Productivity is all about management and scheduling. And if you’re doing everything on a timely basis, why not have the ability to communicate with friends and family on a planned time? That’s what Schemes aims to address. In short, it is a very simple yet handy Android app that lets you schedule four types of outgoing communications: SMS, emails, Tweets, and Facebook statuses. The best thing is that all of this is done without any unnecessarily complicated steps. By the way, did you know that the name of this app is actually an acronym? Read on to find out what it means!
Upon launching ‘Schemes’ for the first time, you’ll get a Welcome screen that will help you log in to Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail (other email services aren’t supported at the moment). You can choose not to log in with any of the services you don’t use (or simply don’t want to connect), and keep pressing the Next button. You can always login later as well.
After completing the initial setup, you’ll be taken to the app’s messages list that’s empty for now since you haven’t added anything yet. Tap the Compose icon on the blue bar at the top, and a simple compose screen will pop up.
Note that since we haven’t logged into Twitter, Facebook, or Gmail, there’s only one usable option, and that’s SMS. In case you have signed in with the aforementioned services, their options will become usable as well. Now all you need to do is to enter your recipient’s applicable contact info for which you want to schedule the message, and type the message. Next, tap ‘Set time’ to set when would you want the message delivered to them. You can also tap ‘Set date’ to schedule the message for sending on any particular date, such as someone’s birthday. You can also skip setting a time and date (i.e. no scheduling) and hit the send button, and the message will be sent immediately, but there wouldn’t really be any point to using this app for the purpose. You’ll see the message preview on the main screen, and it will disappear once it has been sent (i.e. at the scheduled time).
In case you didn’t sign in to the online services during the initial setup, tap the options button at the top-left, followed by ‘settings’. Under login preferences, you can log in to any of the available services from here.
There’s also a ‘Show Notifications’ option here that’s unchecked by default. It will notify you whenever your scheduled message, post, tweet or email is sent, so it can be helpful to enable it.
I tested all 4 communication channels one by one. Facebook seemed to be a little bumpy, and it sometimes didn’t post, so better try it out yourself and see how it goes for you. Everything else worked perfectly, including Twitter, Gmail and SMS.
Note that you need to specify the appropriate contact information for your scheduled updates on every applicable service that you’ve selected. This would be an email address for emails and a phone number for texts. Though both needed to be entered manually, as the app didn’t allow me to choose the recipient from my contacts. Posting to Facebook doesn’t require any contact info, though this means you cannot post to someone’s wall. Similarly, tweeting doesn’t provide you with a ‘To’ field either, but you can simply add someone’s Twitter handle in an @mention in the beginning, the way I tweeted to @SameedKhn in the screenshots above. It would be preferable to see twitter handle suggestions too though, for the people I follow. Anyway, once all is set and you’ve scheduled messages the way you want, tapping the send icon on top will take you to the main screen, where all your scheduled messages will be displayed in a color-coded list based on the services they’re for (it looks pretty cool now).
If you want to cancel a scheduled message, tap and hold on it, and press the ‘X’ button that appears on the top. Once messages are sent, you’ll get a notification, as shown above. (And since I sent the text message and email to myself, I received notifications for them as well).
There are unlimited possibilities for the use of this app. For instance, sending perfectly timed ‘good morning’ message, scheduling tweets, making sure you’re the first one to wish your contacts a happy birthday, and much more. So go ahead, schedule your messages with Schemes and automate your communication. And yes, we didn’t forget: Schemes stands for ‘Scheduled Messages’. Now you know!