If you need a reminder service, a message scheduler and a generally cool way to organize yourself, I have just found a service that could help you (and me), called Sendible. The main profile is message scheduling, but you can use the tools offered not just to keep in touch with people, but also to manage your online and offline life.
What you can do with Sendible
With Sendible you can schedule messages to be sent at any time, down to the minute, and I’m not just talking about email here. SMS, Facebook, Myspace, Friendster, Orkut, Hi5 and Twitter are the services available and all work without fail. The services are completely new so you will probably see some development in this area but the list is already impressive.
Sendible comes with a contact management system too. The options here are pretty basic (edit, send email and delete), but sufficient for me at least. When you send an email to a contact you do not have in your list yet, the application asks you if you want to add him/her, you just type the name and it’s added, no fuss, smoothly implemented.
My favorite features however are the news feed and calendar. Both essentially show the same information in a different format. The news feed shows all the upcoming events in feed style, chronologically, with the closest first. The calendar shows all your activity in a calendar style and does it pretty well. But I do see some problems which will deter people from using it regularly, especially after Google Calendar.
When you look at the calendar all you see about an event is the time and type – you see nothing about the message body. If you click the event you will get a pop up box which shows all there is to see. This is an elegant way of showing events but I think that showing at least some of the message body in the preview would have been nice.
You can also do some advertising with Sendible. I have quite ambivalent feelings here, so I’ll just tell you about it and you can share your comments. Sendible is monetized by giving you the option to put ads below your messages. You can create some ads and when you send out any email they will be slapped on and sent to the recipient as well. Each ad costs one credit, so every time you send an email your credits are reduced by one. You start with 5 free credits and can buy more for a few dollars. 100 costs $12 and 500 costs $40 for example. This can be a cool way of advertising, but I am not a huge fan of email ads, so I don’t really know what to think of this. For some people this will be a nice feature, for me it’s something I’ll never use.
How you can use Sendible
At the most basic level you can use the app to send emails to your friends, family, Orkut, Myspace and so on so you don’t forget to send a birthday email for example. If someone asks you to get back to them in 6 weeks you can write the email now, schedule it, and just forget about it. I’ve actually had some of this happen to me recently and Sendible would be a great way to remember these things. You can opt to receive notifications when the email is actually sent, so you will be prepared for an answer. This feature allows you to forget about many things without any negative effects, so in a sense it’s a bit like GTD.
You can use Sendible for much more than that though. Just as you can use Sandy as your personal assistant, you can use Sendible to manage some of your tasks for you. Sending messages to people can be a part of that, but you can also send messages to yourself for reminders, to do lists, daily tasks and so on.
The one feature that can provide the most assistance here is the option to send recurring messages. If you have to take the garbage out every Tuesday or your wife will kill you, just schedule yourself an email for 10:00 every Tuesday and you can put a stop to all the killing. If you write a lot of posts to multiple blogs you can send email reminders to yourself each day about which blog you have to write to on that day. The people at Sendible thought about this in advance, since there are message sending options and reminder options. Messages can be sent to other people (although you can send yourself one too), while reminders are the same thing essentially, but the “to:” field is omitted, it will be sent to you by default.
Since there are contact and contact group options, you can actually quite effectively use Sendible for team management as well. Shoot out tasks on different dates to your employees, remind them of tasks, ask for a report automatically in advance for the next 15 years. There have been some more advanced calendar sharing options requested for example which will add to this and event management is already in the works which is another plus.
Is Sendible worth the time?
Sendible is a fast and effective way to work, but in the end it’s only a bot we’re talking about. However I didn’t get too much of the actual feeling of that here. Sandy is positioned so that you feel like she’s real, when in reality you know she’s not so the positioning utterly fails. Sendible however never intends to substitute your personal assistant, so perhaps your expectations are lower. But for me, Sendible seems much better so far even though the options are more limited right now.
There is definitely work to be done, adding task addition by email, maybe even Launchy for example, task listings, and so on. But I think things are shaping up pretty nicely. For me Sendible is worth the time, and I would guess that many of you who have scheduling problems will feel the same way.