What free services exist out there that automatically send a text message alerting you to something or another?
January 20, 2010 12:32 PM   Subscribe

Ever since I was pointed towards Umbrella Today I've yet to be caught out in the rain without an umbrella. I'd quite like to find other free services that automatically send a text message alert. It can be about whatever, doesn't have to be weather related at all. I live in Providence, Rhode Island.
posted by Kattullus to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Weather.com has text message alerts for various National Weather Service alerts, and you can choose what types you get. I get alerts for frost (we garden), tornadoes, winter weather, etc. It's very helpful, although during a multi-day snowstorm you get a text every time the National Weather Service updates the alert, which can be as often as hourly! (Most often every 6 hours or so during a big storm.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:36 PM on January 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you use Mint for your finances, it can send you all sorts of useful text messages:
- When your bank acct falls below a certain amount
- When a purchase over X dollars is made on one of your cards
- When you go over your budget in a particular category
posted by chrisamiller at 12:39 PM on January 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: - Google Calendar can send you text reminders before scheduled events
- Remember The Milk will text your whole daily todo list or reminders for specific tasks to you. You can also add items to your todo list with texts (via twitter)
posted by chrisamiller at 12:47 PM on January 20, 2010

if you track periods through monthlyinfo.com, which is both free and awesome, you can choose to get text messages x days before your period starts or before you start ovulating.
posted by lia at 12:50 PM on January 20, 2010

My company Foneshow will send you a text message alert whenever any podcast you follow has a new show — and the text message contains a phone number that you can call to hear the podcast!
posted by nicwolff at 1:20 PM on January 20, 2010 [1 favorite]

One dissent on Mint: I found that its alerts often came late, sometimes a few days late. By the time I'd gotten the alert that my checking balance had fallen below a given amount, I'd already corrected the situation by making a deposit. Two days prior. Which I did when I was perusing my account on my own online.

Also, Mint was unable to let me add my credit card and my IRA to my account, because of a truly inane password/login snafu.

Mind you, when it was working, it was really, really good. But there still seemed to be some very large bugs in the system; one of which was indeed the sending of alerts, which seems like this wouldn't serve well.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:11 PM on January 20, 2010

Best answer: TimeCave allows you to send whatever kind of alerts you'd like, for any time in the future.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 3:04 PM on January 20, 2010

One dissent on Mint: I found that its alerts often came late, sometimes a few days late.

Yeah, a problem with Mint is the infrequency of the updates. There are a couple of reasons for this:

1) Credit card sites often don't display purchases until a few days afterwards.

2) Mint may not poll your accounts often enough. In order to conserve resources, they update all your accounts when you log in, but in between logins it may not happen as quickly. I wish I had hard numbers, but I agree that it may not even be daily.
posted by chrisamiller at 3:10 PM on January 20, 2010

Cambridge, MA has a service that sends an alert about parking related things - street cleaning, snow emergencies, etc. It has saved me from a few tickets.
posted by mrgoldenbrown at 7:05 PM on January 20, 2010

Eyebrows McGee: "Weather.com has text message alerts"

Thanks for the update... last time I went to try this service, they wanted something like $6 a month. Now it looks like they really are free. :)

Regarding Mint, caveat emptor... some banks don't work with Mint. Mine changed its login system over 2 years ago and Mint still hasn't been able to add the new login system, rendering it useless to me unless I switch banks (which I'm not interested in doing).
posted by IndigoRain at 11:46 PM on January 20, 2010

@IndigoRain: Now they send you a small ad at the bottom of the text alert. Since it's a useful service I don't mind the ads. :)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:55 AM on January 21, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks, all! I was mildly worried there wouldn't be anything but these are all great. I marked the ones potentially useful to me as best answers.
posted by Kattullus at 8:11 AM on January 21, 2010

twitter sends free text updates. You can get a wide variety of alerts this way (headline news, for example)
posted by mittenedsex at 9:45 AM on January 21, 2010

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