Imagine being able to tell Siri to create a task in Astrid for you. The conversation might go something like this:
“Siri, tell Astrid: pick up groceries.”
“Here’s your message. Ready to send it?”
“OK, I’ll send your message.”
A few minutes later, you open Astrid.com on your laptop to find the task “Pick up groceries” in a special list called “Inbox.”
Since the day Siri was announced for iOS, our users have been asking for an integration, but it isn’t simple. Though Astrid hasn’t integrated with Siri, you can quickly achieve a workaround today using IFTTT, Gmail, and Astrid’s email-to-task feature. Here’s how to do it.
1. Set up your IFTTT account
First, create an IFTTT account. Then activate the SMS and the Gmail channels. Make sure the Gmail account you’re activating is the one that’s associated with your Astrid account. If not, log into astrid.com and add the email address in the settings page.
2. Create your Siri integration recipe
We’ve created a recipe already, so all you have to do is visit the recipe page. Type in firstname.lastname@example.org in the To address field then click Use Recipe.
By default, this recipe adds your task to a list called “Inbox.” The nice thing about using IFTTT is you can automatically add meta data to tasks created through Siri. For example, simply add !!! to the subject line to make all tasks highest priority be default or add (today) to make all tasks due today. For more key words, see our post: Key words for creating tasks.
3. Set up your phone
Go to your SMS Channel to find your IFTTT phone number — then add it as a contact on your phone. Use “Astrid” as the first name and “Tasks” as the last name. While you’re at it, go ahead and add email@example.com as the email address.
In my tests, it took a little while for Siri to register this, so you may have to wait a bit before she will start taking your commands properly.
Now you’re all set up. Hold down the home button on your iPhone and summon Siri. Use the phrase “Tell Astrid…” followed by your task. You can also say “Text Astrid” and wait for Siri to ask you what you want to message Astrid.
Once Siri sends Astrid your task, IFTTT will trigger an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your task in the subject, along with instructions to add the task to a list called “Inbox.” Astrid’s robots will then process the email and create a task that you can access on all your devices that use Astrid.
So why not just ask Siri to email email@example.com directly?
When you’re on the go and using Siri, you want to the experience to be fast. The email route has two speed bumps. First, Siri asks for both the subject and body when sending an email, but you really only need the subject (Astrid’s email-to-task feature uses the subject as the task title and body as notes). Second, using the SMS number allows us to build in special instructions to add tasks to a specific list — without having to fuss with getting Siri to type “#Inbox.” However, you do get charged for text messages, so you may want to send emails instead if that’s a concern.