email


I have a hard time remembering anything.
I’ve noticed that the only things that I check with any regularity are my email, my RSS feeds, and Pownce.

Because of that I’ve taken to sending myself emails for things that I need to do. I also leave emails marked as “unread” to remind me to do something. The problem with that is that my inbox gets so cluttered with “tasks” masquerading as emails that I miss important emails or my response is delayed.

To solve these problems I propose the following online application:

  • You enter your tasks on the site and can define frequency, reminder time/type, description, etc. etc.
  • Manage friends making it a social network around tasks (not really necessary but everything has to have a social network to be cool these days :))
  • Reminders are key for me so there has to be a way to set reminders to send me an email, or add an RSS entry into the feed so I see it in my reader.

I liked this idea so much I even started writing it. I spent a limit time considering the data structure and “wasted” untold hours trying to install Visual Studio 2005, but that’s a topic for a different blog.

Tonight before I got back into writing the app I decided to do a search for similar businesses to see if there was anything I could learn (of course I didn’t expect to learn anything given my vast amount of existing knowledge :))

www.simplespark.com is a great search engine when looking for new companies.
In this case it turns out that there are several companies doing precisely what I described above!

Once again giving me a good blog post instead of a great business idea.

In case you are wondering www.rememberTheMilk.com and www.beeplet.com apparently do what I’m talking about. However, it does look like beeplet is having issues at the moment. I can’t get to their site. remember the milk looks like a very cool site. I’ll have to see if it can help me remember stuff.

UPDATE: I just tried adding a weekly reminder to update my blog. It let me do that and even gave me a link. I am super bummed though that RSS was NOT one of the options for reminder. IM was, and email was. For now I have it set to send me email. I’ve come full circle, but now I’ve completely lost interest in writing my own. I guess I’ll just have to hope beeplet comes back online (or do another search for the dozens of copycats that I’m certain are available.

  This idea is actually my wife’s but it meets the spirit of the blog so I’ll reproduce it here.

  Her idea is to provide a service where customers can call a toll-free number and dictate their e-mail messages. After speaking their message the automated system would “type” out their message and send it to the desired recipients. The customer could set up an address list in advance to avoid having to speak out awkward email addresses letter by letter.

  I’ve heard of a service that would allow you to send audio files recorded over the phone as attachments to emails. However, I haven’t heard anything about it recently. 

  I would say the most likely reasons that this won’t work are:

  1. Speech to text software isn’t that great and paying customers would get frustrated with being misunderstood. (some people say Microsoft Vista is getting better at speech recognition, but others aren’t as impressed)
  2. Someone else is likely already doing it.

  Either way, it’s still a good idea. Way to go honey!

Update: I did a quick google for dictate email and found www.copytalk.com and www.myjotter.com without much effort. They appear to do exactly what my wife was describing (plus more).  I know I could have done that search before I posted the original, but that would spoil the fun :).