Sandy hack: She's a bridge between paper and electronic calendars
Update: Sadly, Sandy is no more. While she was one heck of an assistant, she decided to change careers and move on to new things. -- Asha
Sandy is an email-based "assistant" who can send you reminders (and much more). I introduced you to Sandy right around Thanksgiving and promised to write up some of my Sandy hacks; here's the first one! [Full disclosure: My husband is the CEO of Values of n, the company behind Sandy, and I have been heavily involved in product development.]
I have a theory about gender and calendar usage. In general, men like electronic calendars, and women like paper. I'm obviously painting in broad strokes here, but my unscientific survey of friends seems to bear this observation out.
I have so many friends whose spouses have bought them Palms and Treos with the seductive promise that "it'll make your life so much easier!" and "this way we can coordinate calendars!" and, well, you know. No matter how valiantly they try, my female friends (myself included) eventually default back to paper calendars. Not only does the act of writing things down and flipping pages reinforce one's memory and the conception of time, pen-and-paper is infinitely easier to use than a stylus, doesn't require batteries, and can double as a kid distraction in a pinch.
A problem occurs with spousal coordination, however. He's using iCal (or whatever), she's using her trusty datebook, and never the twain shall meet. What's more, paper calendars don't alert their owners when an appointment is about to happen (one of the advantages of an electronic system). So unless you're a regular calendar-checker, you run the risk of forgetting stuff even if it's written down.
Here's where Sandy swoops in to kill, uh, I mean render temporarily incapacitated, two birds with one stone. Email Sandy and Cc: your spouse (or whoever else you're coordinating schedules with) about shared events and appointments.
Cc: MS Outlook-enabled husband
Subject: Remember Santos potluck Sat 7pm
Hi hon, it's on again this year. I'll wear those jingle bell earrings you love. xo
Not only will Sandy take note of the event and reply with an attachment your spouse can click to pop the appointment straight into his techno-calendar, she will send you both an email reminder when the time comes. (You can get the reminders via text message on your phone if you're out and about.)
In other words:
- You don't have to use an electronic calendar just to share appointments (you just send email)
- He doesn't have to laboriously update his calendar each time you tell him about a shared event (he just clicks an attachment)
- You can offload some of the "honey, don't forget about the Santos's potluck on Saturday night, ok?" chores onto Sandy.
This is a beautiful thing, especially at this time of year with all of the parties, performances and family events.
Related: Meet your new assistant, Sandy