Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Some productivity tools

I've meant for some time to recommend a productivity tool that's become a regular part of my activity: reQall.

The service is simple, fast, free and effective. You call an 800-number and leave a voicemail message. A few minutes later, a transcript of that message (typically a reminder, in my case) appears in your email in-box. It's remarkably accurate, though it sometimes stumbles on proper names, of course. But as a reminder service or an easy way to make a note while on the road, it's very good. I have it on speed dial on my cell phone.

While I'm on the subject, two more quick recommendations (for Macintosh users):

  • Bean, an elegant, spare, Word-compatible word processor. It's also free.
  • Mailplane: replaces the Mac Mail ap as an interface with Gmail accounts, adding considerably to Gmail's web-only functionality. It's shareware for $24.95, with a 30-day free trial.
  • UPDATE: Have now registered and paid for my Mailplane; it's worth it.


  1. Anonymous11:22 AM

    These things are often implemented by having a human transcribe the voice, FYI

  2. That makes sense, Anonymous; the transcriptions often seem too subtle to have been automated. Once in a while they'll include a guess, in parentheses, for phonetic spellings.