NudgeMail: A To-Do List So Simple It Doesn’t Involve a To-Do List

By  |  Thursday, November 4, 2010 at 5:22 pm

I’m constantly searching for new ways to manage tasks, but I’m never going to live in any to-do manager. E-mail is the app I live in–and to be even more specific, what I live in is my inbox. I’m far from alone, and a clever new service called NudgeMail acknowledges that by turning e-mail into a to-do manager. (Or, if you prefer to think of it this way, a to-do manager into e-mail.)

There are several ways to use NudgeMail, but the basic idea is…well, basic, and intentionally so. It works with any e-mail program on any device, and you don’t even have to sign up for an account. You just send (or forward) an e-mail to NudgeMail, which will then send it back to you on a date you specify as a reminder. For instance, you can send an e-mail to, enter “Friday” as the subject line, and then put a reminder to yourself in the e-mail’s body; on Friday, you’ll get the message. Or you can forward a message from a colleague reminding you of a deadline on December 3rd to; NudgeMail will send it back to you on December 2nd when you’re ready to think about it.

Sending an e-mail to gets you a message back summarizing the tasks that the service is scheduled to remind you about–the closest thing it’s got to a traditional task list. I think it’d be cool if it was possible to view and maybe even edit this list in my browser; I suspect, though, that anything that complicated might violate the service’s emphasis on extreme simplicity and an e-mail-centric approach.

NudgeMail reminders are sent at 6:30am by default; you can select a different time if you want. You can also change the time for just one nudge, but it’s a two-step process; I often need to remind myself about stuff I need to do at a certain hour, and it would be nice if I could do it in one fell swoop.

The service is currently in a “private beta,” but anyone can try it;  the NudgeMail folks are just planning to cap new memberships at some point. And while it’s free for now, they say aspects of it may carry a charge at some point.

(Full disclosure: NudgeMail was founded by the principals of my fiancée’s employer.)

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  1. deconectat Says:

    I don't think it would be complicated to write a small script to replicate this functionality on your own server…