The last time I wrote a post about IFTTT a few people sent along questions about how it might be used to back up photographs you take with a smartphone. I can understand this desire as I haven’t always transfered photos from my phone to my computer as often as I should have. Two years ago, I lost a phone to the Delaware river, and many vacation photos went with it. My now-in-place IFTTT recipes would have prevented the loss of images. Here’s how to set up an automatic backup of your mobile photos. You’ll want to download Evernote, Instagram and IFTTT. (As an additional step, Dropbox is optional.)
First, a quick look at the applications.
- An action step
- A project
- Reference material
Evernote holds my reference material. This is information that doesn’t require an action but might be useful in the future. Evernote stores information in “notes” that are gathered together in “notebooks.” As of this writing I have 44 notebooks and 263 notes. Some examples are “Books to Read,” “Erin’s Wedding” (my sister), “Gift Ideas” and “Receipts.”
In this case, I’ll create a notebook called “Instagram Backups.” It will hold all of my photos for me.
Evernote is available across nearly every platform, including Apple, Windows, iPhone/iPad and Android. I wouldn’t want to work without it.
The social photo-sharing app is owned by Facebook and on smartphones everywhere (it’s available for the iPhone and Android). It lets you take photos, apply a variety of artistic filters and share easily with family and friends. You can even note where you took a given photo. It’s useful and easy to use.
IFTTT (If This Then That) is the scripting tool I’ve mentioned previously. You can create helpful, automatic little “workflows” without having to know any code or specialized computer programming. It’s my favorite thing to come out of the Internet in a long time.
Putting It Together
The idea here is that IFTTT will notice when you snap a photo with Instagram and place a copy in Evernote for you. This creates a backup and makes that photo available to you across every device that’s running Evernote for you. To get it working, follow these steps.
- Log into IFTTT and enable the Instagram and Evernote channels.
- Click “Create a Recipe.” The “If this then that” prompt appears.
- Click “This” to choose the “trigger.” Navigate to Instagram and click it.
- Several options appear. Choose “A new photo by you” and then click “Create Trigger.”
- The prompt returns with Instragram in place of the “This.” Now, click “That.”
- The “Action Channel” list appears. Click “Evernote.”
- Select “Create image note from URL.” This will create a new note in Evernote with your photo attached.
- Several options appear. In the field labeled “Notebook,” enter the name of the notebook you created in Evernote. In my case, it’s “Instagram Backups.”
- Click “Create Action.”
The screen will look like this:
That’s it! Now, every time you shoot a photo with Instagram, a copy will be sent to Evernote automatically. Nice!
I mentioned that Dropbox was optional. (Dropbox is an online back up service for your computer. There are numerous online back up services available, this is just an example.) If you want to use it as your backup repository instead of Evernote, follow the steps above swapping Evernote for Dropbox (or whatever service you use). Or, make a second recipe with Dropbox to create two backup copies simultaneously. Have fun!