Monday, May 21, 2007

A few of my favorite bloggy things: Jott, my "SchedulePad", and Texter

I've been blogging for two weeks. I've already become dependent upon a few favorite tools:

Jott: (Free service - public beta) Jott by Jott Networks
Jott is a free service that transcribes telephone messages into text e-mails. It is in beta test, and I've been using it since March, 2007.

I've programmed my cellphone's speed-dial to Jott's service (their recommendation.)

Thus, when driving parked carefully at the side of the road, I just hold down the "2" button, wait for the voice asking "Who do you want to Jott?", answer "myself" and start talking. Whatever I say ends up transcribed in an e-mail by the time I get home.

I fear for the day they will start to charge for this service, because it has become an important way for me to remind myself of things, especially when driving parked carefully at the side of the road.

It wasn't until last week, however, that I set the Jott service up for blogging drafts while driving parked carefully at the side of the road. It has been such a boon! Blogspot/Blogger has an option to send a draft post to a special e-mail address. In the configuration menu, I added this address to my list of Jott contacts, calling it "My Blog".

Now, when I call Jott, I can answer either "myself" to get a to-do item in my personal e-mail, or "my blog", where whatever message I leave will be waiting on-line in my drafts folder!

Here is a sample post I created by speed-dialing Jott from my cellphone, while driving parked carefully at the side of the road. I redacted my name and the link to the audio of the message, but the rest of it is as it arrived in my "drafts" folder on blogger.

picture of my SchedulePad
My "SchedulePad": Since starting this blog, ideas for posts flood my waking hours. This is a little device I made to help me sort out the ideas and schedule them. It has kept me from drowning in little green post-it notes and (in GTD-speak:) "empty my head" into a "reliable bucket."

(I plan to explain how I made it and how it works in an upcoming, separate post.)

It's 8.5" x 6", about the same size as a Moleskine notebook, so I can carry it with me during the day.

Texter (Free download) Texter (from Lifehacker)
Texter is a text-expander that really works. It is based on auto-hotkey, but is extremely easy to set up and use. I use it to avoid typing repeated link codes, enter names in forms, and send form e-mails.

I downloaded and installed it just before starting this blog. I can't imagine how many hours of typing (and re-typing) it has already saved me.

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Ballut said...

From my understanding, will keep a free version up when they start charging. I just hope they have newer features or keep updating the program! I heard they will charge when they release their business model form of Jott. When this will happen, I'm not sure. A few weeks ago, I read an online article that Jott signed a 5.4 million deal to expand!

Juggling Frogs said...

Oh no! I've grown quite dependent on this service.... I wish them every success, but live in fear of the end of the beta test.

Ballut said...

Oh nothing to fear! I learned that Jott WILL keep a free version up! So you can wipe the sweat off of your face! haha What do you use Jott for? I found it most useful in the car and with my music. Hope to hear from you soon!

Juggling Frogs said...

Whew! That's a relief!

I use it in the car for to-do lists; in the car to post drafts of blog post ideas (as described above); sometimes in a social context, it's nice for the person asking me to do something to hear me calling myself with the details.

I've found that my messages on other people's voice mail have become more coherrent, since having to read transcripts of my own ramblings-to-myself.

I haven't needed the "Jott-cast" feature. There are still many words that are mis-translated (it's almost fun to read them), so I'm wary of having something sent directly to others, where mistranslations would be confusing or misinterpreted.

I'm in the car a lot. I once saw a bumper sticker that I thought applied to my own life:

"If I'm such a stay-at-home-Mom, why am I always in the car?"

All the best,

Ballut said...

haha nice bumper sticker! that is too funny!

I've seen a lot of people doing those jott blog things. Somewhere I read that if you keep using Jott, the translations become more acurate. That kinda confuses me because I know Jott uses human translators, but also voice recognition maybe the software comes into play there. I wanna try that jott blog sometime...but I'm lazy to set one up! haha someday.

Juggling Frogs said...


Go for it! It took me half a minute to set it up, and it has saved me so much time ever since.

Just log in to and add your blog. You won't be sorry!

If you never use it, you'll have only wasted half a minute.

I haven't seen any "Jott blogs". I guess that's something to google whenever spare time materializes.

I couldn't Jott directly to posting, because there are too many mistaken words. Since I know what I meant, it's no problem for stuff only I plan to read.

Jotting to the world unedited is too scary for me.

Ballut said...

haha thanks! I'll have to give it a try when I truly have some good time to spend. Mostly I'm playing guitar or spendin' time with my hunny. But here, I'll give you this website from a guy who has a jott blog. It's nuts! Hope this helps!

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