Since the demise of one of my favorite Web services PingMe was announced, I’ve trialed many different SMS/email reminder services, and finally decided on the aptly-named MyEmailReminders.com. In my last post, I spoke to the potential value of such a service for students (and occasionally-absent-minded school psychologists). Here, I’d like to take you under the hood of MyEmailReminders, but first, my standard disclaimer for whenever I write about specific services: I have no connection to this service whatsoever other than as a satisfied end user.
All you need to sign up for the service is an email address. If you wish to use the SMS reminder feature, you’ll need your mobile phone handy as well, as you’ll be sent a confirmation code via SMS. This is important if you plan on using this service with more than one phone (e.g., a spouse, multiple students, a student’s parent, etc.) – you can connect one account to multiple phones, but you must have each phone handy in order to get the confirmation code.
Upon login, you are presented with a list of existing reminders. You can choose to view these as a list (see below) or on a calendar.
While this is fantastic for reminders you set to repeat, the list can get cluttered if you don’t manually delete those one-time reminders (“pick up eggs and bread on the way home!”). If you don’t see yourself pruning your list every so often, you may want to opt for the calendar view.
In list view, you’ll also see the frequency you’ve set for each message (more on how to do this in a bit):
Setting a New Reminder
Click “Add” on the upper right-hand menu to add a new reminder. You’ll see a pretty self-explanatory set of text boxes:
I don’t categorize my reminders, but some folks may wish to do so. Note the warning: if you have your reminder sent by SMS, only the “Title” field will be sent. If it goes to email, you’ll also get whatever you type in the “Description” field.
Setting the Delivery Date
MyEmailReminders gives you several options for setting one-time-only and repeating reminders. For something like a homework reminder, you may choose the fifth option down and check off every weekday. Another example: I have yearly reminders set for the first days of March and December that remind my wife and I to make appointments to get our cars inspected.
Setting the Delivery Time/Method
Here’s where you decide if you want your reminders sent via email, SMS, or both. As you can see from the options, you can choose any time of day (in 15-minute increments), and you can also have reminders sent prior to the event. You can check off as many or as few of these boxes as you like.
Add Another Recipient?
You can send reminders to multiple recipients. Anyone you designate can receive reminders via email, but as I noted above, only registered mobile phone numbers will receive SMS reminders. As you can see from the screenshot, I’ve registered my wife’s phone so she can receive the occasional SMS reminder as needed (er, not that you ever need it, honey!).
After these steps, just click the orange “Add Reminder” button at the bottom of the page, and you’re all set!
As I explained last time, I like the idea of email- and SMS-based reminders due to the relative ubiquity of access and platform agnosticism. Anecdotally, I can speak to the benefits I’ve derived from these reminders – in fact, sometimes the simple act of setting the reminder was enough to make me remember what I needed to! If you use a similar service, or if you decide to start as a result of reading this, please leave a comment and share your experiences!
I’ve been using several email reminder services since PingMe died. I use several at a time and in addition to important reminders, I have them send me a test message every morning at 6 am and every night at 11pm. Myemailreminders unfortunately has had periodic dropouts where they send me nothing for 2 or 3 days and then pick up again. I just experienced that over the last couple of days again for the fourth time and it’s the deal breaker. I’m dropping them and I can not recommend them as they are unreliable. I emailed them the first time it happened and they were apologetic and explained the problem and that it was fixed. Except it’s not.
The ones that have been reliable are mymemorizer.com , Zoho Planner, Airset, and Springpad. Springpad had a few dropouts but that was quite a while ago and they seem to be good now.
Funny you mention this; MyEmailReminders has worked flawlessly for me up until about the beginning of March 2011, at which point I started noticing significant disruptions in the SMS reminders (email reminders still worked fine).
I’ve since found two alternates: I have an Android phone, so I’ve been using the SMS Scheduler app to send myself SMS reminders (not it’s intended purpose, but it works). Also, I just came across this service today: http://betwext.com/remind Haven’t used it yet, but I will be looking into it.
Thanks for the other suggestions as well! Always great to have a few tools in the toolbelt in case something goes belly-up like PingMe.
Er, scratch Betwext – can’t set repeating reminders. I’ll look into your recommendations; thanks!
I have used myemailreminders for a couple years and have loved it (both email and cell-text reminders). However, now I can’t even access the website and I have stopped receiving emails all together. Does anyone know what’s happened?
Mine stopped working yesterday 7/25/11
Sure hope it comes back as I have everything on it.
I effectively stopped using MyEmailReminders a few weeks ago; I needed most of my reminders to come via text message, and for some reason they just weren’t anymore. Hadn’t thought about the service since (been using an Android app to text myself reminders as necessary), and then after reading your comments, I checked and saw that the site is gone.
I love all the free/ad-supported services that are available on the Web, but I guess the flipside to their ease and convenience is that they can disappear at a moment’s notice. At least PingMe gave its users a few weeks notice in order to move shop; MyEmailReminders seems to have just slowly ground to a halt.
Myemailreminders.com website isn’t coming up for me either, which is what lead me to this site. They should have made an announcement they were taking it down, this is extremely annoying – I already missed two of my friend’s birthdays because I relied on it to tell me when they were, and now I have to track down that information all again!!
Dead as a door nail… No notice… no nothing. So much for free reminder services. This is the second one I counted on that went belly-up just like that. I won’t fall for it a third time nor should anyone else.
me too. I had hundreds of reminders and now they are all gone. I guess I should have made a backup. I have not found a service with a set up as good as that one was. too bad. Please let me know if you know of one. A coworker of mine looked into this and the guys name who was attached to the web site was arrested for Child pornography. Not sure it was the same guy but maybe.
[…] lost count of the number of services I’ve used that no longer exist (e.g., Quillpill, MyEmailReminders, PingMe), but they were all replaced easily enough. The one that really impacted me (and many […]