Keep easy track of travel and meeting expenses: an IFTTT recipe for receipts

Ever sat surrounded by a heap of expenses and wondered:

  • Where was I that day?
  • Why don’t I keep a better diary?
  • Who was I meeting?

You might not. If, like me, you find yourself stumped when finally doing your expenses, I have found a great and incredibly easy, solution.

Foursquare, IFTTT and Google Calendar.

I use Foursquare a lot. And I run my life, badly, by Google Calendar.

IFTTT stands for “If this then that”. It lets you put the internet to work for you, with an simple interface. You can literally tell it – “when this happens, I want you to do this”. And it does.

I made a new calendar called “Locations”. You could call it anything you like. Then, I set up an account with IFTTT and used the following recipe which sends my check-in on Foursquare to my “Locations” calendar on Google –

Now, when I travel for work – get on a train for example, or arrive at a meeting venue, I check-in off-grid (you can go off grid by not picking any sharing options when you check-in) and I add a tag such as “travelling to meet so-and-so” or “lunch with so-and-so”.

The bonus is that I still get my points, and I don’t hack folk off by posting my status every 2 minutes. But – off-grid check-ins only unlock badges or gain points, they do not unlock mayorships.

The check-ins appear on my google calendar within minutes, with the tags clearly visible.

I could always fill in my calendar myself, but where would be the fun in that?

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