UPDATE 11/30/2010: On Sunday, 11/21/2010, NudgeMail stopped working for my work email, but it still works with my personal email. The emails are not showing up in either my junk or spam folders, so I’m not sure what or where the issue is. Both NudgeMail support and my institution’s IT people are looking into the issue. Since this service is still in beta, use with caution.
UPDATE 12/3/2010: While other people at my institution are still receiving NudgeMails, I’m not. NudgeMail support says that the emails to me are leaving their servers. My IT people say NudgeMail is not being picked up by any spam filters. It’s a mystery. But since I quickly became enamored with the service, I’ve been trying out other similar services. Look for a future blog post on the one I currently like the best, FollowUp.cc.
When you stay at a hotel, do you remember how you used to request a wake-up call? Actually, maybe you still do that. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get a wake-up call for stuff you need to do?
And that’s why I’m excited about NudgeMail, a company that just launched this fall. NudgeMail lets you send reminders to yourself at whatever future date or time you choose. No registration. No login. No software to download. No complicated commands to remember. They really couldn’t have made this any easier.
Let’s say that I have an email exchange with you where we discuss working on a proposal for a joint presentation at an upcoming conference. The deadline for submissions is in two months. We decide to spend some time thinking about the proposal and then check back in with each other in a month. While I could put that on my calendar, if I did that for everything of this nature, my calendar would be cluttered in a hurry. I could add it to my to-do list, but then I would have 40 things on my to-do list. At some point, I stop looking at it. I know because that’s happened.
Or I could use NudgeMail. I just send an email (new email, forwarded email, or cc’ed email) to firstname.lastname@example.org (for the first of next month), or email@example.com (for December 5th), or firstname.lastname@example.org (for December 1st), or email@example.com (for exactly one month from today). They’ve designed the system to be very flexible.
If I want a reminder later today, firstname.lastname@example.org will give me a reminder five hours from now. Or if I want a specific time, email@example.com will give me a reminder at 5pm today. If I want a reminder tomorrow, firstname.lastname@example.org (delivered at 6:30am tomorrow; this default time setting can be changed) or email@example.com (two days from now) will do it.
Try it! Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll get a welcome email from NudgeMail, and then you will get a confirmation email telling you that you have a nudge set for today’s date at a time 5 minutes from now. In 5 minutes, you’ll get your reminder nudge.
Alternatively, you can just send your emails to email@example.com with your time commands in the subject line. For a reminder at 10am tomorrow you can either send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can send a message to email@example.com with 10am tomorrow in the subject line. Either works just fine.
Now, if that’s not cool enough, when your nudge arrives, this is what appears at the top of the body of the message:
Not quite ready to deal with this message yet? Snooze it. Clicking a given snooze time will generate an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your chosen time in the subject line and the reference number for the email (in this case, Ref#: 2244) in the body of the message. At the time you chose, you’ll get your original nudge message sent to you again.
Want a list of your currently pending nudges? Send an email to email@example.com. Want that list every day? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Check NudgeMail’s FAQ for more information on the available commands.)
NudgeMail is currently in beta, so it is completely free. In the future, they anticipate having a free version and a subscription version. It looks like pricing may be dependent on number of nudges per month, but that is subject to change.
Have you started using Subtextual (formerly bccThis)? If not, see this earlier blog post. I can send an email to you, put email@example.com in the bcc field, and then add a note to myself using Subtextual.
Seriously, try it. It has the potential to be one of those tools you can’t live without. I’m going to start cleaning out my inbox right now.