I always try to be good about adding things to my calendar, but more often than not those times I say “oh, I’ll add that to my calendar later” turns into something that never happens. In the end I completely forget what I was supposed to do, and the vicious cycle repeats itself.
I have to admit that the FollowUpThen service has helped me alleviate a lot of those moments. I’m remembering to do things that I would have ordinarily forgotten to do, and it’s all because of the simplicity of the service. Basically all you have to do is include a specially formatted time/date email address on the email you are sending or replying to. Here are some examples of the supported address formats:
- Time Interval
- Day of Week
- Common Scheduling Terms
- Specific Date
- Specific Time
- firstname.lastname@example.org — sends at the next occurrence of 11am your time (in your timezone). Only supports whole hour increments.
- Specific Date and Time
- Recurring Reminders
Do you put it in the TO, CC, or BCC field on the email? That depends on how you want them to follow up with you:
- CC: If your recipient has not responded by the scheduled time, both of you receive a followup. Note: Your recipient has to “reply all” to include followupthen on their response for us to know about it. You can always cancel followups by emailing email@example.com.
- BCC: Only you (not the recipient) will receive a followup, regardless of reply.
- TO: You will get a reminder after the time interval you specify.
What about privacy? According to their FAQs page they automatically delete the contents of the email once the followup has been sent, and at that same time they also remove all the email addresses for the designated recipients.
For a forgetful person like myself this kind of service is great as long as you remember it exists. It’s also really nice that I get the followup through email, which I always have easy access to. The only other thing that would make this even better would be adding the reminders to my Google Calendar so that some of the things don’t suddenly popup on me. At least that way I’d be able to see that it’s coming up. Still, the service is free and can be extremely valuable depending on how you use it.