Audrey does a lot of great things by herself but sometimes needs a little help around the house. For example, she runs the pool pump as often as necessary to keep the pool sparkling but she doesn’t have a lot of options when it comes to emptying leaf baskets or back-washing. So when these tasks are necessary, she let’s me know that they needs to be done. There were two things to consider before I could teach her how to do this:
- When I am travelling, she needed to be able to ask my house-sitter to help.
- When I am home, I need her to be able to add the tasks to my to-do list since I am a big fan of David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology.
So first I created a method to let Audrey know if I have a house-sitter and that house-sitter’s SMS address (to send messages to their mobile). If the house-sitter is not me, then she will just send the text messages to the house-sitter for help. If I don’t have a house-sitter set, then she will send me an email with the request.
Next, I needed to be able to convert that email into a task on my to-do list, categorized correctly. I came across a great article by Travis Illig that does just that. A good solution but my workstation needs to up all the time which conflicts with my desire to reduce my carbon footprint.
Although this was a good first step but my next step is to not use the desktop script but actually give Audrey access to my Outlook calendar through a popular Homeseer plugin called pjc-Outlook Plug-In.
I know some think that this kind of stuff goes a little too far but as far as I am concerned, my time is valuable and believe that a digital life assistant is a mandatory assessory for the people that want the most from life.
Details for the Geeks
For the tech on how I did this, here are the ingredients:
- All the Audrey tech laid out here including
Remember, I am not a professional coder by any means so edit for your own purposes and use at your own risk.
' Passes the appropriate message to the housesitter
' Lee Rogers 9:02 AM 1/23/2010
' Ensure that Z1 device contains the txt email of the housesitter
' Create an event to run a script with parameters like
' notification.txt("main","Check mail, key in laundry room, mailbox B2")
' http://digitallifediaries.comSub Main(pmessage)
hs.writelog "Notifications", message