How to track Robinhood stocks using IFTTT, Launch Center Pro, and Workflow

I recently began using Robinhood to purchase and sell stocks. I love Robinhood, as it offers a 100% free, legite, no-gimmick way to buy and sell stock (they make their money from interest on uninvested funds), but I wanted to put my purchases into a spreadsheet so I could track them easier. Typing that data in automatically would be a pain, and I didn’t want to do it with every transaction. Fortunately, Robinhood sends a confirmation email with the details of each transaction, so, with the magic of IFTTT, Launch Center Pro, Workflow, and Google Sheets, I was able to create a workflow that does this automatically with one tap.

Here’s the overview:

  1. An IFTTT recipe finds the Robinhood email and sends the text to Launch Center Pro
  2. Launch Center Pro gives me a notification on my phone that, when tapped, sends the text into Workflow
  3. Workflow parses the email into variables for date, stock symbol, stock price, purchase/sale, calculates the total value, and sends it to IFTTT
  4. IFTTT then places the data into a Google spreadsheet where I can do what I please with the data

In detail, here’s what that looks like:

Gmail to IFTT

IFTTT is able to look at Gmail and search for specific criteria to match in an email. Using a search for emails from Robinhood  (notifications@robinhood.com) which contain the subject heading “Your order has been executed,” I am able to get the recipe to trigger only on emails containing a Robinhood sale/purchase. (If you don’t use Gmail, the Workflow portion below will still work, which you can access via share extension. Since Mail.app doesn’t support such an extension, I recommend Dispatch or Airmail).

Next, IFTTT sends that data to Launch Center Pro. By setting up a custom URL scheme that treats the text of the email as a variable, I can use IFTTT to send the text to my device via Launch Center Pro (available for iPhone and iPad).

You can download this IFTTT recipe here. See notes below on how to insert the name of your Workflow into the scheme

Bonus tip: Set up a Gmail filter to automatically mark the email as read and file it so you don’t have to.

Launch Center Pro to Workflow

The IFTTT recipe is set up to give you a Launch Center Pro notification as part of the recipe (note: this is different than an IF notification when the recipe is run. You don’t need that). When you tap the notification, it will trigger the URL scheme which will open Workflow to the correct flow and pass the email text in as input.

To get the URL scheme to fire correctly, you will need to have the app Workflow (HIGHLY recommended) and download this flow.

You will need to insert the name of the Workflow on your device into the custom IFTTT custom URL scheme. I’ve found the easiest thing to do is to export the flow into Launch Center Pro and then copy the name from the Launch Center Pro action edit screen. Copy that into the IFTTT recipe in between the “name=“ and the “&input=“ indicators. On my device, the IFTTT custom URL scheme looks like this: workflow://run-workflow?name=Parse%20Stocks&id=941783C6-FA16-40FC-9775-5E9AF7C90702&input=(({{BodyPlain}}))

Workflow to IFTTT

As part of the Club MacStories newsletter (which is awesome, BTW), Federico Viticci made me a flow for the app Workflow that uses regex to isolate the variables, do some price calculations based on the data, and then preps it for my IFTTT recipe based on whether it was a stock purchase or sale.

In the last action, Workflow triggers IFTTT. To get that to work, you’ll have to set up the IFTTT recipe below and connect it to the workflow.

You can download the Workflow flow here.

IFTTT to Google Sheets

Workflow sends the data to IFTTT which can then uses this recipe to enter that data into a Google Drive Sheets spreadsheet. This recipe is set up to input 8 different variables into a Google Spreadsheet: Date, stock symbol, number of shares bought, average price of purchased shares, total price of purchased shares, number of shares sold, average price of sold shares, and total price of sold shares. The workflow is set up to correctly put the data into the right column. Here’s an example of the spreadsheet I use, but you can adapt it however you want. Just make sure to change the IFTTT recipe and the workflow to send the data to the right place.

You can download the IFTTT recipe here
You can see the Google Sheet here

Conclusion

That’s it! Once you install all the pieces, each time you buy or sell a stock with Robinhood, you will get a notification and, with one tap, you can enter that information into a spreadsheet to analyze to your hearts content!

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All download links:
* Robinhood app
* IFTTT app
* IFTTT recipe from Gmail to Launch Center Pro
* Launch Center Pro for iPhone OR Launch Center Pro for iPad
* Workflow app
* Workflow flow
* IFTTT recipe from Workflow to Google Sheets
* Google Drive Sheets app
* Sheets spreadsheet example

On the FBI, Apple, and encryption

The last few months have seen this blog remarkably silent as I have taken a double full-time load at graduate school and work three jobs–there simply has not been time to write amidst everything else going on. And despite the fact that my workload this week is even busier than normal, I am writing now because I believe every voice is needed to ensure the current debate regarding encryption is won.

My purpose is not to summarize what has currently happened. Others have ably done that. Nor is it my purpose to make a strident case for why encryption is important or why it is an absolute issue. Others have done that admirably well, including a humorous, if somewhat crude, presentation by John Oliver.

Rather, my purpose is to ask you to take 10 minutes of your day to do five simple things:1

  1. Sign The White House We The People petition asking the government to halt its efforts to create encryption backdoors.
  2. Comment on The White House’s request for comment on strong encryption. Copy your comments here and you can re-use them for #3 and #4.
  3. Contact Senator Burr and express your concerns about his legislation to require encryption backdoors.
  4. Contact Senator Feinstein and express your concerns about her legislation to require encryption backdoors.
  5. Share this article with your sphere of influence. Use the social media buttons at the bottom. Every voice counts. 

I believe the strongest argument we can make to government officials is that our security as a nation is greater when we have encryption protecting everything. After all, the number of people harmed from identity theft, blackmail, and economic/military espionage is far greater than the number harmed from the evils of terrorism or child pornography. Yes, the harm from those is catastrophic to a few, but the harm from the former affects tens of millions more in ways that can be just as devastating, resulting in deaths as lifelong psychological and emotional scarring.

Here is a copy of my letter for your inspiration.

Senators Feinstein and Burr,

Since encryption stands between everyone and my intensely personal data and since that data is either fully encrypted or not, the proposed legislation that you have proposed is deeply worrisome to me.

I understand that the government has a legitimate need to access the data of criminals, but the process of weakening encryption exposes that data to all kinds of criminals and identity thieves. Since such deeply personal information is contained on our phones–everything from the location of our children to our medicine prescriptions to intimate photos to all my financial information to business secrets–it is vital that all of the information remain encrypted so that it may not be accessed by anyone, criminals, employers, identity thieves, paparazzi, blackmailers, and the government. Since data is either encrypted or not, the issue is an absolute binary situation: if data is accessible to one of those parties, it would inevitably be or become accessible to all.

I understand that this would mean some serious crimes may be committed and unsolved and that terrorist attacks may be easier to plan. However, given the massive amount of identity theft in the US, economically-movitated cyberattacks, and the fact that the government’s own systems have been compromised by foreign countries, I believe the US will be safer with strong encryption than with weakened encryption.

Thank you for your consideration,

Mark Miller

Doing those four things will not take more than 10 minutes of your time and will ensure that your voice is heard. Yes, the emails are unlikely to be read by anyone who has voting power, but they do matter. Take 10 minutes today and make your voice heard!

You can subscribe to markdmill.com via RSSTumblr or by following MarkDMill on Twitter.

1. Thanks to Daniel Dilger at AppleInsider for these last three ideas. I copy them here, not to claim originality, but to reach my audience which differs from his.↩️

Watchscreen: Bernard Desarnauts, CEO of Wristly Apple Watch research

desarnauts-apps

In this watchscreen series, I ask someone to share their watchscreen, examining how they’re using Apple Watch, what apps are useful, and any tips or tricks they have. This week, I’ve asked Bernard Desarnauts (Twitter) to share his screen.

desarnauts-headBernard has tremendous experience with new-market products and is the CEO and co-founder of Wristly.co, a market research company dedicated to Apple Watch. If you have an Apple Watch and have not yet joined their research panel, I highly recommend that you join! Each week they survey over 2,000 Apple Watch owners and their data was cited by Tim Cook. If you have not read their insights on Apple Watch, I highly recommend you do. They are consistently fascinating.

So, Bernard, show us your watchscreen!

Why did you decide to get an Apple Watch?

I had been wearing a Fitbit wrist-based activity tracker for over two years and was sold on the benefits of it for my own personal lifestyle. I am like many, positively motivated by seeing my real time activity progress towards my goals. So once Apple announced the Watch in Sept 2014, I had not doubt that I would procure one immediately and actually more importantly I left my job at the time and began fleshing out business and product ideas around it.

What watch/band combination(s) do you use and why?

I have the 42m Apple Watch and the classic black Classic Buckle band. Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 22.27.35Unlike many others Ihaven’t bought any other band yet. However I had to replace mine once due to some unusual blemish and Apple took care of it no problem.

How is Apple Watch fitting into your life?

I think that has been the biggest revelation of all regarding the Apple Watch, you actually measure your satisfaction with the Watch as much or more for that you actually do not notice it but if you go without it, you are missing it. As we uncovered as early as June, the Watch is really not about “killer features and functions” but much more about many moments of individual and personal delights. So to answer your question more directly, the Watch fits in my everyday life seamlessly. I even took it to a beach vacation and swam with it every day. While it is not “water proof” it is “water resistant” and perfectly fine for casual exposition to water beyond showers etc.

What watch faces and complications are you using and why?

desarnauts-faceI played a lot with these faces in the first week but very quickly settled on my current face with date, temperature, moon cycle and activity complications. I also added my monogram which is one of my delightful feature of the watch. Seeing the Hermes watchscreen is a testament of where Apple is going with this capability.

What Glances do you use and why?

I have very few Glances active. It’s been well reported that the quality of 3rd party apps is very low due to the OS constraints. This will change also hopefully with the new OS.

What notifications do you receive on Apple Watch and why?

I keep these to a minimum as well. I usually opt out for all notifications from any new app until I realize I need it. As a result, very few apps beyond messaging and calendaring make it for me. From a news standpoint I only kept the notifications from the Guardian, timely and beautifully designed.

How are you using Apple Watch’s health and fitness features?

I check my heart rate out of curiosity but am religious about my activity rings. I also use the default Apple Workout app to track my biking. Currently I can’t run any longer as I have a knee in need of surgery.

How do you organize your apps and why?

desarnauts-apps

Ha ha – watch app face has been a fun side project for us at Wristly. We actually built a prototype of a Watch app that we called WatchShots and I own the domain. We thought – as people do with their Smartphone that there would be a cottage industry of designing these faces but also more importantly sharing them to suggest app usage. So far, 3rd party apps and the very low usage of them hasn’t taken off.

I have organized my Watch face (which btw I access not very frequently) as a regular shape and I’ve positioned my most frequently used apps in the edges…

[And for those of you who are OCD about the two apps missing…Bernard is just a tweet away]

What Apple Watch apps are you using most and why?

Besides Activity, Workout, I use Fantastical a lot as well as the Passbook app. Occasionally the timer app too.

[Other apps on Bernard’s watchscreen that may interest you: Twitterrific, Overcast podcast player, MiniStats data tracker, Authy, and 1Password]

What app do you think best leverages the uniqueness of Apple Watch? Why?

The timer is a great example of a beautifully designed super simple app. It works.

What apps have you discovered that others may not know about?

I am a fan of printed photo books and I am using a very cool app for that called PictYear. With PictYear I can create a shared album with friends and together we decide the best shots, organize them and then simply get them printed at a click of a button. The companion Watch app makes it quick to review and add the photo to your common album. This is a great and fun way to make keepsakes from fun week-end trips or other special events in our lives.

What app would you like that you don’t have yet?

We are working on a couple of App ideas… one of them would fit in that category but we’re not ready to share more on this yet.

If you could change only one thing about Apple Watch, what would you change?

I think I would change the name of it. I think by calling it a Watch, Apple has created a mis-positioning for this product. It is really not about being a Watch in my opinion nor is it about being a small screen for notifications. The watch for me combines the brains of the smartphone with the awareness of the real world.

What are some tips or tricks that you’ve picked up that others may not know about?

If you have clumsy fingers and have a hard time to start an app from the honeycomb, simply move it so that the app you want is in the center and then wheel the Digital Crown to open it.

What are other thoughts you have about Apple Watch as informed by your research at Wristly?

It’s really liked if not loved by normal people and misunderstood by the Silicon Valley and other tech pundits. I’d predict we will start seeing a wave of innovation around it shortly

Anything else you’d like to share?

Once again would love to suggest to your readers who have the Apple Watch to join our research project and add their voice! Thank you in advance.

Thanks Bernard (Twitter)! If you enjoyed this, I do highly recommend you check out Wristly (Web, Twitter), read Wristly’s Insights and, if you have an Apple Watch, join his research project! I’ve really enjoyed the surveys each week and they take less than 5 minutes to do.

Check back  for another watchscreen or look now at previous watchscreens. You can subscribe to this site via RSS, Tumblr or by following MarkDMill on Twitter.

If you enjoyed this, you might also want to check out some of my top-rated reviews of Apple Watch:

Recommended App: CopyFeed

Every so often, I recommend an app that I think belongs on anyone’s iPhone or Apple Watch. Today I’m recommending CopyFeed, the best clipboard manager for iOS that I’ve ever used. There are many clipboard managers, but CopyFeed stripped away everything to its bare essence to create an incredibly fast and easy way to manager multiple clips.

CopyFeed makes it incredibly easy to get data into it: just go to the CopyFeed widget and it automatically stores the text without you needing to do anything else. There’s also an action extension for more situations. To get back at something you previously copied, go back to the widget; when you tap the text, it copies it back to the clipboard. No need to switch apps, no need to switch keyboards (though it has one too!) and you can juggle copying multiple pieces of information simultaneously without pain and without fuss.

I’ve used other clipboard managers before, but CopyFeed blows them all out of the water for its ease and simplicity of design. Get CopyFeed today for just $1.99. It’s worth every penny for all the double-clicking and tapping it will save you.
link-badge-appstore_2x

App Recommendation: CopyFeed

copyfeed

Every so often, I recommend an app that I think belongs on anyone’s iPhone or Mac. Today I’m recommending CopyFeed, the best clipboard manager for iOS that I’ve ever used. There are many clipboard managers out there, but CopyFeed stripped away everything to its bare essence to create an incredibly fast and easy way to manager multiple clips.

CopyFeed makes it incredibly easy to get data into it: just go to the CopyFeed widget and it automatically stores the text without you needing to do anything else. There’s also an action extension for more situations. To get back at something you previously copied, go back to the widget; when you tap the text, it copies it back to the clipboard. No need to switch apps, no need to switch keyboards (though it has one too!) and you can juggle copying multiple pieces of information simultaneously without pain and without fuss. Buy CopyFeed for the Mac and not only will it enable easy clipboard management on your Mac, it will also sync your clipboards between your Mac and iOS devices.

I’ve used other clipboard managers before, but CopyFeed blows them all out of the water for its ease and simplicity of design. Download CopyFeed today for just $1.99 in the iOS or Mac App Stores (see below). It’s worth every penny for all the double-clicking and tapping it will save you.

link-badge-appstore_2x

Update 11/3: Due to some bugs I’ve found in the Mac app, I am putting my recommendation for the Mac app on hold. I’ve been in touch with the developer and fixes are in the works; I’ll update this post if they solve the issues and I can again recommend the Mac app. I still do highly recommend the iOS app.

For more app recommendations, daily tweets of curated apps on sale, and analysis of the tech sector, subscribe to markdmill.com via RSSTumblr or by following MarkDMill on Twitter. Continue reading