It’s a fine time to ditch paper for good and move to an all e-mail- and SMS-based system. Start with Google’s online calendar (, which lets you set up multiple alerts for one event—for example, a text message one week before Mother’s Day, then another the day before in case you still managed to put off sending flowers. New event pop up while you’re away from a computer? Add it to GCal from your cellphone by texting the event details to GVENT (48368).

If you’re not interested in calendar functions, the Web site Sandy (iwant is a free virtual personal assistant whose sole purpose is to help you remember things. Just send it an e-mail such as “Remind me to move my car in 45 minutes,” and Sandy will e-mail or text you. It’s especially useful for recurring events like bills and birthdays. Add tags like “@weekly,” “@quarterly” or “@yearly” to your e-mail, and it will ping you every time the event comes up.

[Editors’ note: Sandy went out of business this month. There’s a project to create an open-source version of the service — keep an eye on its progress here.]

Or skip the typing altogether with the voice-to-text
service Jott. Call 866-JOTT-123, say “reminder,” and answer the subsequent prompts (What day? Tomorrow. What time? 8 a.m.). Once your reminder is set, you’ll receive text and e-mail reminders.

Adam Pash is an editor at Lifehacker.

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