Top 3 email and text message reminder web applications

There’s been a boom in web applications offering email and text message (SMS) reminders. When we started out two years ago the vast majority of these services could only handle email reminders (no text messages). Now there are quite a few services that offer both email and text message reminders. Much of this growth is due to low-cost APIs such as Twilio that enable easy computer-to-phone connections in software. Before Twilio it was rather difficult to interface an Internet application with the cell phone network.

This post takes a look at the current competitive landscape in the scheduled reminder arena. I like to think that it is as objective as possible, but I am obviously biased towards Cronote.

A quick (non-scientific) Google search for “schedule a text message reminder” reveals a whole slew of companies providing various degrees of functionality. Here’s a list of the top three results along with their features and pricing.

1. Ohdontforget.com – We are not the #1 result, that honor goes to Ohdontforget.com. This site was created a long time ago, back before the Twilio API existed. They are the forerunner and have more or less maintained the same look and feel. Anyone can use their form without an account to schedule a quick reminder. Their form supports natural language processing as well so you can use phrases such as “now”, “today 3pm”, “tomorrow 8am”, without having to specify an exact time. If you are completely new to text message reminders, this can be a fun site to tryout. A premium account comes with many features including the ability to store contacts and schedule recurring reminders. Premium accounts cost $4.95 per month or $47.50 per year. All text message reminders are free, but ones not associated with a premium account have embedded ads and cannot use the full 160 characters. Ohdon’tforget.com does not allow users to create groups of recipients, and does not offer email text messaging.

2. TextMemos.com – The second result is TextMemos.com. Whereas ohdontforget.com has the aesthetic of a slick Web 2.0 (3.0?) site, TextMemos.com looks like a relic from the 1990’s. TextMemos.com was also a forerunner to Cronote and provides bare bones features for scheduling both email and text message reminders. The service is completely free, but comes at a large usability price. There is no address book for storing contacts and you must know the carrier of the recipient in order to send text message reminders. There is also no ability to schedule reminders for more than one recipient. TextMemos.com has a sister site, txt2day.com that enables anyone to schedule a quick text message reminder without signing up for an account.

3. Cronote.com – Cronote is the 3rd result! Our website is aesthetically in-between Ohdontforget.com and TextMemos.com. We tried to strike a balance between minimalism and being informative. We require a free registration prior to using our service, a decision that was based on our desire to control spammers. Registered users are able to schedule email reminders for free. A major difference between our service and others is that we charge 5 cents per text message, rather than a flat monthly fee. We feel this provides a better value to our customers. Consider that a flat monthly fee of $4.95 (Ohdontforget.com) equates to 99 reminders using our system. Most of our users schedule < 60 reminders per month (i.e. about 2 per day). Our service provides address book functionality that makes it very easy to schedule reminders for specific people. Another prominent feature of our service is the ability to send reminders to groups of contacts. This works incredibly well for families, coworkers, teachers and students, and any other group of people. Groups, like contacts, can be stored in our system for future use and can be modified at any time. Cronote is also the only service to offer an iPhone app that works in conjunction with our website. This makes it very easy to schedule reminders on the go. One drawback of Cronote is that our recurring reminder functionality is limited to daily repeating reminders. This is a feature we hope to expand on in the near future.

Here’s a summary table comparing the various features of these three reminder services:

Service

Address Book

Email reminders

Text message reminders

Recurring reminders

Multiple recipients

iPhone App

Price

Ohdontforget

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

No

No

$4.95 / month

TextMemos

No

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

Free

Cronote

Yes

Yes

Yes

Limited

Yes

Yes

$0.05 per text message

3 thoughts on “Top 3 email and text message reminder web applications

  1. Aaron Post author

    Hi Vic,

    Your site looks good and has a lot of functionality. I should’ve noted more that we are moving away from email and text message reminders as it is too competitive a space, and not really what we had in mind when we created Cronote. We’ve had a hard time getting traction. How has your experience been in this area?

    Reply
    1. Vic

      This was actually a component of a CMS and mapping project. Agree, we felt there was no business model with it by itself and just extracted it for web use and stuck it out there for free 🙂

      Reply

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