Thursday, April 2, 2009


The New York Times reports on a new technology that will replace the little yellow post-its, which I and everyone I know have become quite dependent upon.

In a nutshell, Reqall is an effortless personal reminder system. You speed-dial its toll-free number (888-9REQALL) and dictate whatever it is you want to remember.

You can also create these reminders by e-mail, by typing them into a Firefox plug-in, or even by typing them into an instant-message program once you’ve set up Reqall as a buddy. But unless you live at your computer, using the cellphone is the real killer app.

That’s it. You go through your life, dictating these little tidbits that would ordinarily be relegated to scraps of paper or the back of your mind — and therefore, probably, lost.

Reqall transcribes your utterances into text and collates them at You can also have them sent to you by e-mail or as text messages to your cellphone.

If your reminder included a date or time, Reqall recognizes it as a calendar event. It can shoot a reminder to your cellphone 30 minutes in advance.

I usually get onto these things five years after everyone else, but this one sounds good. Part of my reluctance, I think, is that I hate to give up what I'm familiar with and risk not being able to fully use the replacement. Of course, that's increased by my tendency to not read the instructions. The famous advice, "When all else fails, read the instructions," was written for me.

The NYT article goes on to describe the pro version of Reqall, with a few more sophisticated features, the GPS tracking device that can actually prioritize your tasks based upon your current location. It costs very little, $3 per month, they said. I found that a bit surprising. I thought the whole idea in this business was to get 10 million users and sell the software to Google. But, what do I know.

What's your opinion? Could a gadget like this replace the ubiquitous post-it slips? Would you use one? Is the technology going too far? I've already got more beepers and remote controls and cell phones and other devises than I have time to use. Do you think that's something to be worried about or embraced?

Please leave a comment.


  1. I tried reqall today (1st time). I made some to-do reminders, online, and asked it to send my phone a text message at a specific time. The first two tasks worked great -- text message reminders came on-time. For the third task, it sent my phone 30 text messages reminding me of that task, over 30 minutes. Ate up a lot of my text messages (I don't have unlimited texts). Don't know the problem. I reviewed the three tasks -- all set up identically -- just different times. Glitch apparently. Contacted Reqall by E-mail just now; awaiting answer. Just searching the Net right now, seeing if anyone else encountered this bug. Don't want Reqall eating up my text messages (or sending me 30 reminders over 30 minutes, since there's no way for me to stop it, until I get to my computer.) Otherwise, Reqall is just the type of program I've been waiting for.

  2. Thanks for that feedback on the Reqall bug. I hope they get it worked out. It sounds like a device I could use.