Notifying with SMS

I meant to grab a bag of stuff for school this morning on my way out the door. Turns out at 5:45 in the morning, you don’t remember to grab things off the counter (thankfully, I don’t need that stuff until tomorrow). I don’t like to-do list apps (prefer pen and paper), and my phone is on silent each morning until I get to school.

I hate notifications anyways, which is why I turned everything off other than phone calls and text messages. I still get calendar reminders (out of absolute necessity) but even then, I tend to close those without thinking too much about actually remembering to do something.

Texts, though, are a different story. I pay attention to them. When someone sends a text, it has my attention.

So, rather than rely on a to-do list or plain calendar reminders to do something, I’m routing those through IFTTT to send myself a text.

To do this, log into IFTTT and create a new recipe using Google Calendar as the trigger. In step 2, be sure to choose “Event from search starts” as the trigger. Otherwise, any time you add an event, you’re going to get a text message, which isn’t cool.

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Then, pick a keyword – I used “reminder” – to search for. It has to be in the title or the event description to fire correctly. So, for me, my calendar event would be: “Reminder – get groceries.” Then, set the time to when you actually want to do whatever it is you need to do. Again, mine is around dinner tonight because I’ll be near the kitchen and can do it quickly.

Set the SMS channel as the action (make sure your phone number is correct!) and heypresto, you have a SMS-enabled text reminder system for those little things you tend to forget.

Again, I know that this can be done just using the calendar notifications. But, if you’re like me, and hate those, you can use this instead. Also remember this works with any phone, not just smartphones. So, if you revert (like I’ve also considered) you can have the benefits of notifications when and where you need them on any platform.

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