Tip for busy single working women–cool reminder system

How many times have you thought, while driving your car, “oh, darn, I forgot to…”? And of course, you can’t type on your cell phone (assuming you have gotten one of those with a keyboard that receives email, and if you haven’t, consider doing so–it will revolutionize your life) because you’re driving.

Sometimes I’ve called myself at my office and left a reminder message to do the forgotten thing. But strangely–or maybe not so strange because my main office phone doesn’t have a flashing light or other attention-getting indicator of when I have a message waiting–I often forget to check for messages when I get back in the office. And then I don’t remember to do the thing.

Sometimes I’m in bed when I think “Oh, darn…” so I have to do one of two things: turn on the light to write it on the steno pad I always keep handy–because who wants to get up at 3 am on a winter night and go dig up something to write on? Or I have to turn on the light to see the keypad so I can dial my cell phone (I keep the sound off so I don’t have to hear the ding-ding reminders of tasks and appointments I haven’t yet cleared) and leave a message there. But that’s not foolproof–when I’m in the office I rarely use my cell phone so often don’t see “message waiting” notices.

The only nearly foolproof way for me to see something is to get an email about it, because I check my email religiously many times a day. In fact, when I’m in the office I live with it open. I’ve tried shutting it down so I can focus on a project, but half the time I end up having to re-open it–to send a client a question, look up a previous message, etc. So email is my most-used method of communication.

SO, if you made it through all that, here’s the payoff… I’ve found a very cool program–free–that lets you punch a speed dial key on your cell phone (or dial from any phone if you have the number), speak your message into the system, ask for a reminder, specify the time, and then quit worrying about it. Fifteen minutes before the designated time, an email will appear in your inbox with your message nicely transcribed into print! And you can even Jott friends, family, and colleagues, too.

The Jott voice recognition software does a handy job with regular speech and is pretty good at guessing spellings of names, etc. It keeps lists online and a number of other things that might be helpful for you. So visit the Jott site and download it for free.

One caveat. When you choose to send a reminder to yourself, you’ll receive an email, but you’ll also receive a text message–and your phone may charge you big for that. They tell me they are working on fixing that so you can opt to send only an email to yourself. So if you say, “no” to “do you want a reminder?” you won’t get the email, either. Then you have to remember to log onto the Jott site to see your reminders. But if you’re like me, even that can be helpful because sometimes I remember I was supposed to do something but don’t remember precisely what it was, so having it somehwere-I-can-find-it is still helpful.

As for friends, family, etc., you can avoid having them get charged for a text message by simply not putting in their cell phone number when you list them as a contact. Then they will receive only an email reminder.

Sending yourself or someone else an email with your voice. Isn’t that a cool trick for when you’re on the road?

Now, let’s see, if I want to replace the light/paper/pen thing in the middle of the night, it means I would have to start keeping my cell phone in the bedroom when I go to sleep… But then how will I remind myself to go get it when I go out?

Sigh. Guess nothing’s perfect.


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