FoneItIn, The Premier Web 3.0 To-Do List

Web 2.0 is posited as a leap forward in how we waste time online. Applications like Flickr and Basecamp and Google Maps have introduced PC-application-like interfaces to the web. They’ve also taken a rapid-prototyping approach, with software being made widely available while still in a near-beta state.

While the three examples above are standard-bearers for Web 2.0, the single most ubiquitous Web 2.0 application is the online to-do list. Those to-do lists are everywhere.

foneitin logoThat’s why I am pleased to announce FoneItIn, the world’s first Web 3.0 To-Do List Manager. While Web 2.0 introduced web applications that have rich non-web-like interfaces, my Web 3.0 application uses an interface that is instantly familiar to everyone: the telephone. Web 3.0 is no longer confined to the web at all. And best of all, FoneItIn is compatible with Getting Things Done, the productivity approach beloved by geeks because you can spend all of your time managing your Getting Things Done system rather than actually doing things.

Setting Up FoneItIn

To use FoneItIn Beta version 1 you need a home landline and a digital answering machine or a phone with a built-in digital answering machine. In Beta version 2 we will support cellphone voicemail systems. By Beta 3 we hope to support your voicemail at work.

Add the answering machine to your home’s landline. The answering machine should have an access code, a number that you’ll need to key in when you call the answering machine from outside the home. Set it to something memorable. And no, setting it to 69 isn’t funny.

Connecting to Your FoneItIn Server

Use your browser to dial your landline number. Because of cross-platform standards your browser can be any telephone-enabled device, though FoneItIn is optimized for use with cellphones. The answering machine will pick up.

Adding Tasks

Connect to your FoneItIn server. When it tells you to record a message, speak your new task clearly and distinctly into the phone. Hang up. Because FoneItIn uses AJAX technology, there is no need to press “submit”.

Reviewing Your To-Do List

Connect to your FoneItIn server. Key in the numeric code you chose while setting up FoneItIn. How you listen to old tasks will vary from machine to machine. Consult your manual to find out what to key in to review old tasks. Note: your answering machine manual may refer to tasks as “messages”.

Deleting Tasks From Your To-Do List

Connect to your FoneItIn server. Key in your machine’s numeric code. As with reviewing your old tasks, how you delete old tasks will vary from machine to machine. Consult your answering machine’s manual.

Publishing Your To-Do List

Web 3.0 is all about community. To let others view or edit your to-do list, give them your home phone number and your answering machine’s numeric code.


You may ask: how will make money on FoneItIn? We expect to sell branded FoneItIn machines and serve Google ads through speech synthesis. The rest we’ll make up for in volume.

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