The fastest approach to ensure everything is searchable and cross-platform is to message yourself reminders, to-do lists, links, and photographs.
It then becomes necessary. My most frequent messaging exchanges with myself have been going on for a while now (which sounds depressing now that I mention it, but we'll leave that for another day), and it has become an important aspect of how I conduct my online life.
To be clear, I'm not texting while listening to voices. I send myself quick notes, reminders, links, photographs, and other information that I need to be able to access later using my messaging app in the same manner that millions of people use their email. Everything becomes searchable, accessible from any device, and available in the same app that I currently have open frequently for chatting with friends and family.
Texting yourself is a useful life tip, and messaging apps are increasingly including this feature. The newest messaging app to join the self-chat trend is WhatsApp, which is introducing a new "Message Yourself" feature that prioritizes your own contact when you want to start a new discussion. Start the chat, give it the top priority, and start chatting.
Numerous other chat programs include a function like this as well. Both Microsoft Teams and Slack allow you to message one another. Similar to the new WhatsApp feature, Signal's Note to Self function operates. In Discord, you may achieve the same result by opening a group chat without inviting anyone. You can message yourself on Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and in the Messages applications from Apple and Google.
It is quicker to switch to a messaging app and tap the contact, paste the link, and then send. It's even simpler because messaging apps typically work well with your phone's share option. Additionally, you won't end up with a ton of "No Subject" emails in your mailbox. Your communications are encrypted with apps like Signal and WhatsApp, so your private texting conversation is completely private.
The self-chat lifestyle has just one drawback: messaging apps are a total disaster in terms of management. When you actually need to find that one link from six months ago, all the chat window's convenience can become a nuisance. You can search within your self-chat on a few platforms, like Slack and WhatsApp, which is useful. In Apple Messages, you can tap on your contact at the top and then scroll down to see all the links you've shared with yourself. Although I can send myself reminders all day long at the moment, my messaging app won't actually alert me to them. And it ought to.
Finding ways to make self-chat more practical will be the next step for all of these platforms. Apps snooping on users' communications have long been opposed by users. (Remember Allo, where the Google Assistant would interrupt and remark, "It sounds like you're trying to buy movie tickets," like a caffeinated cross between Clippy and the Kool-Aid Man. I've got some movie tickets for you. But some automated help with these reminders to self seems appropriate. Slack is the most advanced in this area; you can use your self-chat to do a lot of things, such create reminders, manage your calendar, and change your status.
In general, messages are evolving into more potent input devices. Every platform, including Elon Musk's Twitter, is attempting to transform messaging into something more than just texting in an effort to replicate the all-consuming usage of applications like WeChat. The chat box is being filled with everything from catalogues to customer service since they are all keen to have you communicating with businesses. Apps like Mem use messengers as capture tools, making it simple to add and remove content from your chat app. Companies of all stripes are attempting to figure out how to make better use of the chat window, ideally without adding a ton of pop-ups and menus that prevent you from actually chatting with your friends.
If you're prepared for the self-chat revolution, my advice is to choose one platform—probably the one you use the most for messaging—and simply start a discussion with yourself. (If you're having trouble deciding, go with an encrypted app like WhatsApp or Signal.) Simply click the share button and text it to yourself whenever you find a TikTok you like, recall what you need to buy at the grocery store tonight, come across a recipe you want to try this weekend, or take a picture you want to edit and share next week.
Before you know it, that chat window will become your go-to location, and you won't find a faster way to make sure all the connections and information you require are available everywhere. However, you should also flee if someone texts you back.