Keeping tabs on web pages, emails, and to-dos [Procrastination is an art form]

Sometimes it’s necessary to monitor web pages for changes in content, or defer emails until a later time when you can address them. I’ve been using a few tools that others might find useful.

Change Detection

changedetection.com is a website that is simple to use – stick in the website address (URL) that you want to monitor for changes, and the email address where you want any change alerts sent. Proceed to the next page where you can decide how often you receive alerts (as they happen, or consolidated daily, weekly or otherwise) as well as types of changes (additions only, big additions, any changes) and you will receive an email whenever that website is updated. Coolio and saves having to check back on a daily basis for whether changes have occurred.

change detection

The cool thing about the email alerts that you receive is that they have a few links in the email – the first one is generally a link to the page you are monitoring. The second link is generally a link back to the changedetection.com website with a summary of the changes that were made. This is useful in case you can’t spot the difference.

Followupthen.com

I love followupthen.com so much that I’ve now got a paid subscription. It is a service that allows me to forward emails to the site, and they will be sent back to me as a reminder after the time specified. You can send emails in formats such as tuesday@followupthen.com and a reminder email, with a copy of the original email’s content, will be sent to you on the next Tuesday. december16@followupthen.com will result in an email on 16.Dec. You can add additional granularity with time (eg. 9amSept14th2015@followupthen.com will send an email at 9am 14.Sep.2015).

It also has a bunch of other features, including:

  • Recurring alerts – eg. everywed@followupthen.com
  • Specific times of the month – eg. LastDayOfMonth@followupthen.com
  • The ability to cc or bcc the email to others (depending on whether you want to include others in the reminder)
  • Configure email task lists and reminders (including the ability to mark when tasks are done)
  • Calendar and SMS integration

I find it invaluable as I get tired of looking at email messages in a full inbox. This allows me to archive them as necessary, and have them be reactivated upon receiving the follow up email (I use gmail, so the entire email thread reappears when you receive the alert).

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