Captio: iPhone App Of The Day

I love apps that do one thing extraordinarily well and become part of what I use every day. Captio is one of these apps. And I have Dave Tisch to thank for turning me on to it about a year ago. Here’s how it happened.

I sent myself email reminders on my iPhone constantly. I hate paper and don’t carry any around with me. In general I don’t take notes (I have an excellent general purpose memory) but if I want to remember to do something specifically, I send myself a short email to do it when I have time. Then, as I grind through my inbox I do all of the quick tasks that have piled up during the day.

I was with Tisch and we were going through a bunch of things. He saw we typing on my iPhone each time I took a note. He noticed that I was opening up the iOS Mail app, clicking in the bottom on the new message button, typing bra and then selecting my name, clicking in the Subject field, typing a one liner to myself, and then clicking Send.

He said in his Tisch-like way “Why aren’t you using Captio” as though everyone on the planet used it. I said “what is it?” He handed me his phone and said “Try it – it does what you are trying to do but just fucking works – I use it all the time.” I tried it, gave him his phone back, downloaded Captio, and never looked back.

Now when I want to send myself a note, which I do 10 – 20 times a day, I open Capito, type whatever note I want, and hit send.

“Why aren’t you using Captio?” Now, if I could only just speak to Captio. Or maybe if Siri was a tiny bit smarter and (a) didn’t ask me which email address to use and then (b) didn’t ask me what I wanted the email to say my life would be complete.

  • I was using the same email work around, and just yesterday sent myself five or six to-do’s / reminders via email.

    Can’t wait to give this app a try… review & thoughts to come.

  • Impressive list of other people using Captio… via @BestVendor

  • I would love to do that. Can anyone recommend a similar app for Android?

    • I was thinking the same thing. A little searching turns up the somewhat similar Note 2 Self and Email To Self, though neither sounds quite as good as Captio.

  • Captio is so cool! thank you – i’m always emailing myself notes and it is a pain – made my day!

  • great feedback, will check. I’m usually the minimalist, I still use notepad for project plans and happy with my GMail drafts/autosave for any note. Not as busy as you probably though I work on 6 startups, a full time job and have my lovely wife to keep me with to-do lists as well. 
    My problem is clearing them up, it climbs to around a hundred of them in time, feels like “rediscovery” going through them.

  • Don’t see it on the app store when I search for captio funnily enough

  • Installed. Tried it. Loved it. Moved it to front page of iPhone. Thanks.

  • Manuel F. Lara

    Sir, you just made my life a bit easier. Thanks.

  • I installed it and trying it out. It’s not sending. Hanging on “Sending”. says- server busy or not available. For this to save on strokes, you’d need to have it on your first App screen. Otherwise, you end-up looking for the app and wasting time.

    I currently do the same as you did by emailing myself with a subject “To do”, then I search by that subject to review my list. 

    • I did indeed put on 1st app screen.  Only problem was getting rid of something else.  Need bigger screen.  Fortunately, my other phone is a Galaxy Note.  🙂

      • Update: It worked as the notes were finally sent after a delay. I’m sure Captio will work these out- perhaps getting a lot of additional downloads today from users.

    • Weird on the server busy – I’ve never had an issue. How do you have it configed? And yes – I moved it to my home screen.

      • Had it going to a gmail. They were spooled then got released after 15 mins. It’s working fine now. I like it & the history feature.

  • jeanette

    this is awesome.  just downloaded it, thanks!  though i would love the ability to send to two separate email addresses – my personal, for personal to-do’s, and my work, for work to-do’s.

  • Nice hack.  Got it.  Perfect.  Tks.

  • Eric Willeke

    When somebody describes my workflow, then offers an obvious improvement, it’s a no-brainer. Thanks!

  • Summer

    jotter ( is a free android app that does the same thing. 

    • DaveJ

      tried Jotter… perfect!

  • Some irony here.  Reading your blog two years ago convinced me to switch to Android and the built in “Note to Self” function in Google Voice Search” is exactly what you are wishing for in Siri.  Speak “Note to self: [content]” click send.  I use it at least 5x on every run.  And thanks to your posts on Inbox Zero I actually pay attention to the notes!  Thanks!

    • Irony indeed. Annoyingly when I ask Siri to do this she does but creates a note on the iPhone Note app rather than emailing it to me.

  • I spent 24 days backpacking in SE Utah, and when I landed back in civilization, tasted the best beer of my life. That was the best $2 I’ve ever spent – until now.

    I must email myself 10 times a day. I don’t even have to use this app to know I love it already.

  • testing disqus 2012

  • phandroidia

    When are awesome apps like this going to start out on Android? I feel that day coming… Or just have a fast-follower Android team.

    • I think the similar one on Android is called “Jotter”

  • Yo, Adrian

  • Here’s a trick I discovered with Captio. The first line you type appears as the Subject. That’s great. That way I’m labelling various ones as: To do, To Read, To Listen, Product, etc.

  • scottwharton

    awesome.  just bought it.  I do this all the time too 🙂

  • Works great, thanks!

  • Ejbadger

    seems like a great app but I have been a huge fan of MS One Note for years. With the introduction of the i-devices app and availability on the web, the final frontier is a native OSX app. 

    I totally get using the inbox as the taskmaster, it would be hard to change the habit

  • very cool of you to share your thoughts *and usage* of the app – thanks!

  • Thanks for the tipp Brad. I just downloaded it. Lets see if I  can integrate it in my life. What I have been using is to send me sheduled reminders while I am in the i-phone is followupthen. Most of the time I am in flipboard when I want to sent me a reminder so a flipboard captio integration would be great. For what I would use it for is if I want to capture somebodies e-mail adress quickly while I am outside. I would then have it right in google mail when I come home to put it in my google contacts.

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