Monday, September 1, 2008

Simply GTD: Get SMS Reminders of Anything and Everything with GCal

Simply GTD posts are designed to provide simpler alternatives to productivity ridiculousness.

New internet based time and list management systems seem to show up faster than TMZ articles on Britney Spears. Each one seeks to do the same thing: make it easier for you to get stuff done. How? By learning their system and using their website.

I admit, I'm definitely guilty checking out time management webapps just to see if they're cool. I've also written multiple posts on Todoist and how much I like it. But, in the end, I'm fully aware that they are mostly a big waste of time. (As a note, this is why I like Todoist, it basically just displays lists neatly and is accessible from multiple places since it's on the web. So get off my back. Also, I use notecards, so that makes up for it.) But there is one key feature that I always fall into the trap of coveting: Fancy ways to get reminded of stuff.

For example, Todoist offers a premium service which you have to pay for that has more features than the basic version, including being able to send email or SMS reminders at any time for a task. Sometimes this is useful. For example, I can write, "Drop check off at Landlady's" on my notecard in the morning when I'm at school and remember I need to pay rent, but when I get home in the evening, eat food and flop down on the couch, my notecard isn't going to remind me to get off my ass and drop off the check. Too many days of that mistake and I'm in trouble. So I need a fancy way to get reminded of this task, don't I?

Todoist is not the only one, popular web apps like RTM and IwantSandy (clearly secretaries are always women) brag about sending you reminders whereever you are as well. So what if you don't have an account with one of these trendy webapps, or don't want to pay for the non-free version but would find it convenient to get some SMS reminders now and then?

Enter Google Calendar

Ah Google, making money off of your little text ads and not our subscriptions. GCal allows SMS reminders, and it's free, and you need a calendar anyways, and if you're not using GCal you might as well because it's free and useful and can synch with iCal or whatever you use now (I don't know if it can synch everything, but certainly iCal). Create some calendar event, make it last for a minimum amount of time so it doesn't take up space, and send an email or SMS reminder. Go to the GCal settings to set up your mobile phone. Simple. Free. If you don't want your precious "hard-landscape" to be riddled with little reminders, make a new calendar for reminders and color it some bland, hard-to-see color. So this way you can let GCal remind you to get milk and be your personal female secretary at the same time. So you can get on with simply getting things done.


Anonymous said...

Female secretary? Really?

Bdizzy said...

Yup. Just like Sandy, the online female secretary. The website is even

spinosum said...

Google Calendar syncs very well with my Vista Outlook 2007 - using Google Calendar Sync (currently version! :)

And you are right - free and simple! That's the best thing about Google.