App that lets you randomly send texts to yourself
November 6, 2019 9:12 AM   Subscribe

Does an app like this exist? I would like to be able to input a bunch of text messages of my own choosing (motivational, reminders to stand up and stretch, etc.) and have them sent to me in a random order on a regular but not strictly scheduled basis (e.g., it would send me one of my messages in every two hour period, but not at the exact same interval). I’m only interested in apps where I get to input the content.
posted by HotToddy to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Does it have to be a mobile app?
Since you can send text messages via an email address, it would be pretty trivial to set up a little cronjob that emails a randomly-chosen line of text once every 2 hours.
posted by jozxyqk at 9:37 AM on November 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

Have you looked at IFTTT? I'm not positive but I'm pretty sure it could do what you're looking for with some tinkering.
posted by Candleman at 10:12 AM on November 6, 2019

I feel like IFTTT (as suggested) with a recipe that sends a random line from a Google Sheet will fit the bill. Then if you would like to you can make a web form to add lines to the google sheet when you think of something that you would like to add to the mix. Check this out.
posted by n9 at 1:10 PM on November 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

My android let's me schedule messages to anyone I want. In the top of the message drop down it says schedule a message and you can select what time to have it sent. It's a feature of the Samsung J7 Core so probably any other Samsung product will accomplish it.
posted by The_imp_inimpossible at 1:19 PM on November 6, 2019

Followup to my suggestion: If you have access to any Linux box, you could put this line into cron. No coding needed. Just put your quotes in quotefile.txt and replace the email address with your carrier-to-text address, and you'll get one of those messages every 2 hours.
The text message might be a little bit ugly with "no subject" and a from-address on top, but it still does the job:

* */2 * * * shuf -n 1 quotefile.txt | mail
posted by jozxyqk at 7:02 AM on November 7, 2019

No jozxyqk, that would be a PITA that spams you every 2 hours on the hour 24/7/365 and possibly keeps sending you the same quote over and over. Plus it assumes that email is setup properly and can send to an SMTP server somewhere (or maybe your carrier just does accept email from any random sender which would be bad).

loop forever
note the time
check the time to see if it's reasonable
if not, sleep an hour and restart the loop
otherwise, sleep for a random time between 1 and 30 minutes
pick a quote, check that you haven't sent that quote recently repeat until you have a new quote
send the email
sleep until 2 hours after the time you started the loop minus the time you randomly delayed
restart the loop

You'll get a new message every couple of hours somewhere between 15m before and 15m after the 2 hour interval.
could use some tweaking depending on whether it's about every 2 hours absolute, or about 2 hours between each message.

The hard parts are the unlikelyhood that OP has an always on Linux box at home (or a VPS or something) and getting mail working with all of the connection/password bits needed.
posted by zengargoyle at 1:59 PM on November 7, 2019

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