Adding a subject to a text message sent to an e-mail address

August 29, 2008

Here’s a tip for text messengers that I discovering when configuring Remember The Milk for my cell phone:

If you are sending a text message to an e-mail address and put words in parentheses at the start of your message, they will show up as the subject of the e-mail.

For example: (this is the subject) this is the body

I haven’t tested this on other phones, but it works on my old Samsung phone on the Verizon Wireless network. I spent quite a bit of time Googling this before I just tried sending an email to my cell phone with a subject and then copied the syntax of how it appeared.

This feature is especially handy when using Remember The Milk’s “e-mail a task” feature. RTM gives you a unique e-mail address. Any e-mails sent to the address will be added to your task list. According to the documentation, you’re supposed to put the task name as the subject and any other information (e.g. due date) in the body.

My problem was I wanted the tasks to show up as due today, rather than due anytime. So, using the text message subject syntax, I wrote:

(remember the milk) due: today

Another alternative is to use the twitter interface for RTM, but it stopped working for me recently.

A productivity tip: Store the RTM e-mail as “@Task” in your phone contact list. That way, you won’t have to scroll through your contacts list to get to it.