A Couple Great Free Services (Part 1)

Hi everyone… sorry it’s been so long since my last post! I thought I’d go a little off topic today to talk about a couple services that I’ve been messing around with lately that I think are going to turn out to be something great. And best of all – they’re free! Keep in mind though that they are both in beta (released for testing purposes and not ready for full release because they may still be buggy). Once they are ready for full release, things may change – certain features may be charged for, etc.

Here’s the first of these invaluable services…


Jott is already becoming one of my best friends. The concept is simple, but great. Once you sign up, you can register your phone/email address and configure any desired options. Now, the fun begins!

Have you ever been driving and you think of something you need to do or a song comes on the radio that you want to jot down? But you either don’t have a pen or piece of paper handy or don’t want to kill yourself trying to write while driving. Now all you need to do is call Jott’s toll free number from the phone you registered. Jott recognizes that it’s you without you needing to do anything and asks who you want to Jott. On it’s simplest level, you say “myself,” Jott says “OK, Jott yourself,” and then lets you record a short message. Then you hang up.

You might be thinking – “Wonderful, they invented voicemail.” Not so fast, grasshopper! There’s a wonderful little extra in this that makes it great. Once you’ve left your message, Jott then transcribes your message into text and sends it to wherever you’ve told it to send it to. So those items you need to pick up at the grocery store gets sent to you as a text message. You get to the grocery store and check the text message to see what you probably would have otherwise forgotten. Simple, yet effective.

I have both my phone and email setup to receive the messages. Now if I Jott myself, I get both the transcribed message sent as a text message to my phone (text message charges with your carrier do apply) and I also get it in an email. In addition, the email message lets you play your actual message you left. So if it wasn’t transcribed perfectly and you can’t figure out what it says (sometimes the transcriptions aren’t perfect!), you can just listen to the message yourself.

Now, even though that’s the feature that I love about this whole service, Jotting yourself to get a text message or email is only part of what you can do. Jott lets you import your address book so you can Jott friends and family just as easily. Instead of saying “myself” when asked who you want to Jott, you can now say the name of someone in your Jott address book and send them a message just as easily.

I always seem to think of everything on my quiet drive to work early in the morning and sometimes try to remember everything by the time I get to work (I always seem to forget though!). Or, I never have anything ready to write on while driving (probably not the safest thing to do anyway). So for me, this has definitely been a lifesaver.

Hopefully when the service comes out of beta, it continues to be free, but if it isn’t, it is still something that I’ve already found quite useful and would consider subscribing to (if the price is right!).

Jott’s website is www.jott.com and I hope it will prove as useful for you as it does for me.

In the next post, I’ll talk about another service that I’ve just started to get involved with and am already fascinated with the possibilities it has to offer!

See you soon!

— Jim White