Using Jott to Send Emails Without Email

This is an interesting use of Jott I’ve just discovered, and which got me to sign up for their paid monthly plan (Jott used to be free, but now it isn’t).

Here’s a summary of what Jott is: Jott allows you to call a number to leave a note for yourself. The system then converts the message to text and emails it to you. You can then read your message in the email, or click to listen to it from the email as well. It is a good “capture” tool for when you are on the go or not in a place where you could write something down or enter it directly into your computer.

Jott also allows you to add additional people, so that instead of just being able to jott yourself, you can also jott the people you add. So, for example, if you have an assistant you can jott that person various to-do items that come up during the day, and she/he will receive them by email.

Now, following from that, here is the interesting use: You don’t have to limit your thinking with it to simply sending yourself and others to-do items. You can also use it as a simple and convenient method for sending just regular emails, without having to type them in your email client. This can be useful when you’re on the go, but more than that can be a way to save time — instead of writing out an email, you can just speak it into Jott and let Jott do the rest.

Another benefit is this: As I discuss elsewhere, I recommend that when you are giving focused time to a project, you focus on that project entirely and shut down your email. But sometimes, the course of your work on the project will require you to send an email — which means you’ll be opening up your email client and risk getting side tracked into handling all of your email when you intent was just to send one. Jott is a solution to this: you can now still send that email, without having to open up your email program at all.

One nuance: It could turn out to be the case that people don’t generally like receiving “voice to text” emails (although the transcription is really good, and the ability to listen may add a good personal touch). If so, then it might be good to limit this use simply to your immediate team members where everyone sees and likes the efficiency this creates for the common workflow.

OK, two nuances: Since this makes it even easier to send email, it’s possible that the result could easily be that you begin sending out an even greater proliferation of email. So it would be a good idea to be aware of that so that you don’t end up sending more email simply because it’s easier.

  • David

    Matt, thanks for your helpful post. There is another service called, which which I have no affiliation except as a satisfied user. It has similar features to Jott, except Dial2do is free. I’m sure eventually it will turn into a paying plan as Jott did, but for now, it’s a good alternative.

  • Matthew Molesky

    Another great tool here that doesn’t require paying monthly is to get the OmniFocus app for your iPhone. You can use it to record audio messages to yourself, and even include photos.

  • Matt

    Matthew: Great reminder. I had forgotten about that ability in the OmniFocus iPhone app. That will be very useful — and it seems like you don’t have the 30 second time limit, either.

    David: is great to know about as a solid free alternative.