In an obvious nod to Twitter’s signature question “what are you doing?,” the new free service PingMe asks “what should you be doing?” instead. The answer, apparently, is anything that you care to remind yourself to do. Like Twitter, PingMe offers mobile phone integration, but with a slightly different twist: you enter messages for yourself, rather than for the world, and tell PingMe when and where to deliver them back to you.
After a relatively simple confirmed signup process, PingMe presents you with an interface that allows you to create a ping, add targets, or add contacts. A ping is a reminder to yourself – anything from “buy milk” to “put on snow tires” with a date and time attached. You can create one-time pings, recurring pings, or even “pestering pings” that recur frequently (up to every ten minutes) until you turn them off. By default, your account will have your email and mobile phones as targets, but you can add more targets easily if you have, for example, multiple emails where you want pings delivered. Any given ping can be scheduled to hit any set of your targets.
When a ping arrives, you can interact with the service by sending messages back to PingMe. Send “ok” to turn a pestering ping off, or “2 h” to tell it to stop pestering you for two hours. You can also create new pings by email. Pings can be archived and tagged as well, so you can use PingMe as a persistent record of tasks if you like.
There’s also a social aspect here: you can invite another PingMe user (or indeed, anyone with an e-mail address) to become one of your contacts. If they accept, then you can schedule pings for each other. This gives you a way to set up group reminders for meetings, events, parties, or whatever else you can thing of that might need group nagging.
All in all, PingMe looks quite useful for the dedicated mobile worker who wants to manage an active task list without needing to constantly run to the laptop. The easy email management and flexible targeting are definitely useful, and the price is certainly right.