greater control and you can set it up to have subject line as a title and the body text as the notes.

I prefer the simple Do Note because i really do want simple.

Hello @hamishloveday, thanks for the information. Now that I have dipped my toe in the Do Note waters, I might venture into testing some more complex recipes using IFTTT. But, as you said, simple is good, so I might just stay with what I have already set up.

Regarding @James question about other email services in Do Note I did not see anything other than Gmail mentioned. But I did find a site that lists all (or at least the majority) of the IFTTT Channels and it appears that using IFTTT you can send emails using (1) Gmail, (2) a native IFTTT email service, and (3) possibly Moped. For more information see: