Technology for Educators

November 5, 2010

NudgeMail: Remind Yourself

Filed under: Email,Productivity — Sue Frantz @ 6:38 am

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.

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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 nextmonth@nudgemail.com (for the first of next month), or december5@nudgemail.com (for December 5th), or dec@nudgemail.com (for December 1st), or 1mo@nudgemail.com (for exactly one month from today). They’ve designed the system to be very flexible.

If I want a reminder later today, 5h@nudgemail.com will give me a reminder five hours from now. Or if I want a specific time, 5pm@nudgemail.com will give me a reminder at 5pm today. If I want a reminder tomorrow, tomorrow@nudgemail.com (delivered at 6:30am tomorrow; this default time setting can be changed) or 2d@nudgemail.com (two days from now) will do it.

Try it! Send an email to 5m@nudgemail.com. 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 nudge@nudgemail.com with your time commands in the subject line. For a reminder at 10am tomorrow you can either send a message to 10amtomorrow@nudgemail.com or you can send a message to nudge@nudgemail.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 snooze@nudgemail.com 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 status@nudgemail.com. Want that list every day? Send an email to daily@nudgemail.com. (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.

Bonus Tip

Have you started using Subtextual (formerly bccThis)? If not, see this earlier blog post. I can send an email to you, put 1w@nudgemail.com in the bcc field, and then add a note to myself using Subtextual.

Try it!

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.

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4 Comments »

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Subtextual and Subtextual, Bccthis. Bccthis said: @NudgeMail (Remind Yourself tech) works great w @Subtextualmail! Thanks for the tip Sue! – http://bccth.is/agK […]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention NudgeMail: Remind Yourself « Technology for Educators -- Topsy.com — November 7, 2010 @ 6:22 pm | Reply

  2. Awesome! I am, like you, the kind of person that thinks of something that I will need to do… next semester. For instance, I may realize that I need to redesign a lecture or classroom demonstration, but I won’t need that until when I teach my class next. What I’ve done in the past is set up a things to do item in iCal (or Entourage when I was using it) for about the time I’ll be planning that part of the class next time I know I’m teaching it. Thing is, I occasionally forget to set the time properly because the micro-workflow of setting up a TTD on most systems is to designate the thing to do first, then set any time parameters for it. So, I end up with a long list of TTDs without times because I only bat about 70% on setting up times. The great thing about Nudgemail is that the time link is integral to the workflow of setting up a successful reminder. I’ve used it for a few days and my first reaction is very positive! Woo Hoo!

    Comment by Paul — December 5, 2010 @ 7:46 am | Reply

    • I’m glad you’re enjoying it! I found this mechanism for keeping track of stuff very freeing. Without much effort, I can safely tuck stuff away until I can get to it later. If you decide to keep using NudgeMail, I recommend getting a list of your active nudges periodically (status@nudgemail.com) or even turn on daily status email. See http://www.nudgemail.com/how/. I’m still reeling a bit from having NudgeMail mysteriously stop working for me.

      If you really like having that iCal interface, check out FollowUp.cc. It works the same way as NudgeMail in that you send an email to say, Monday@followup.cc. On Monday, you’ll get your reminder, just like NudgeMail will do, complete with snooze function. But it has some additional functionality. For instance, reminders also come in iCal format. FollowUp.cc gives me an iCal URL, and I just point Google Calendar to it. Your reminders also can be sent to your RSS feed reader if you’d like. FollowUp.cc also provides a bookmarklet. When I click a link in my browser, I can set a follow-up to be sent to me later reminding me to visit that website. And FollowUp.cc works with multiple email addresses. Whatever email I send from, FollowUP.cc will email me back at that address. But all of my reminders are put in the same iCal calendar. (It looks like I have the outline for my next blog post.) =)

      Comment by Sue Frantz — December 5, 2010 @ 9:01 am | Reply

  3. […] Remind Yourself Filed under: Productivity — Sue Frantz @ 4:26 pm A month ago I wrote about NudgeMail, a service that allows you to send email reminders to yourself in the future. For example, if you […]

    Pingback by FollowUp.cc: Remind Yourself « Technology for Educators — December 10, 2010 @ 4:26 pm | Reply


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