Replace I Want Sandy with PingMe

Last Updated Dec 12, 2008 1:51 PM EST

pingme2.jpgOh, Sandy, we hardly knew ye. We're talking about I Want Sandy, of course, the popular reminder service that's shutting down a week from today. What made "her" special was the way you could send a natural-language reminder (such as "Meet DB for lunch at 12:30 on December 19"), and Sandy would do the rest. Namely, she'd send you reminders via e-mail, text message, Twitter, and the like.

Fortunately, alternatives exist. For the moment, I can think of no better substitute than PingMe, which doesn't offer natural-language recognition (yet -- it's in the works) but does offer Sandy-like features. Like the latter, PingMe is a free service that sends you reminders using one or more methods.

Just create a "ping," set the details, then choose your desired reminder-delivery options (e-mail, SMS, Twitter, etc.). Your best bet is to use the PingMe site to set up your pings, but you can do it remotely, Sandy-style, via e-mail or Twitter. The only trick is remembering PingMe's necessary syntax.

To help you with that, the developers have created a "Welcome, Sandy users" tutorial that's quite informative. Meanwhile, check out Dial2Do, the voice-activated messaging service we're loving more and more. It supports PingMe!

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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.