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Monkey on Your Back - Email Reminder Service

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating


Monkey on Your Back (Email Reminder Service)

Monkey on Your Back (Email Reminder Service)

Heinz Tschabitscher

The Bottom Line

Monkey on Your Back sends email reminders to people you expect to do something for you. Very handy and uncomplicated, Monkey on Your Back also lacks a few features that might be useful (custom reminders or integration with calendars, for example) and may have a slight problem with attitude, depending on whose back you send the monkey.


  • Monkey on Your Back reminds others by email to do things (for you)
  • Extremely easy and convenient, Monkey on Your Back requires but an email address, task and due date
  • You get notified when a task is done and can review each to-do item's history and comments


  • Monkey on Your Back does not integrate easily with online or desktop calendars
  • You cannot set custom reminder times and intervals
  • Monkey on Your Back does not understand natural language dates (such as "next week")


  • Monkey on Your Back reminds people by email to do something for you.
  • Email reminders are sent 1, 2, 3 and 7 days before the due date, and weekly before that.
  • Recipients of Monkey on Your Back reminders can mark tasks as completed and add comments.
  • All received and sent Monkey on Your Back reminders can be managed and reviewed centrally.

Guide Review - Monkey on Your Back - Email Reminder Service

You learned how to do things. You learned what to do — only what you can do best, and what only you can do. Now you need to get the other people to do the rest.

Of course, delegation means telling them what the expected outcome is, and when it is due. Ideally, you also want them to do projects not in one huge burst after the last minute but steadily, beginning right now. Maybe a few gentle reminders can help?

With Monkey on Your Back, you don't even have to put these reminders on your task list. Enter the recipient's email address, what you want them to do and when it is due. Monkey on Your Back does the rest: it sends periodic reminders (one, two and three days before the deadline and in weekly intervals before that) and lets you know when the allegorical monkey has been "killed", i.e. the task has been completed (Monkey on Your Back might have a slight image problem overall, alluding to pesky problems and sticky additions instead of joyful activity).

The default reminders are not bad, but depending on your — and the recipient's — time management system you might prefer custom times, which Monkey on Your Back cannot handle. Integration with calendars (via iCalendar) could also proof helpful, and repetitive monkeys ("Organize birthday party for dad" — or, of course, you) might be nice.

If you're used to "natural" language interpretation of modern calendars, you will miss being able to type "in a week" or "end of February". Monkey on Your Back does offer a neat calendar from which you can pick a date, though, and handily remembers email addresses, too.

All in all, Monkey on Your Back is a decidedly simple and quite useful task list for the things you want others to do for you.

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