Improving System efficiencies is part of our ethos at Pro Drive and our very own Operations Director, Chris Morrell discovered a solution to one of the banes of his personal and working life (and we’re sure one that is a common frustration) – getting stuck in traffic!
I’ve been on a personal journey recently to become more productive, waste less time and do more. At Pro Drive we try to automate everything to make us more productive and give a better service to our customers. I wanted to bring some of that to my personal life.
One thing I hate is sitting in traffic, doesn’t everyone? As I commute through Woking on the A3 I’ve been doing that a lot recently. So I decided to find a way to get traffic reports that are relevant to my journey to my phone. I didn’t want to trawl through twitter or RSS feeds that may not have anything of use to me, or go looking for these reports, I wanted them to be sent to me whenever they happened.
Step forward IFTTT.com – if this then that. If you haven’t heard about this, essentially it allows you to create work flows using web based applications, phone applications, social media and communications tools. See our news article for more info.
What I did was create a “recipe” that scans the highways.gov traffic RSS feed for the South East and if one of their posts has “A3” in it an SMS is sent to my phone. I did the same for @getsurrey twitter feed.
Does it work? Well this morning I got a text at 6:50 saying that the A3 had one lane closed at Compton northbound. I did not go on the A3 and I did not get caught in the traffic jam that stretched from Woking to Hindhead. So yes I think it works.
How did I use my time that I didn’t sit in the traffic; I wrote this post so hopefully other people can save some time too.
If you want to use my “recipe’s” create an account on IFTTT.com (its free), connect the SMS and twitter channels and search for my recipe’s “A3 reports from @getsurey texted to you” “Traffic reports from Highways.gov RSS for A3 texted” and edit to suit your location.