Jott: “Think it. Jott it. Do it.”

Have you ever left yourself voicemail?

I have. I’ve left myself reminders, to-dos, tried to capture ideas, etc.

Most often, I’ve done this when I’m driving somewhere. I use my cell phone to make a call to my voicemail because I can’t (easily) write or use my Blackberry.

That’s the basic premise behind Jott.

However, there is one significant difference. Jott closes the loop. In their words: “Think it. Jott it. Do it.”

The loop-closing “Do it.” is one of the reasons why Jott is currying favor with the GTD crowd.

And of course, Jott goes a lot farther than my low-tech solution:

  • You call their toll-free number
  • You leave a message – your reminder, to-do, idea, etc.
  • Jott transcribes your message, and delivers the corresponding text to your phone and email

“Obscenely simple … incredibly clever” (Christopher Null, Yahoo! Tech). I couldn’t agree more!

Unfortunately, I cannot attest to how well this actually works.

I live in Canada, and the public beta only supports US-based cell phones 😦

To be more precise:

I’m outside of the United States, can I use

You can if you are using your cell phone, and the Caller-ID comes through to our systems. However, significant charges may apply to this phone call, so check your Carrier’s Terms and Conditions. is not responsible for charges associated with phone calls, internet access, text messages, and the like.

That’s from the Jott FAQ. Regardless, it didn’t work for me 😦

I haven’t been particularly impressed by speech-to-text conversion in the past. This will be the gating factor for me. Because I can’t do my own assessment, I was interested in Jott’s FAQ on this:

Why are my jotts not transcribed perfectly?

We use a combination of machine and human transcription to convert your voice to text. The quality of this transcription is affected by many factors, including recording quality, noise, accents, pronunciation, etc. At times, the quality of the recording will be so bad that we will simply label it inaudible. You are free to click on the speaker icon at our web site to easily listen to your recording.

We encourage you when leaving jotts to speak clearly and normally, understanding that the quality of the recording will affect the quality of the transcription.

Given that personal transcription programs (like Dragon NaturallySpeaking) require substantial training to be effective, this entry in Jott’s FAQ is certainly a reasonable one.

Jott has more to offer. For example, there is Jottcasting. One scenario they describe is simultaneous delivery of a message to a recipient’s phone and email.

What I really like about Jott is its elegant simplicity.

I expect Jott to be an excellent acquisition target for the likes of Google …

And for those who like to have everything integrated, Jott would have much more value if it was a part of some existing solution like Google Office (GMail + Google Docs & Spreasheets).

I look forward to seeing Jott develop (e.g., by tracking their Web site and blog) – and especially to Canadian service 🙂


13 responses to “Jott: “Think it. Jott it. Do it.””

  1. Caitlin says :

    This just sounds totally stupid to me.

  2. Caitlin says :

    This sounds really stupid, just buy a frickin’ Blackberry.

  3. Ian Lumb says :

    Why do you think this “sounds really stupid”, Caitlin? I have a BlackBerry, and find this offering highly complimentary. In fact, I’d like use it with my BlackBerry. I’m delighted you dropped by and offered a different perspective, but I hope you’ll take the time to elaborate.

  4. Ian Lumb says :

    If you found this post interesting, you may also want to read the post on DICtabrain.

  5. Geoff R. says :

    Jott is a really cool service, that has more use than they point out. As someone who doesn’t use all their minutes each month, I could basically text message people using only talk minutes.

    Too bad it doesn’t work in Canada…

    I wrote a post on a bunch of other techniques for taking note on the go.

  6. Ian Lumb says :

    For now, at least we can apply three of your four suggestions for taking notes on-the-go-in-Canada, Geoff 🙂

    Thanks for dropping by!


    P.S. For anyone else who drops by, Geoff’s productivity-oriented blog is definitely worth checking out.

  7. Shree says :

    Jott is now available in Canada — please call 647 724 5814. Thanks for your patience, Ian.

    Shree, Jott Networks Inc.

  8. Brad Grier says :

    Yeah, Jott is available in Canada, but that number is NOT toll free. From Edmonton, it’s a long distance call. The current Toll Free Jott number for Canada isn’t properly recognizing the caller ID from Rogers, so when you use it, it’ll ask you to complete the setup of your account, which is properly set up.

    Frustrating. I’d love to use Jott, but can’t.

  9. Ian Lumb says :

    I feel your pain! I work in Toronto, but live outside the GTA. This means I also pay for my Jotts from home. A Canada-wide 800 number would be nice 🙂

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