Monday, December 7, 2009

Reqall Take 2

Thoughts after using Reqall for a few days.

I find myself continuing to rely on my familiar, pre-Reqall tools, because...

1) The Reqall date-time voice recognition is very good, but not perfect, possibly because I am doing it wrong. My attempts at instructions like "...each second Wednesday of the month" have not worked, not even close. So it's more accurate to enter items into Google calendar, if I'm on my PC. Fortunately, Reqall provides a means to edit the calendar events, which I had overlooked until now. That helps.

Reqall should be helpful when I'm at the dentist's scheduling my next appointment. I just have to remember to check such items. I don't know how difficult it is, to check something six months out. I guess I can search for "dentist" in Google calendar, if Reqall's interface does not suffice.

I love that Reqall and Google calendar keep each other updated.

2) Using Reqall like my voice recorder, where I "note" miscellaneous stuff of greater and lesser urgency, fills up my Reqall daily queue with a lot of detritus that I do not need to do any time soon. I found it necessary to write a little C# code that allows me to copy the Reqall lists of items into the clipboard, then remove all the links and such that I don't want, from the clipboard text -- yielding just the notes and to-do items -- which I then move into their various categories in OneNote -- per usual. Then I need to go back to Reqall to manually remove those items.

Reqall's notification is a strong feature. If I have something scheduled for a given day, my phone will ding, redundantly with an email and SMS (I should eliminate the SMS, it costs) -- and my IM will pop up the message if I'm at work and have forgotten my phone. Reqall will help me most with weekend events, that I can otherwise overlook because I'm not in my calendar consistently on weekends. The 30-minute default notification can be changed to another default -- or the notification time can be changed manually for a given item. Nice.

The shopping list feature seems slick. Given my C# method, though, I don't need to make Costco a known Reqall place, and go through the additional work of associating a Recall voice message with the Costco place (which takes maybe 3 clicks on the iPhone). Instead, I can simply start my note with "Costco" or "CVS" or "Groceries", and when I've cleaned up the resultant text with my C# method, then the Costco items will be sorted together. I have to do that, however, and I have to print out the result... which is not so likely to happen. So maybe applying the official Reqall approach is better. Only, I don't think the Costco items would be available, if I went to another Costco, which is a real possibility; there's one near work, and one in Nashua, where I pick up Nelson.

It's early, yet. I'll figure it out.

It's a bummer that there's no way to remove items from the Reqall lists, en masse. I have to click each one. I wonder if I could write something to accomplish that for me.

1 comment:

  1. Hoyt, thanks for posting your comments on reQall. We appreciate your interest and input. A number of the things you've mentioned are on our reQall list (the list of these we want to get done!). I also wanted to give you a tip on how to get recurring dates to work better. The forms that work are:

    - Daily: 'Every day', 'Every other day', 'Every Tuesday and Thursday', 'Every weekday'
    - Weekly: 'Every week on Monday', 'Every three weeks on Mon Tue Thu'
    - Monthly: 'Every month on the 1st and 15th', 'Every two months on the first', 'Every month on the second Tuesday'
    - Yearly: 'Every year on Jan 15', 'Every four years on Jan 20'

    Any of these forms can have the time of the event appended to them using the keyword 'at', e.g. 'Every day at 4pm'.

    Any of these forms may also have a terminal date appended to them using the keyword 'until', e.g. 'Every day at 4PM until 8/10/2009'.

    So, for your example, you could enter "every month on the second Wednesday". You can also use the word "each" wherever you see "every". I hope that helps.

    Deb Miller, from the reQall team