Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I Hope My Girlfriend Doesn't Find Out About Sandy!

Ok, actually she already knows about Sandy, but it's not what you think!

picture of SandySandy is an intuitively designed digital assistant that can manage all the daily tasks that the average plugged-in web jockey needs to keep track of. Designed by values of n, Sandy works like a PDA would work if you took away all the hardware and made it "live on the web." She's also very chipper...all the time!

It's kind of hard to explain so here's an example. Let's say you got an email from somebody that said:

When do you want to meet next week?
If you want to set up a meeting, you could suggest a time in your reply. After that you would have to go to your calendar (and being the good little geek you are, you use gCal or something like that) and add the new appointment. Well with Sandy, you can cut out that step by replying to your friend and CCing the message to a special email address for your Sandy account. The message then goes like this:
Well how about Monday? 5-6pm? Let me know if that isn't good for you. Let's meet in Student Union I. Thanks, Jimmy Sandy, remind me to meet with Jake on Monday from 5pm to 6pm in Student Union I.

Not only does Sandy save you the step of imputing a date on your calendar by scanning for her name and then doing what you say after it (the syntax is very obvious as you can see), but also it makes you look like you have a personal secretary reviewing your email. How cool is that!

The date that you entered gets put on your list of appointments which Sandy can remind you in an endless number of ways (email, text message, Twitter). Also, any of those methods can be used to make new appointments and reminders. For instance, if I want to make a post on my iPhone I can either send an email, or I can message Sandy's twitter account. Once you have set it up, you can send:

"d s remind me to get the cats out of the barn tomorrow @todo @sms @noemail"

This indicates to Twitter to send a direct message (d) to Sandy's account (somehow they snagged "s" as the actual account name) and the the following is the message. I said remind me to indicate that I want an actually reminder (saying "remember" doesn't) and the @ tags at the end indicated to add it to my todo list and to send me a text or "sms" message. By default I have email notifications set up, but with the extra "@noemail" tag I can have it only send a text. This is just a small look into the syntax, but you can probably see why the design is so intuitive.

Overall I haven't been using Sandy terribly long, but I've already found many uses for it in increasing my productivity. The website is very helpful in learning all they syntax and settings. I've even overlayed events that I tell Sandy to my Google Calendar so that I don't have to add them separately.

There are tons of personal productivity programs, services, and tools out there (check out LifeHacker for a ton more of those), but this is really one of the few that I think I will really stick with for a long time.

Image of Sandy courtesy of values of n.

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The content of this page is completely the creation and opinion of James Rogers. He is affiliated with Connect Mason and formerly Broadside Online but the relationship only governs republication, not content.

Further, in the interest of full disclosure, this author holds minor financial investments in Apple, Inc. and Advanced Micro Devices.