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Jott Officially Launches, Ending Beta

The message service now has four tiers of service, including a free option. 

Joel P. Bruckenstein, 09/11/2008

Although it has until recently been labeled a "beta" service, I've been using Jott for quite some time now, and I love it. The original Jott beta service was simple and elegant in both concept and execution. Jott allowed you to dial a phone number, dictate a short message, and have that message sent in an e-mail message or text message to yourself or to others. To work this magic, all that you needed was a free Jott account and a telephone. If you wanted to text or send e-mail to others, you were required to enter their phone numbers and e-mail addresses in your Jott phone book so that when you called up Jott and said "Jott to Jim," Jott would know where to send Jim's message to.

Now that Jott is out of beta, both existing users and new users will have three tiers of monthly subscription service to chose from, plus a pay-as-you-go option. In light of these changes, now is an excellent time to review Jott's capabilities, its service offerings, and its potential appeal to advisors.

Jott Basic
The core Jott functionality is simple to understand. The user calls 866-JOTT-123. Once connected, subscribers can dictate short notes, appointments, and to-do notes. One change that has occurred with the official Jott launch is the tiering of services. Previously, there was only one type of beta Jott account and it was free. Now, the basic service is free, but all other plans are not.

The free Basic service is ad-supported. It allows you to call Jott and leave an unlimited number voice to text and reminders. Each of these voice notes is limited to 15 seconds. Once your voice is converted to text, it is posted you your online account at Jott.com. If you wish, you can also have Jotts made available on your desktop by installing Jott Express. There's a Jott for iPhone app that extends the same functionality to your iPhone.

Jott now includes Jott Feeds. This feature allows you to have Jott read some types of information from Facebook, Twitter, SmartMoney and others back to you over the phone. Basic Jott Links are included with the free service. Jott links allows you to post to some Web sites like Twitter and Blogger through Jott. In the case of Amazon, the Jott allows you to search for product a phone call. Jott will perform your Amazon search, and then send an e-mail to you with the results.

The one thing that the free Basic version lack that the beta included is ability to send voice to e-mail and voice to text message Jotts. For that, you need to sign up for one of the premium services.

The least expensive paid plan is simply called Jott. This plan costs a very reasonable $3.95 per month. The Jott plan entitles you to all the features of Jott Basic, without the ads. In addition, Jott users get the use of what is perhaps Jott's most popular feature: Hands-free e-mail and text messaging. This feature allows you to dictate a note Jott, and have it sent by e-mail or text message to yourself or someone else. You can also send e-mail or text to a group. So  if you want to let all of your clients know that the office will be closed tomorrow because of a hurricane warning, you can do it with a 15-second phone call from your car. If your son's baseball practice has been cancelled, you can alert the team members with a quick Jott.

The $3.95 per month plan also includes Jott for Outlook. This application allows you to dictate tasks, appointments and drafts into Microsoft Outlook. I've only been using this application for a short time, but it seems to be working as promised. I've been able to add appointments to my Outlook calendar and add tasks to my task list with a quick phone call.

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