This is probably the wrong semester to plug this, as some of my vaunted organizational skills have succumbed a little under the pressure of some, um, interesting campus developments, but I did want to draw people’s attention to the public launch of Sandy, the “personal e-mail assistant” from the Values of N.
I think that Sandy is basically a thinly anthropomorphized interface for Stikkit: it lets you remember anything worth remembering (dates, phone numbers, to-do items), schedule meetings, collaborate with others, and so forth. In practice, it looks somewhat like having a secretary: In an e-mail to a student, for example, I can simply copy Sandy and write at some point, “Sandy, remind me on Thursday to bring a spare copy of the TagCrowd assignment to class .”
Thursday morning–and possibly at other times, depending on exactly what I write in the e-mail, and how I’ve tweaked various settings–I’ll get an e-mail, reminding me to bring the assignment.
If you’re working with others who are on Sandy’s system, I think she can broker a meeting, and perform other basic functions, too. What’s nice about Sandy is it that it harnesses our own bad habits–in this case, a general tendency to use e-mail as a to-do list–in ways that are potentially more productive.