Automating Instagram Posts into DayOne

After MacSparky featured my home screen, I was contacted by several folks who were interested in my Instagram and DayOne workflows. I love DayOne and use it constantly to chronicle my life (read why I recommend it so much). I found, however, that if something was important enough I posted it to Instagram, I would also want to post it to DayOne. Doing that each time takes a lot of repetitive steps, so I looked at methods of automating the task on the Mac. These methods, unfortunately, are rather complex, so I set out to do it myself on iOS. There are three ways below that can help you do this.The best solution by far is the third, but depending on what apps you own or want to buy, you may choose to do it differently.

(If you don’t already use Instagram or DayOne, I’d highly recommend both. You can download Instagram here and DayOne here). 

Option One: Instagram to IF to Reminders (optionally to Things)

My first thought was to use IF (formerly IFTTT) to automate the tasks. While IF has hooks into Instagram, it doesn’t yet have hooks into DayOne, so I had to be creative. The first recipe I wrote simply creates a reminder to import the photo into DayOne. A reminder was helpful, as I often forgot what I had posted. Since the task managers Things and OmniFocus automatically import Reminders as tasks, you’ll never miss a photo. But while this automates my forgetfulness away, inputting the photo was still manual. I wasn’t satisfied.

Option 1 details:

Option 2: Instagram to IF to Launch Center Pro to DayOne

The second recipe I developed uses Launch Center Pro (LCP; highly recommended if you don’t have it) and URL schemes to automate the task. This is far better than the above solution as it automated far more: it sends a notification that, when you touch it, opens LCP which in turn opens DayOne and pre-populates the journal entry with the image caption. That is far better, though still requires you to manually add the picture since DayOne’s URL scheme only supports adding images via clipboard. Adding an image manually is not a huge problem as you can set up Instagram to save your posts in a separate album.

Option 2 details:

Note: IF polls Instagram only every 15 minutes, so the LCP notification may be delayed by that much. For this reason, I recommend allowing 10 LCP notifications in the Notification Center so you don’t miss any.

Option 3: Workflow to Instagram and DayOne

I was reasonably pleased with this level of automation, but I decided to see if I might be able to use Workflow instead. Workflow is the most powerful and yet simple iOS app I’ve ever seen (read why I highly recommend it here). I wrote a Workflow that will both an image and caption to both Instagram and Workflow. It works flawlessly, with the only limitation being you have to remember to use it instead of going to Instagram first. I use this workflow so often that I’ve added it as an icon on my homescreen so I can do this with one tap.

Option 3 details:

Note: to download workflows you must visit the site on your iOS device. One thing I love about Workflow is how flexibly powerful it is; the above workflow only posts to Instagram and DayOne, but here are others that might interest you:

I hope one of these options works for you and enables you to preserve memories better in DayOne!

If you enjoyed this, you’ll probably enjoy the different app recommendations I make. You may also want to follow MarkDMill on Twitter where I curate a list of the best apps on sale each day.

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 Recommended App: Workflow

Every so often, I recommend an app that I think belongs on anyone’s iPhone or Apple Watch. Today I’m recommending Workflow, the app I mentioned in this post. If it interested you at all, you absolutely should get it. Workflow, an 2015 Apple Design Award winner, is an app so incredible, I can’t believe it exists. It’s designed it with a brilliantly simple, yet immensely powerful, way of combining actions together to do things that would be tedious otherwise. In addition to automating my Instagram posts into DayOne, here’s a few other things that Workflow does for me:

  • For some reason, Siri is unable to understand the command “Give me directions to my next meeting.” No worries–using Workflow’s new Today widget (or the Apple Watch Glance!), I can launch a Workflow that finds the location of my next event and gets driving directions. So, with one tap as I leave, I’m good to go.
  • Multiple days a week, I tweet a curated list of terrific App Deals (like these)–I have a workflow that gets the app URL, adds in prices, and sends out the Tweet with the hashtag #AppDeals so that my Twitter followers can get the best deals.

If you do anything on your iPhone that is even slightly repetitive, chances are that you can automate those tasks with Workflow, giving you time back. If this sounds too geeky for you, don’t worry–they have an incredible gallery of workflows that are already made that you can just download!

Workflow is one of the best apps you could ever get and has the highest recommendation I can give–it is that good. Workflow is a universal app and just $4.99 in the App Store. For half an hour of work at minimum wage (or the price of a coffee!), you can save hours of time and loads of hassle, saving you from those repetitive things you hate.
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