Not so long ago, letters were the primary mode of communication. Then it became email. Now, the trend seems to be tipping toward SMS, or text messaging.
Texting allows people to send short, quick messages between cell phones. Since it seems almost everyone these days has a cell phone, and always has it with them, it’s the easiest way to get in touch with someone quickly.
You can, however, use a text message to do a lot more than just talk to your friends. Here are 8 of the best and most helpful things you can do, just with a simple text message.
Twitter is a popular micro-blogging site, located here. If you don’t have a Twitter account, you should get one. It’s a great, simple way to update what you’re doing, where you are, and stay updated on your friends as well. A text message to 40404 will update your Twitter account.
Never Be Late
Need to get your laundry in an hour? Need to remember to pick up the kids in 3 hours? Follow the Timer bot on Twitter, and send it a text message. For instance, send “d timer switch laundry 3:30″ to 40404 (Twitter again- get the account), and it will send you a text message reminding you. “d” for direct message, “timer” for timer, and then your reminder time. Or, you can say “pick up kids 1 hour” and it will remind you in an hour. It’s saved me a number of times. Really helpful.
Track Your Expenses
I use Xpenser, an up-and-coming money manager, a way to track where your money goes. I wrote about it a while ago, here. Anytime you spend money, you send a text to your account with “exp type $ notes,” and it keeps your money tracked. It’s really helpful, and does a great job of helping me figure out why I’m broke all the time.
Send a text to Google (466453) with any number of things, and Google’s looking out for you. Here are the things you can do, fom the Google website:
Get Driving Directions
This is part of the above, but worth its own note. Are you lost all the time? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. And you’re not lost for long. Send “directions,” followed by the address where you are and the address you want to find to Google (466453), and you’ll get a return text with the directions. Sometimes it takes more than one message, but it’ll get you out of a jam.
Get Questions Answered
Even though Google will answer your questions, it’s not the best. For the best, go to ChaCha. It’s a website too, but is designed for the phone. You can call also, but the easiest thing to do is send a text message to 242242. You ask a question, and a live human being answers it for you. The answers are usually really good- use it to win a bet, or just generally look brilliant.
Get Movie Times/Buy Movie Tickets
Though Google offers this too, Fandango does a great job of movie times through SMS. Text the movie title and your zip code to 36436, and it sends back the listings. Some carriers even let you buy tickets!
Find a Starbucks
This one’s not as important, since there are Starbucks’ everywhere you look. If, by some miracle, you can’t see a Starbucks, then send your zip code to MYSBUX (697289) and you’ll get a response with the three closest locations.
If you’re interested, here are more lists of things to do with text messaging. There are a ton out there- the ones above are my favorites, but there are certainly a lot more of them. Here are a few sites:
16 Things You Can Do with SMS Text Messages
Five Great Things You Can Do With a Text Message For Free