To the unconverted, Twitter is just a way to deliver mundane details of your life to many friends at once. The free service( is a social-networking site in which you post updates, or “tweets,” to a page where friends who “follow” you can view them. But since it lets users post and receive tweets via text messages, it’s actually a powerful platform for getting things done on the go.

To receive breaking news updates from, for example, just follow Twitter user “cnnbrk.” Or send a message (“move car 30”) to user “timer,” and it will text back a reminder in the time you specify. Other functions are available through third-party sites: Enter your favorite RSS feeds on, and you’ll get a text whenever the feed is updated. Send the mileage, price and gallons to each time you fill up your tank, and it will chart your fuel-efficiency trends. With i-Link home-automation software, it’s even possible to use tweets to turn on lights or open the curtains remotely (get details at

Dive in at to find more useful tricks. Of course, you can still let everyone know that you’re thinking tacos for lunch.