Am I the only one who doesn’t know stuff like this? Does that 12-year-old with the cell phone and the book bag know it? Probably.

It seems that your cell phone likely has an e-mail address, and that you can likely find it by clicking here. This is one of the help pages of, the still somewhat nerdy – but free! and useful! – reminder site I have mentioned before.

It’s nerdy because you have to learn a little secret shorthand to use it. But once you do, it can be helpful in a number of ways.

Say, for example, I want to remember to call President Putin on his birthday each year. Say, furthermore, that I want Charles in on the call. Say, finally, I know when President Putin’s birthday is (and have his phone number).

I go to and, in my main reminder sheet (I can have lots of them, some private, some shared with co-workers), I type, simply:

Vladimir bday! 011-7-095-555-1234   ←  my free-form reminder text
;;8/1/02  1100  ry  #1 #2 #3  ←  my time-line (all time lines start with ;; )

My reminder text can be as long or as short as I want.  I could write an agenda for the call or a series of little jokes – “shootki” – that I think will amuse President Putin.

The shorthand in the time line tells to send me this reminder on August 1, 2002 at 11AM . . . to “remind yearly” (ry) . . . and to send the reminder to all three of the e-mail addresses I’ve entered in my profile.  (If I didn’t specify an address, it would use my primary one.)

In my profile, I entered my main e-mail address as #1, Charles’s as #2 (because I often want to remind him of the same stuff), and my cell phone address as #3 (because it will cause my cell phone to beep and vibrate and skitter around on the table even if my computer is off-line).

I just tried it.  Gad!  It works!  (Well, not the Moscow phone number; the reminder.)  Indeed, I then went to my regular e-mail account and sent myselfone an e-mail from AOL – and seconds later, it worked.  I had mail!

I don’t know how modern your phone has to be to be equipped for this – just try it and see.  Your next phone will almost surely support this even if your current one doesn’t.

Somehow, I have gotten no e-mails on my cell phone offering me the lowest mortgage rates or a chance to watch co-eds go at it with farm animals.  Just the two test e-mails I’ve sent myself.

Next thing you know, I’ll have learned how to use my phone to e-mail the other kids in algebra class.


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