Backpack Preview #2: Reminders 11 Apr 2005
32 comments Latest by ERE
Backpack is basically a two pillar product — it does two things really well. One of the things it does is rather general (so it can be used in tens of thousands of different ways). More on the general thing in another post. The other thing it does is more specific: it can send reminders to an email address and/or a mobile phone.
When we started thinking about this feature, we had a bit of an epiphany: there are certainly things that need to go on a calendar (such as a meeting or a flight time or birthday), but there’s another set of things you need to remember that don’t belong on a calendar (such as a reminder to pick up your dry cleaning, or a reminder to check out a new restaurant in a few weeks, or a reminder to send in the rebate before it expires, etc.).
The problem is that there’s really no good place to put these secondary — but equally important — reminders. You surely wouldn’t want to clutter your calendar with notes to pick up your dry cleaning. Perhaps you can put them in a dated to-do list thing somewhere, but it never quite feels right. And if you do have a system for this, often times it’s more of a hassle than it’s worth — especially since you have to pick specific times or days when really all you want to be reminded of is to do something in a couple of days or a couple of weeks.
So, realizing all this, we built a really simple but incredibly useful reminder system into Backpack. It’s a breeze to add a reminder. It’s a breeze to pick a specific time/date or a general time/date. It’s a breeze to receive them via email and/or your mobile phone. It’s a breeze to see what’s coming up. It’s become something that’s hard to live without.
Note: For all those people who dig the Getting Things Done system, you’ll especially like Backpack reminders. They are structured like a 43 folders tickler system.
So, get on the Backpack announcement list for a shot at an early preview. You’ll be hearing from us soon.