An App to help you find… anything

The Internet’s fundamental purpose is to help people communicate information. That information could be a simple message, a picture, a video or a computer program. With so much information being shared, it is not always easy to find what you need – in a timely manner and usable format. This includes finding others who need what you have. Here, we’ll take aim at some tools to help you find… anything.

Four points apply to how efficient you can be at finding what you need:

  • Need to know what you are looking for to have a good chance of finding it.
  • Different tools work for different jobs; several tools are needed to build a house.
  • Information flows constantly – tools to automate save you time and effort.
  • The Internet has lots of “boxes” (like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn) which frequently require you to open the box to find out what is inside.

That fourth point is especially important when it comes to Twitter, Facebook, other social media, and the ever expanding Internet of Things.

One thing I’ve always advocated is spending at least 15 minutes every day in “research” – regardless of what you do, what your job is, or how well your business is doing.  Fifteen minutes = 1% of your day. Per the Pareto Principle, theoretically that 1% of effort may be responsible for over 50% of your total results.  Automating manual searches across multiple “networks” (or boxes in the above analogy) is a 100x force multiplier.

Time is valuable – 15 minutes a day equates to over 90 hours a year, more than two full work weeks focused just on evaluating qualified “information.” Considering that “information” could include “who needs what you have” – in a timely manner, your competitiveness and marketability increases exponentially.

IF This Then That

IFTTT is an unbelievably powerful, extremely easy to use tool that can give you near NSA-level omniscience about… anything.

With “IF This Then That”  you define what you are looking for and if it happens – an “action” will be generated. That action could be to email you (and up to 4 more addresses), or any number of other options depending upon the specific you channels you define – Twitter, Blogger, Reddit, YouTube, Office 365 & Office Calendar, Instagram, DropBox, iOS and Android wearables, GE devices, even eBay and over 160 other different channels are available. The reverse is also possible, that is – if you do “x” then “y” will automatically happen.

Thus, if someone references you on Twitter, you can get an email about it; if someone posts a specific product on eBay, you can get notice of that, too. That’s just one option of many, depending on each channel you define.   IFTTT helps you spend less time searching for stuff and more time acting on relevant things.

Some of you may be familiar with Google Alerts — notifying you of whenever something new on the web matches your “key word” query is published.  That is just one of potentially thousands of applications IFTTT is able to deliver because it does the same thing for nearly 200 different channels including elements of the Internet of Things.

IFTTT was referred to me by HeroicSearch.com’s super innovative PR Team.  Their latest blog post has the potential to make you exponentially more effective with your work, your business, or anything else.  It is that good… if not better.

Project Manager at the Opera Mobile Store providing Sales-Marketing support. Content development and research.

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