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19 essential IFTTT recipes for Facebook

Back up your photos and statuses, motivate yourself to hit the gym, and automatically post statuses at key moments in your life.

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Sarah Jacobsson Purewal/CNET

Facebook is a huge time-suck. It's a lot of work, keeping your profile alive by updating statuses, liking people's photos and wishing everyone you went to high school with a happy birthday! But you can make your Facebook life easier, and way more efficient, by activating a few key IFTTT recipes.

IFTTT, or "IF This Then That," is an automation tool that lets you set up automatic actions to be performed in one app when triggered by a separate action in a different app. IFTTT connects a variety of apps, programs and devices together so you can use any action on one app/program/device to trigger any action on another app/program/device.

Note: IFTTT can't keep you from spending six hours a day browsing your ex's vacation photos, though -- that's on you!

Back up your photos

Admit it -- these days, you keep most of your photos in neat little albums...on Facebook. But it's not a bad idea to have a backup of those pictures, just in case you get locked out of your Facebook account, or you want to send them to people who don't have Facebook, or something. Luckily, you can use IFTTT recipes to back up your Facebook photos to the cloud storage service of your choice.

Dropbox users -- use this IFTTT recipe to save photos you upload to Facebook to Dropbox; use this IFTTT recipe to save photos you're tagged in to Dropbox.

Google Drive users -- use this IFTTT recipe to save photos you upload to Facebook to Google Drive; use this IFTTT recipe to save photos you're tagged in to Google Drive.

OneDrive users -- use this IFTTT recipe to save photos you upload to Facebook to OneDrive; use this IFTTT recipe to save photos you're tagged in to OneDrive.

Box users -- use this IFTTT recipe to save photos you upload to Facebook to Box; use this IFTTT recipe to save photos you're tagged in to Box.

Back up your statuses

If you want a log of your Facebook activity, you can always download a copy from Facebook's archive. Or you can keep a running log of status updates, links and profile changes in Evernote. This IFTTT recipe will let you keep a running diary of your status updates, so you never forget what you said (even if you ended up deleting it later). This IFTTT recipe will log only the links you share on Facebook -- handy if you share a lot of links, or if you like to go back and reference articles and videos that you post. And lastly, this IFTTT recipe keeps a running log of changes you make to your profile (e.g., updating your work info, relationship status and hometown).

Use Facebook as a workout partner

Need a little extra motivation to get yourself to the gym in the morning? Several activity trackers link up to IFTTT, which means you can use your social network as a...workout buddy, sort of. This IFTTT recipe will post your Fitbit activity summary as a Facebook status, this IFTTT recipe will post a status update to Facebook when you beat your weekly Nike+ running goal, and this IFTTT recipe will log your workouts on Jawbone UP to your Facebook timeline. If you don't mind sharing your weight with all your Facebook friends, this IFTTT recipe will post a status update for you when you drop below your goal weight on Withings Digital Body Scale .

Look like you're on top of things with automatic status updates

You've probably noticed that some people are just totally on top of things when it comes to status updates. They never miss a date, whether it's your birthday or May 4th. But is that because they're champions, or is it because they use IFTTT to automate their status updates?

Use this IFTTT recipe to wish everyone a "Happy New Year" at the stroke of midnight on January 1, even if you're otherwise occupied. This IFTTT recipe will scour your Google calendar and automatically wish people a happy birthday, while this IFTTT recipe automatically updates your Facebook status on May 4th to something like, "May the fourth be with you." Go ahead and use this IFTTT recipe to automatically thank people for wishing you a happy birthday with a day-after status update.