Jott yourself a message

* Jott makes it easy to leave yourself a message

Why is it that 99% of the times when I need to remember to do something or make a note about something I'm sitting behind a steering wheel going 65MPH? I have occasionally resorted to scrabbling for a pen, a paper, or calling my office and leaving myself a voicemail, but those are respectively dangerous and pretty lame. Jott, a service originally launched in December 2006, addresses this problem.

Why is it that 99% of the times when I need to remember to do something or make a note about something I'm sitting behind a steering wheel going 65MPH? I have occasionally resorted to scrabbling for a pen, a paper, or calling my office and leaving myself a voicemail, but those are respectively dangerous and pretty lame.

Jott, a service originally launched in December 2006, addresses this problem by providing a speech to text interface that works remarkably well. Even better, over the last year Jott has added connections to a variety of online services such as social media and calendars so you can update all kinds of information simply by talking.

Jott works its magic with a combination of machine-based speech to text translation and some large number of warm bodies in a customer service center somewhere. The result, in my experience, is usually perfect conversion.

To use Jott you simply call Jott’s toll-free number and the system recognizes you using Automatic Number Identification. You start by saying the name of the person, group, or service you want to address and you can leave a message of up to 30 seconds in length.

When you send to yourself you get an e-mail of your voice message. When you send to other people, either individuals or groups, you send both e-mail and text (SMS) messages. If you send yourself a reminder you’ll get an e-mail and a text message 15 minutes before the time Jott asks you to specify.

Leaving list items results in an e-mail of the item to you and an entry to one of your personal lists on Jott. The Jott online list service is very cool: You can sort items; cross off those that you’ve done; print the list; and e-mail the list to yourself.

One thing you should look at is Jott’s Web site user interface. This is a terrific design with great style, excellent ease of use, and a very effective drag and drop facility that makes managing your “Jotts” very easy.

The other thing that impressed me are the links to other services. For example, if you have a Twitter or Tumblr account you can tell Jott about them and then by saying, for example, “Twitter” and leaving a message have the text posted as a Twitter “tweet.” This makes using Twitter a breeze when you are out and about especially if texting isn’t something your particularly enjoy.

Even cooler is the ability to use your Jott account to update your Google Calendar. After you have told Jott about your Calendar account, you simply call Jott and say “Calendar,” and then schedule events to your heart’s content (and if you use Google’s Outlook/Google calendar synchronizer you can have your Outlook calendar kept up-to-date as well).

Jott currently supports links not only to Twitter; Tumblr; and Google Calendar; but also LiveJournal; 30 Boxes; Remember the Milk; Blogger; Yahoo Groups; Amazon; Typepad;, Zillow; Wordpress; and Jaiku. Third parties have added links to Fortythree Actions; Gumiyo; Heap; I Want Sandy; Keep Up; Mentat; Mosio; Nozbe, Recommendr; Smartsheet; Toodledo; Trapster; Vitalist; and (this is so great for business travelers) Xpenser. And if there’s another service you need that isn’t supported there is a feature that lets you create custom links.

Jott is currently free, but monetization in the form of advertising and premium services will be used in the near future.

Jott is really quite brilliant. It is one of the cleverest service concepts I’ve come across. Add to that it is a service that works far better than I would have imagined, and you have a company with outstanding business potential.

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Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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