Integrating Buffer into your iPad Twitter workflow

Frustrated that you can’t use Buffer from within your media consumption apps? Zite? Instapaper?

Read on to learn how to integrate Buffer into your info-pr0n apps for easy one-click, queued tweets.

Buffer is a web service that lets you schedule your tweets so they are published at pre-set times throughout the day.
Buffer schedules your tweets

I regularly read Zite and Flipboard in the morning and retweet anything I find interesting. At night, it’s time for Instapaper. While browsing throughout the day I use the Buffer bookmarklet to make sure my tweets go into my publish queue. No such luck when using Zite, Flibpoard or Instapaper since they’re not integrated with Buffer.

So I end up publishing a ton of info early in the morning and late at night, which may not be the best approach.

How can I use Buffer from within Zite, Instapaper and Flipboard if it’s not integrated into them?

I’ve found a nice workaround using a web service called IFTTT (ifttt.com – If This, Then That) that allows you to create a workflow using a number of web apps, such as Delicious, Instapaper, Gmail, etc. [Hit me up for invites if you want to try it.]

The idea is to create a one-click workflow that allows you to share content through your Buffer queue without having to re-format e-mails, copy, paste or any extra steps you might be needing at the moment.

ifttt puts the internet to work for you by creating tasks that fit this simple structure:Using IFTTT to integrate Buffer with your iPad twitter workflowThink of all the things you could do if you were able to define any task as: when something happens (this) then do something else (that).

My IFTTT setup:

I’ve created two tasks that solve the Buffer issue for Zite and Instapaper.

I’ve connected IFTTT to my Delicious account, my Instapaper account and my Gmail account.

There’s 3 bits of magic that help make this happen:

  1. Instapaper offers an RSS feed of your liked items.
  2. Zite posts to your Delicious account using a via:zite tag.
  3. Buffer offers you an email address where you can send your tweets to queued.

Now, on IFTTT create two tasks:

1. Send Delicious bookmarks from Zite to Buffer:

if [there’s a new bookmark tagged via:zite in your Delicious account] then [send an e-mail with the bookmark from your Gmail account to Buffer’s e-mail address]

Now all you need to do to share articles from within the Zite app is click on the Save to Delicious button.

2. Send liked Instapaper items to Buffer:

Using IFTTT to integrate Buffer with your iPad twitter workflowUse a New feed item from channel to check your Instapaper Liked Items feed.

if [there are new items on your Instapaper liked feed] then [send an e-mail with the article from your Gmail account to Buffer’s e-mail address].

You’ll find your Instapaper Liked Items feed at the bottom of your Instapaper Liked page, where it says This folder’s RSS.

Just like any article in Instapaper and off it goes into your Buffer queue (please note that Instapaper takes a while to refresh your RSS feed, so this may not be instantaneous – not that it matters, since you’re queuing them for later anyway).

In both cases, set the e-mail’s subject to the title of the bookmark/article ({{title}}) and the body to the url ({{url}}). You can edit to your liking to add additional info to your tweets.

For Flipboard, we can take advantage that Buffer’s email address begins with “add” and the emails are formatted in a way that plays nice with Buffer. Simply select Email Link, begin typing “add” until autocomplete shows the Buffer address (usually at the top) and send away. (The reason I don’t use this same approach with Zite is that Zite truncates the article title when e-mailing).

There you go. Buffer integrated with my most-used info-pr0n apps. Sweet.

Use this link to create your own Buffer account and receive one extra tweet space in your buffer: http://bufferapp.com/r/e32e1

How do you integrate Buffer into your daily workflow? Let me know in the comments.

And if you enjoyed this post, please retweet it and follow me on Twitter @cgranier.

  • can i get an IFTTT invite ?  Thanks for the great article!

  • Am31

    Hi Carlos,
    Greetings from Australia, and thanks for both the IfTTT invite and this excellent post. I had no problems creating the first task -delicious- zite – buffer. It’s working beautifully. But I’m struggling with task 2 and I am a massive flipboard fan and want to get this right. I Set up the instapaper channel but when I came to set up the task instapaper doesn’t show up as an option. Any suggestions?

  • Hi. I think I missed this step in the article, but you have to add the Instapaper channel to your account first (http://ifttt.com/channels).

    Let me know if that solves your issues.

  • Sure thing. Send me your email address (via http://red66.com/contact/) and I’ll send an invite right out.

  • Am31

    Hi Carlos, yes the channel was activated. I’ve double checked it says it’s status is active. But it still doesn’t show up as an option in create task. Thanks anne

  • Oops… just figured it out.

    You don’t add the Instapaper channel to the task, but an RSS feed item (If new feed from item…) and then add the RSS to your Instapaper Liked feed.

    Go to your Instapaper Liked page (http://www.instapaper.com/liked) and scroll down to the bottom. At the far right of the footer you’ll see an RSS icon that says “This folder’s RSS.”

    Copy that link and plug it into the “If new feed from item” channel.

    Let me know if this works.

  • I’ve updated the article to clarify this point.

  • Indifferent1

    This is real good, but how do you designate which account in Buffer you want the Delicious zite tagged bookmark to go?

  • Buffer allows you to indicate which account to use. Check out their guide at http://bufferapp.com/guides/email

    Let me know if this answers your question.