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Using IFTTT and Twitter to receive location alert on iOS devices

yven says:
I like to have tasks without due dates. This is convenient for stuff that are not important but needs to be done when you are around a certain area.
I also like to receive notifications when ever I am around a place with tasks that needs to be done. The native iOS Reminder app have this feature, but the app is not nearly as powerful as RTM in other ways.

This tip shows a workaround so that you can receive location alerts on an iOS-device using IFTTT, Twitter and Smartlists in RTM.
IFTTT is a powerful tool making you able to automate all kinds of tasks. This recipe is just one of 17 I use with RTM to ease my workflow.

Before we start: Make sure you have activated your Twitter account for RTM. More information here:

Setting up your Smartlists

We want a Smartlist showing all the following:
- tasks without a due date in an certain area
- tasks that are due today in that area

Make a search with at least the following criteria: due:today AND due:never AND location:"your location" and save it as a Smartlist.

Search: due:today AND due:never AND location:"The Beach"
Saved as "The Beach"

This will make a Smartlist with the name "The Beach" showing all tasks without due date, tasks due today and located at The Beach.

The Smartlist wil also make sure you don't receive alerts about tasks that are due in the future.
Note: You can also add dueBefore:now to receive alerts about overdue tasks in that area.

Setting up IFTTT

First you need to enable the "iOS Location Channel" and "Twitter Channel".

1. Create a recipe using "iOS Location" (or use the one I have shared at the bottom of the tip) and select "You enter an area".
2. Find the area you want to geofence and select "Create Trigger"
3. Select "Twitter" and "Post a tweet"
4. Under "What’s happening?" you write: dm @rtm !getlist Smartlist (in my case The Beach).
5. Select "Create Action" and you are all set!

You will now receive a tweet from RTM with all the task designated to the chosen area as you enter it.
Just make sure you are set up to receive push notifications from your Twitter client.

In my case the tweet from RTM would look something like this:

The Beach (2): 1. Go for a swim
2. Put on sunscreen (12.00)
3. Buy ice cream (14.00)

If you enter an area where you have no tasks you simply get this message:

The Beach: no tasks

Here is the recipe:

Posted at 7:56pm on March 8, 2014
(closed account) says:
Did this stop working for others? It seems that the twitter channel won't send direct messages anymore. I contacted IFTTT and they are looking into it.
Posted 6 years ago
julianlaurie says:
Do you have other recipes you could share?
Posted 5 years ago
eopeters says:
This strategy still works but requires slightly different syntax for the Twitter direct message. Using "d" instead of "dm" for the Twitter command and NO "@" sign preceding the recipient username (i.e., "rtm") was what worked for me today - for example,

d rtm !getlocation Home

returns a tweet of all tasks having the location "Home".
Posted 4 years ago
raymond.bergmark Power Poster says:
Excellent method, I have tried to get this by using iOS reminders, this is better!

Just a small remark, the search above should be
(due:today OR due:never) AND location:"The Beach"
Posted 4 years ago
raymond.bergmark Power Poster says:
Tried this a little more, works great!

What I like about it is that it's possible to get a (short) list of tasks based on either:
!getlist (regular or smart lists)

Other systems can only retreive lists, in order to get that to work a large number of (smart) lists have to be used. This is a lot better!
If you ask me, this tip is clearly worthy of a Tip&Trix tuesday mention, even though it's rather technical and uses an additional service.
Posted 4 years ago
eopeters says:
This method, which AFAICT was the only method to get iOS location alerts, no longer works for me now that Twitter has deprecated direct messaging from statuses.

Are there any plans to finally fix location alerting on iOS, or is it, sadly, time to move to a new service ?
Posted 3 years ago
eopeters says:
I have successfully modified this trick to work by using Location + Gmail in IFTTT to send the !getlocation command to Twitter via

Tweetymail will have to be authorized to access your Twitter account and you will have to have an authorized Gmail send account in IFTTT.

After that, the Gmail message IFTTT is sending will have be formatted like this:

subject: @rtm
body: !getlocation [RTM Location Name].

Good luck.
Posted 3 years ago
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