Update: Sandy goes offline on the 8 December. What a bummer!
Nope, I haven't hired a real person to help me manage my writing work. For the past month I've been testing Iwantsandy, a free email assistant that works as a virtual assistant. I first heard of Sandy on a post by Diana Burrell over at The Renegade Writer mentioned it in her post about 10 Productivity Hacks for Freelancers.
So how does it work?
After registration, you get an email address to which you send all your schedule requests. Something like, "remind me of interview with X scheduled for 21 November at 10h00."
The system diarises the event, and sends you your day's schedule each morning, and reminders closer to the time.
You can use the system to capture your once off, daily and ongoing tasks, people's phone numbers and email addresses and basically all the little bits that helps your llife tick over. For example, I have included reminders to go for scheduled walks, to drink water and take my chronic medication into the system, along with my interviews, writing sessions and meetings, and each morning, there is one email that tells me what i need to do.
The user's stuff includes:
To do lists
The good thing is that the system can read my emails and then ask ask me if I want to include an activity into my diary, and when I set appointments with people, it picks up the activity and diarises it automatically. Sometimes I include a one-line message in the email, asking for a reminder, using white coloured text so it's not visible to my correspondent. Beats having to individually enter every appointment I have into a diary!
So, if you're slightly disorganised, and spend a lot of time using email, then Iwantsandy may be for you. Try it and see.