n8n - Automation for almost everything

· 3 min read
n8n - Automation for almost everything

Nowadays you can automate a lot. Not just your own home.
Also workflows that are executed when you write a new blog post, for example (like I do here, for example...).

There are tons of tools out there that can help you automate some of the tasks of everyday life, but many of them cost money, are no longer developed, or just don't have the feature set you want.

For example, IFTTT is a great tool that I've used for years to automate things that were inherently pretty stupid.
But for some time IFTTT can only be used to a limited extent.. At least if you want to use more than 5 applets.

Then you have to upgrade to the Pro Tier of IFTTT and pay €2.50 per month (for 20 applets) or €5 per month (unlimited applets).

Well.. That may not sound like a lot of money now, but it adds up over time.

So there must be an alternative!

n8n - Automate without limits

n8n is the free and open source alternative to IFTTT, which runs in my home lab at home.

It offers a large number of integrations that are also available in IFTTT, but has no integrations to control devices such as Nuki or Philips Hue, for example.
But that's not a problem either, because with n8n you can easily write your own integrations (also called nodes) based on JavaScript and TypeScript.

Workflows for everything

Workflows for everything

There are already some workflows that you can easily use, for example to keep your Gmail inbox clean or to create simple API endpoints. There is a whole range of ready-to-use samples to view and launch.

A simple example: Ghost

I use Ghost for this website - a free blog CMS based on NodeJS.

There are already some integrations in Ghost but none to easily publish my published posts to other networks like Twitter, LinkedIn or even to Medium.

So I built a simple workflow that can do just that and that I can trigger from Ghost with a webhook.

Multipost Workflow

The structure is as follows:

  • I am publishing a new post on Ghost
  • Ghost sends a payload to an n8n webhook
  • n8n processes this payload and passes it on to Ghost's node
  • The node gets the information from the post using the ID and distributes it to Medium (full post), LinkedIn, Telegram and Twitter.

I'll show you how it all looks inside n8n:

There are no limits for your creativity

You can automate almost everything with n8n. Even mundane things like backing up workflows to GitHub.
There are absolutely no limits to creativity.

In the near future I will invest some more time together with my friend Marco to get the best out of n8n and to report about it.

Maybe we will also write one or the other node, which we will then share on GitHub. Who knows.

Until then, have fun automating!