followupthen1

If you want to set a reminder for yourself, you could do it the hard way by manually adding a reminder to your calendar.  You could also do it the easy way, by using FollowUpThen.  FollowUpThen is a service that allows you to schedule follow-up reminders by simply adding a special email address to the TO:,CC:, or BCC: line of an email message.  This makes it particularly handy as a tool for getting reminders to follow-up with your email recipient, but it also can be used to set normal reminders.

The best way to illustrate how to use FollowUpThen is with an example.  If I email a question to Bobby, and I want to receive a reminder in one day to follow-up with him, I would send an email to Bobby’s address, and add [email protected] to the TO:, CC:, or BCC: line.  In one day, I would then receive a reminder, consisting of my original message along with a “following up . . .” note.  Bobby would also get that reminder, if I used the CC: option when sending the message.

The timing of the reminder can be set with several options.  You can set the reminder by time elapsed (1minute, 3hours, 2days, etc., all followed by @followupthen.com) and day of the week (tuesday@followupthen.com).  You can also set reminders using some natural language words (tomorrow@followupthen.com, nextmonth@followupthen.com, etc.), and by using specific dates or times (mar30@followupthen.com, 9amTomorrow@followupthen.com).  You can even set up recurring reminders, such as everyweds@followupthen.com.  To see a list of all of your reminders, along with links to cancel reminders, send an email to pending@followupthen.com.

For messages sent to followupthen.com using a CC:, both you and the recipient will receive a reminder if your reciepient has not responded by the scheduled time.  In order for the reminder to be canceled, your recipient must use “reply to all” so that the reply is also sent to FollowUpThen.  If you send your email using BCC:, then only you will receive a followup, regardless of any reply by your recipient.  If you just use the “TO:” field, then you will get a reminder after the time interval that you specify.

A service like FollowUpThen does raise some privacy issues, as a third party is receiving your email message.  FollowUpThen claims that it doesn’t share your information with third parties, and that it automatically deletes your email contents, and your recipient’s address, once the follow-up has been sent

For a service that is similar to FollowUpThen, check out FollowUp.cc.  FollowUp.cc has additional features, like a web interface with a calendar, and a clickable link in your reminder email to postpone a reminder.

FollowUpThen [via Cybernetnews]