Catching Incoming Items: Jott.com

by Margaret Lukens, New Leaf + Company LLC

Remember the Star Trek series? How perfect to have a thought and be able to simply speak the command, “Computer, relay this message to the engine room.”

Meet Jott. Jott is a free (see below) voice-to-text service that converts your spoken messages to emails and text messages to deliver to your business partner, your spouse or your own task list. Dialing a toll-free number, the user gives voice commands to Jott, which then converts them to text and relays them to someone on the user’s list of contacts.

Josh Zerkel, professional organizer and owner of Custom Living Solutions, is one of many fans of Jott.

When caught without a pencil and paper, or without a hand free for writing, Jott is an ideal tool for capturing information. The voice-recognition capabilities of Jott are miles ahead of the tools available just a few years ago.

Good, but not perfect. My colleague in the St. Louis area, Janine Adams, tells of sending a message to her husband at his computer when she knew he’d be on the phone — great convenience. But faced with unfamiliar St. Louis street names spoken hastily in her message, Jott began to play cupid. Her amusing post may serve as all the caution one needs before signing up for Jott.

Update January 13, 2009: effective February 2, Jott will no longer offer a free service. Jott is a great productivity tool that helps me collect tasks that occur to me on the road and funnel them into my one task management system. Yet it does not add enough value for me to justify the (admittedly modest) $3.95 per month cost. My Moleskine card file does as well, or a voice mail to my business phone, if I can’t write but can phone. Those who used Jott to communicate with others, rather than just with themselves as I did, may find the cost worth the benefit. Will you still be jotting after 2/1/09?

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