AUTOMATE TASKS ON YOUR PC
Meet Ellp – the new program that reads your mind
Ellp is billed as a rival to IFTTT (If This Then That, ifttt.com), but it offers better Windows integration and lets you quickly automate a number of everyday tasks via its growing selection of ready-made ‘cards’ (37 at the time of writing). These perform actions such as cleaning up files you’ve accidentally downloaded twice; displaying a warning if your email address is involved in a data breach; opening a Youtube playlist when you plug in your headphones; and freeing up space when your hard drive is almost full. You can choose the tasks you want to use (they are sorted into categories), and edit them to suit your needs.
Ellp is currently still in beta but we found it to be stable and problem-free.
1The first time you run Ellp, you’ll be prompted to enter your name or nickname, although you can skip this step if you wish. You’ll also be given the option to get early access to future Ellp cards by entering your email address. The program then loads a selection of popular cards. 1
2The bar at the top lets you view the newest additions 1 or explore the cards by category. 2 The choices on offer are All, Productivity, Performance, Security and Entertainment. 3 Browse the selection of cards until you find one that sounds interesting, then click it to find out more.
3Each card offers a statement, with the action to perform in bold. For example, ‘When my Recycle Bin is filling up, keep it clean.’ You will often have the option to edit a selected task, such as specifying how old items in the bin need to be. 1 Click Activate Card 2 to action the task.
4The sidebar on the right provides handy information and tips, such as the number of other people using a particular card. A congratulations message appears when you activate your first task and it suggests cards that other people use. 1 Edit the task or deactivate it by clicking Turn Off Card. 2
5Ellp has lots of Pc-specific options. Under Productivity, there are cards that can be used to organise a crowded Desktop, 1 remind you when it’s time to take a break, 2 and launch your favourite application when Windows starts. 3 If you use a laptop, Ellp can alert you when a new Wi-fi network is detected.
6The Security section has cards that tell you when your email has been involved in a security breach, 1 so you’re prompted to change your password on the affected site. You can add multiple email addresses. You can also have the software perform a privacy clean-up 2 at specific times of the day.
7The Entertainment section offers cards that mute playing sound when you unplug your headphones; 1 open the Youtube website when you plug them in; 2 or alert you when the International Space Station passes overhead. 3 Downloaded movies 4 or music 5 can be moved to preferred folders.
8Ellp can also change your Desktop wallpaper whenever a specified site (such as Reddit Earth, NASA Image of the Day or Bing) posts a new image, 1 and download photos from Facebook that you’ve been tagged in. 2 If you like to leave your PC on overnight, Ellp can mute the sound when it’s time for bed.
MY CARDS All the cards you’ve activated can be viewed here for easy access LIGHT A yellow light appears underneath any active cards, so you can see at a glance which ones are in use COLOUR CODING The cards are all colour coded – Productivity is blue, Performance is red, Security is orange and Entertainment is purple SETTINGS COG Click the cog to enter a name or nickname, and add an email address