Jott Blog

Service changes at Jott

January 13, 2009

Dear Jott customers,

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard that we’re ending Jott’s free services (Jott Basic and Jott Notepad for the iPhone). Unfortunately, it’s true, beginning on February 2nd. Plans for current paying customers are not changing.

I know you’ll have questions, so I wanted to get out in front and tell you why we’re doing this. If you already know you want to upgrade, scroll down for instructions (and a nice discount), but either way I hope you’ll read further.

Our #1 priority is to keep Jott a company that innovates on behalf of customers. It’s why Shree and I started the company in early 2006, and it’s a passion shared by everyone who works here.

Whether you are a paid or a free customer, we thank you for all of the support you’ve given us over the past couple of years, and the support you’ll hopefully give us in the future.

Why is Jott ending its free services?
As we’ve said many times, one of our goals was to always offer a high quality, free version of Jott. But as with many businesses right now, the economic environment is forcing a change in plans. When we started, we made quality our top priority, and we will always be committed to this. As you know, we use a combination of automated speech recognition and human quality assurance to deliver this, and it costs real money to do it well.While we’ve made remarkable progress at innovating costs out of the system, the current climate is forcing us to focus 100% of our energy on getting to profitability. The great news is that with this change we are within sight of that goal.

Why can’t you pay for the free service with advertising, which was the plan?
It’s a great question – in short, the model is not viable right now. This is true for several reasons: 1) it would have required plastering the product with so much advertising that we’d ruin the experience; 2) ads are a terrible fit for important features like email delivery, Jott Links, and Jotts to Others; and 3) all indications are that advertising rates are going to see an even bigger hit in the next year. We don’t want to bet the company, and the utility that tens of thousands of you pay for, on a model that is not sustainable right now.

Jott’s price – $3.95/month – is not free of course, but it is affordable. We’ve had many paying customers tell us that the stress-relief, time savings and performance edge they get from the service makes it a bargain. David Allen, one of the kings of productivity, even called Jott one of his two “favorite product discover(ies)” of the last year in his exclusive interview with Lifehacker.

I’m going to upgrade. How do I do it?
We always try to take care of our existing customers, and if you have an existing Jott account, you’ll get an additional 10% off any of our annual plans (which already offer 2 months free) if you sign up before February 2nd. Simply go to your account page to change your plan, type in “JOTT” and your phone number (e.g. “JOTT2065551212”) as the promo code for the annual Jott plan, or “PRO” and your phone number (e.g. “PRO2065551212”) for the annual Jott Pro plan. Then enter your billing information.

UPDATE: Does Jott have any “pay-as-you-go” plans?
Absolutely. Please visit our “Pay-as-you-go” plans page. That should have most of the information you need. Jott’s pay-as-you-go plans give you access to all of Jott’s features and give you 60 seconds of recording time. You pay for a bucket of minutes and we deduct from that bucket with each recording. We don’t round up. If you speak for 23 seconds, we’ll deduct 23 seconds. We also don’t charge for the entire length of your call with Jott, only for the length of the recording(s). This is a great option if you are an infrequent user / are using it for emergency contact purposes, or if you value longer recording times. Thanks a ton for all of the inquiries about this. We (mistakenly) assumed it was easy to find as we do have many pay-as-you-go customers.

UPDATE: When will the new iPhone app be ready?
We’re working hard to finish up the new iPhone app. It should be up and ready for download before February 2nd and its usage will be included in all Jott plans.

Other questions
If you have other questions or comments, I encourage you read the FAQ, or use the forums and customer service forms. As always, we like to hear from you…good or bad.

From everybody here at Jott in Seattle, thanks!

John Pollard, CEO and Co-founder


  1. Sorry to hear it.

    Comment by rich gates — January 13, 2009 @ 3:13 pm

  2. I wish you would provide a pay-as-you-go plan. I don’t use your services regularly enough to justify paying for it monthly, but its nice to have it available when I need it. I think a lot of web services would have more success with this model as compared to the take it or leave it monthly subscription.

    Comment by cd — January 13, 2009 @ 3:23 pm

  3. If I don’t use the service enough to justify paying for it, will I lose access to the data currently in my account if I just don’t do anything? Will I have to delete my account to avoid being billed?

    Comment by Voyagerfan5761 — January 13, 2009 @ 3:41 pm

  4. So does this mean that you will not have the iphone app even if you are a paying customer? If you do plan to keep the iphone app for paying customers, it would be nice to give it a refresh. The app is buggy and not very useful.

    Comment by Shaun — January 13, 2009 @ 3:42 pm

  5. @cd –

    thanks for the note. You are not alone in wanting a pay as you go plan. Please check out for some plans that I think will fit the bill.

    @rich –

    in some ways we are too.

    Comment by John Pollard — January 13, 2009 @ 3:55 pm

  6. I think CD is onto something, pre-pay for Jotts at 10 cents each, maybe even 20 cents a piece. I would buy into that….

    Comment by Andy — January 13, 2009 @ 4:13 pm

  7. It was only a matter of time. Bummer :-(

    Comment by Rob — January 13, 2009 @ 4:14 pm

  8. Love It’s great for business purposes–the handy note deal and the ability to send a text on the road while still being able to keep your eyes on the road is great! It is also great for communicating with your younger audience–my kids, who are extremely proficient at texting–while working on the computer. (I make it a point to log in to after I boot up.) I’m on the phone a great deal and can talk with clients while catching up with the kids. I’ve only had jott for a few months so I am still getting used to its capabilities and sometimes forget what I can do with it. $3.95 is nothing to pay for the service you get! I do tell folks about you because I know how invaluable it is for me. Perhaps you might consider doing a 60 day free trial period.

    Comment by Lu — January 13, 2009 @ 4:18 pm

  9. Sorry to hear it. Good service, but the fact that it was free was part of the appeal. Although the premium service is affordable, I won’t be signing up. Good luck to you guys in the future. I probably won’t be a part of it. :(

    Comment by Jason — January 13, 2009 @ 4:23 pm

  10. @Voyagerfan561 - No, you will not lose your data. We will be providing some export functionality between now and then.

    @Shaun - the iPhone app is getting a MAJOR refresh and should be out in the next few weeks. In the mean time, the current app will be up and running.

    Thanks a lot!

    Comment by kate — January 13, 2009 @ 4:30 pm

  11. I am a Jott user (paid) and have been for the past few months. I don’t use Jott a lot, but find it to be worth $3.95 a month.

    I am sad to see Jott Basic go because I think ultimately, it might mean a loss of customers for Jott, and who knows what impact that may have on Jott in the future. On the other hand, I totally understand the reasoning behind not having a free version anymore.

    Comment by Alisha — January 13, 2009 @ 4:55 pm

  12. Too bad. I have short-term memory problems and had been using JOTT here and there–when I remembered it–to send notes to people and reminders to myself. I understand the profitability thing as I have been caught up in that myself. Keep the voice recognition quality great–follow your dreams–and Good Luck to JOTT.

    Comment by OccasionalUser — January 13, 2009 @ 5:15 pm

  13. I love jott. Would pay 10-20 bucks per month for unlimited 2-3 minute recordings. Thanks for redoing iphone app. Would never work right.

    Comment by steve — January 13, 2009 @ 5:21 pm

  14. “profitability” Shame.

    Comment by John W. Flyte, Jr. — January 13, 2009 @ 5:22 pm

  15. Love your service, and I’m sorry to see the free service going (but can understand the reason for it).

    As with others, I would be interested in the pay-as-you-go plan. BUT…. could you PLEASE make that page more informative? All it has is a fee on it!! What do we get? What’s the structure? Per minute? Per message? What do we get for our money? More information please!!!

    Please make it easier for us to continue to support you! We love you — but you need to help us out here, if you want our continued support…..


    Comment by Johan — January 13, 2009 @ 5:30 pm

  16. I never use the phone portion of the app. Well I’ve used it maybe 2 or 3 times. What I do use is the to do list on my desktop, which I have installed on my work pc and my home pc and they sync to one another. If I never use the voicemail portions, is there another app you know of which doesn’t cost as much, or is still free? Sorry, but I just got organized and I’d like to stay that way for a little while longer.

    Comment by Shauna — January 13, 2009 @ 5:42 pm

  17. Bye, Jott. Never really had the time to learn the service well enough to need it. Just as well, I suppose. At least now you’ll know who your real customers are. Best of luck.

    Comment by dancingcrane — January 13, 2009 @ 7:24 pm

  18. Will the refreshed iphone app be out before Feb 2nd? The iphone app is very important to me and I would like to see it before deciding on the membership.

    Comment by Jim — January 13, 2009 @ 7:27 pm

  19. Will the refreshed iphone app link to Toodledo?

    Comment by Jim — January 13, 2009 @ 7:33 pm

  20. I think the bigger issue here is that Jott needs to focus on creating a premium version that’s worth paying for. Right now there’s not a whole lot of incentive to pay.

    Obviously not enough people are paying for the service to support the people using the service for free. That’s a problem. Most Internet companies can offer free versions for this very reason. I don’t think the solution is to cut off people who love the service but don’t have an incentive to pay (give me a reason to pay!). This is a bad move from a PR standpoint and, unfortunately, I could see this leading to the end of Jott for good.

    At the very least, I’d like to see Jott keep the text messaging option free. This doesn’t eat up nearly the resources the transcription services do and they’re really all I use.

    Comment by Michael — January 13, 2009 @ 7:45 pm

  21. While I can appreciate your financial position, many of us do not use Jott enough to warrant even your minimum paid account. Good luck in this awful economic market.

    Comment by James — January 13, 2009 @ 8:06 pm

  22. Hopefully, Jott will survive the new economic reality.

    Comment by Agnou — January 13, 2009 @ 8:20 pm

  23. I love JOTT and can certainly see paying a small fee each month for the service I get. One question, I have JOTT Express desktop downloaded on my work computer. Will I still be able to use that (either freely or as a paid service?)


    Comment by Anne — January 13, 2009 @ 8:28 pm

  24. Great post, which matches a great service. Signed up to pay today. $3.95 is affordable, and the value is clear. Best of luck going forward.

    Comment by Manolo E — January 13, 2009 @ 8:29 pm

  25. Folks, I’ve been a fan of your service for a time and realize the need to make a profit. I do have your pro service and actually sent in a recommendation that you add a service similar to the one that has and that is automatic transcription of voice mail. Their service, however, is significantly less expensive than yours even with the discount :-(. I want to stick with you guys but I can’t do so for an additional $9 per month ? — Come on, work with us..give the pro folks a bigger discount…make it easy for us to day yes. Better yet, go to and see what the competition offers.

    Comment by Gotoguy — January 13, 2009 @ 9:44 pm

  26. Hi all,
    Some answers to your questions and some comments beneath that. Thanks so much to all of you well-wishers out there. It’s really nice to hear those comments (and your suggestions - believe me we take them to heart) through some of the angrier ones. This was not a decision we took lightly. We knew it would spawn some negative feelings, but at the end of the day, we also knew that our biggest fans would understand and support us. You have reminded us why we all come to work each day.

    Q: Where is the iPhone app?
    A: We delisted the current iPhone application at the end of December as we began testing completely automated transcriptions for some unpaid customers. Any customer that received completely automated transcription first received a notice that the changeover was happening. While we are still testing this, we have not been thrilled with the quality. Paid subscribers should not have experienced any change during this time. We are not going to be re-posting the current iPhone app, but will be launching a new one with many of the changes you requested before February 2nd. All customers will have a 1 week free trial of the full service (including the iPhone application).

    Q: What are the Pay as you go options?
    A: Jott Pay-as-you-go options can be found here: . I agree, the information about what you get could be more clear (we’ll work on that - thanks for the suggestion). As a Pay as you go user, you have access to all Jott features, 60 seconds of recording time, and all Jott Applications and Links.

    Q: Will I still be able to use Jott Express for free after the changeover?
    A: Unfortunately, that’s not the plan right now. It will, of course, be available in paid plans (and we think it’s a nifty app too;)

    Q: Will the new iPhone App have access to [name Jott Link]?
    A: Yep.

    Comment by kate — January 13, 2009 @ 10:28 pm

  27. I agree with the earlier comment. I’d love a pay as you go plan. Otherwise I’m afraid I can’t afford what is essentially a luxury service when I don’t need it every month.

    Comment by anne — January 13, 2009 @ 10:52 pm

  28. @Michael

    Thanks for the note. It’s true, the money that paying customers give us does not completely subsidize your free use, and that’s why we’re making a change. Believe it or not, we actually have a large group of paying customers who we are committed to serving with quality, research and development, customer support, etc.

    In terms of giving you a reason to subscribe: well, we have a group of very dedicated employees who work long hours trying to make Jott better every day. (I haven’t asked them to work for free. They might do it — maybe their 401k’s have done better than mine.) Maybe one day we’ll win you over.

    As for your point about “most internet companies” being able to offer free product: I hope so, but we’ll see. I agree that most don’t have our costs on the back end, and thus can live quite a while on venture funding. There are tens of thousands of bright and committed people in tech praying you’ll click like crazy on ads (and purchase), regardless of whether you’re in Search or Shopping mode at the time. Some will make it, and that’s awesome.

    In the meantime we’ll keep working hard to make the product better and better, plus we’ll be able to serve our paid customers in the way they deserve. I do appreciate you taking the time to give us feedback, and hope you’ll stick around to see what we deliver.

    Best, John

    Comment by John Pollard — January 13, 2009 @ 11:53 pm

  29. This change makes sense. Jott is worth paying for, and I’m always glad to reduce the footprint of advertising on my mental landscape.

    FYI, these are important to me:

    * reasonable transcription time turnaround
    * iPhone app
    * integration with Hiveminder

    Comment by Graham — January 14, 2009 @ 12:47 am

  30. I have free service but do not plan to subscribe……what do I need to do to avoid being charged after Feb 2nd?

    Comment by Keli — January 14, 2009 @ 2:30 am

  31. I appreciate your service, and I understand your decision.

    I hope you understand my decision in not continuing with your product, for the complimentary reasons. Your service is a luxury, one that I can easily afford, but cannot justify.

    Best of luck in your endeavor; should I require your services in the future, I’ll reconsider paying.


    Comment by Charlie on PA Tpk — January 14, 2009 @ 4:55 am

  32. I just wanted to point out that the pay-as-you-go link in the post by kate (January 13, 2009 @ 10:28 pm) is broken, because it has a spurious . at the end.
    The right link is: not

    I’m sad to see jott free go, but I used it so infrequently I’ll be one of the many who don’t sign up. It’s a shame, though… I’ve recommended the service to a number of people, and this will probably stop as I will no longer be able to provide current testimony to the quality.

    Comment by McScotty — January 14, 2009 @ 4:59 am

  33. I appreciate this service so much and just added the Outlook service. I am very excited to use it and YES!!! It is worth $3.95/month for this tool!

    I forgot to enter my promo code. Could you make sure that it is applied for my discount please.

    Thanks Again and God Bless!

    Comment by Brad Klingman — January 14, 2009 @ 5:21 am

  34. Loved it while it lasted. Good luck!

    Comment by Jeff — January 14, 2009 @ 5:28 am

  35. I made some comments that appear to have either been removed or not posted…no sure ?

    I have the Jott Pro and understand that your primary purpose for being it to increase shareholder value. ( Go green $$) But, why not price the product a bit more competitively. There is a companion product that provides a transcription service and actually mentioned in a previous e-mail and said it would be great if Jott offered this service. You now offer the service, charge three dollars more for your voice mail service and offer 10 fewer monthly transcriptions. -

    Work with me Team Jott, help me get to yes . Possible options (1) reduce the monthly cost, (2) provide more monthly transcriptions for the same cost, (3) do a direct comparison and show why your product is better than the competition. Most users look at this as part of the cost of using their cell phones and when you add your cost to the data or text plans…it really starts to add up. - Again, I like to product, want you to stay in business, just want you to price the transcription /voice mail competitively :-(

    Comment by gotoguy — January 14, 2009 @ 5:38 am

  36. By discontinuing your free service you will be losing one of your best forms of income - free word of mouth advertising. I personally have turned dozens of my clients on to your service.

    Comment by Eric — January 14, 2009 @ 6:13 am

  37. Bravo! It’s great to see companies come out and be honest about why they need to charge for their services. It actually gives me a sense of security that they will be around in the future, so maybe I can get used to using it…

    While I’m not a paid subscriber, the plans for the new iPhone might make me reconsider that fact in the next month. 3.95 is terribly reasonable for a application that requires real people to do real work to make sure your transcription is correct.

    Comment by Ted — January 14, 2009 @ 6:14 am

  38. Thanks for a great product. I too have short term memory problems from exposure to toxic mold. Jott has been a Godsend. I have told everyone I know about it and know most have signed up. $48 a year is worth piece of mind of not forgetting something important or missing an important appointment.

    The commenter saying shame on profitability should move to a communist country - oh wait, they all failed. Profitability for shareholders IS the sole purpose of a company. In a free market it does that by providing a great service and filling a need, which Jott does. If there was no profitability for companies, they would all need bailouts and we would end up in a socialist/communist country.

    Sorry to be preachy, but the comment is so inane it required a response.

    Will be signing up for paid service, and sure that Jott will survive. You certainly get more for $3.95 a month that you do if you spent that on a latte!!!

    Comment by Bob S — January 14, 2009 @ 6:21 am

  39. I am not planning to shift to the paid service–so what’s the best way to move notes out of Jott in advance?

    Comment by Kevin — January 14, 2009 @ 6:40 am

  40. Shame! I’m retired and use Jott a minimum amount but find it convenient, but not worth the better part of $50 per year. Would have been useful during my working years and probably worth the price. We were one of the early adopters of email in the very early ’90’s and were astonished how well organization improved and kept everyone on the same page. Jott has the same potential.

    Comment by Ron Hynes — January 14, 2009 @ 7:02 am

  41. I don’t use Jott as often as I like, but it certainly fits my lifestyle and needs working two jobs and being on the go 7 days a week. I’d love to sign up but you don’t take PayPal… I don’t have a checking account linked to Visa/MC or a credit card. Something to consider for customers who’d like to stay and can’t use current payment methods. If that changes let me know.

    Comment by Christina — January 14, 2009 @ 7:37 am

  42. I, too, have cognitive deficits. When I signed up for the free version I thought it would be a valuable tool to stay organized, but without someone to remind me to use it, it has remained just one more thing I never get around to learning. For some people $3.95/month may be negligible, but I will probably have to pass for now. Good Luck with your revised model.

    Comment by MaryB — January 14, 2009 @ 7:39 am

  43. Great service. Can’t justify the cost personally, though. Even the pay-as-you-go is a bit steep. Hope you guys are wildly successful, but you’re gonna have to do it without me. (I’m in the same bad economy you are.)

    Good luck!

    Comment by James — January 14, 2009 @ 7:42 am

  44. I would love to be able to just have the jott express app, and the ability to have it email, text me alerts. All this minus the voice to text translation, I would be willing pay for this functionality but at a rate of less then $3.95 a month.

    Comment by Lindsey — January 14, 2009 @ 7:42 am

  45. The biggest question I have about pay-as-you-go is whether you’ll bill whole minutes or fractions of minutes. It’d be great if your pay-as-you-go page update addresses this point.

    Comment by Tim — January 14, 2009 @ 7:44 am

  46. If I sign up for the $3.95/month, does that give me access to the other features that I couldn’t access as a free customer in the past — or will I need to pay an additional amount each month for those “upgraded” features? I love

    Comment by AmyJ — January 14, 2009 @ 7:47 am

  47. Jott has potential to be a valuable tool, but I fonund that instructions on how to use it were lacking, I did not fully know what I could do with it, and could not easily get instructions and examples. How does it hook up to my google calendar, my things to do account etc? For free I could keep it going until I had time to figure it all out, but to pay, don’t need it right now. Maybe sometime in the future.

    Comment by Randy — January 14, 2009 @ 7:48 am

  48. I think you’ve got a very good service and can appreciate the need to be profitable. I too would welcome a ‘pay per use’ option as I’m not a frequent user (yet?) to justify the monthly fee.

    Best wishes.

    Comment by Hal — January 14, 2009 @ 8:33 am

  49. A bit confused. Are you planning to offer a free trial (30 or 60 days)? Or do your paid plans already give 2 months free (ie a 60 day free trial)?

    You have to have *some* way to try it for free! Plenty of free alternatives out there. This is a new type of service with value that is not immediately apparent until you try it (IMHO).

    Comment by smitter — January 14, 2009 @ 8:40 am

  50. Frankly, I was mystified all along as to why it was free. The pricing sounds very reasonable - I’ll try the pay as you go thing first, and then when that gets used up I’ll see if I would have been better off with the monthly plan. I’m very interested to see what improvements are available for the iPhone app - keep up the good work.

    Comment by Jesse — January 14, 2009 @ 8:57 am

  51. The Pay-as-you-go option is intriguing; what a great idea! A couple of questions:

    1. What will count against our time? Only when we call the Jott phone number and leave voice Jotts? What about emailing or texting a note to Jott, or actions on the Jott website (like sending a Jott to a contact)?

    2. When does the timer start/stop? If I call the Jott phone number, does the timer begin as soon as the line picks up and end when I hang up? Or does it only count the time of my recording?

    3. Will there be any way to keep track of our time used, so we know how much time we have left and also where precisely our used time has gone? (i.e., an itemized list of the time used)

    Thank you!

    Comment by Jamie — January 14, 2009 @ 9:07 am

  52. Hey,

    I currently use your service (the iphone app, google widget and desktop app). Its been a great use for me as a student, however I won’t be changing to the $4 a month option as its not something else I can add to my overly stretched budget. What would be great however is if you could do a $10 a year option for those that don’t use the voice functions. I use it as a simple text todo list and its great, I could see myself paying for that. I just can’t bring myself to pay $48 (60 CDN) a year for functions that aren’t necessary for myself.

    Comment by Sean — January 14, 2009 @ 9:13 am

  53. Would it be possible to have a free version for those of us that simply want to make short recordings that are only stored in audio format? Not everyone requires the option of having a human to translate their messages into text format. I think a good option would be to have a free plan where people can record and listen to new messages, but they would have to pay a fee if they enable the option of having them transcribed into a text format.

    Comment by John — January 14, 2009 @ 9:22 am

  54. I’m afraid you my be throwing out the baby with the bath water. I use the iPhone app occasionally, but haven’t reached a point where I rely on it yet. Though I could see that possibly happening in the future.
    I think you would be better off giving users a certain number of minutes free, and then if they use those minutes up, making them pay.
    It’s the kind of service I think most people won’t realize they need until they start using it.
    I think you will find it very difficult to get new customers with this model.
    Too bad.

    Comment by Matthew — January 14, 2009 @ 9:48 am

  55. I went ahead and signed up, but there’s one change I’d like to see (and it’s a reason I’ll keep using a competitor for voicemail transcription even though you have it now). I’d like to be able to get the audio as an MP3 attachment emailed to me. With my (competitor) voicemail I get an email that has the transcription and an attached MP3 file (generally around 100k).

    I don’t think the transcription quality is as high, but it’s usually good enough for me to get a general idea of what the call was about and whether it’s urgent or not and if there’s a problem I can listen to the audio directly from my Blackberry.

    With Jott, I generally use it in the car and sometimes end up with transcriptions that make no sense because of the noisier environment. I go back and review on the website and listen to the audio if needed, but that’s not an option when I’m out and about.

    One question on the pay-as-you-go plans (which I won’t be using): What’s the increment for time? Per second? Per six seconds (0.1 minute)? Per 15-30-60 seconds? That’s an important consideration.

    Comment by Alan — January 14, 2009 @ 9:51 am

  56. I would certainly pay for Jott if you can get the voice to text (really email to text) portion working in Canada. I realize it’s our crummy telecoms that are blocking you and basically making us pay double for your service…since really they want us to buy similar services from them.

    Bottom line though is that so long as Bell, Rogers, Telus, etc. charge $5/month for email to text service and then you charge $4/month it’s no longer affordable.

    Use whatever influence you have…we’re a tech-savvy market that loves gizmoes and time savers but sadly (or happily depending where you fall on the issue) we’re also fairly spend thrift…especially these days. Many of us already feel we’re being nickel and dimed to death by our carriers.

    Alternatively, if any of my compatriots in Canada have found a solution to this I can’t wait to hear it…my twoonies are burning a hole in my pocket.

    Comment by Brent — January 14, 2009 @ 10:09 am

  57. This is a great service and enjoyed using all the features. I am not a paid subscriber right now but will I think I will sign up for the pay as you go option. I agree with an earlier posting that the pay as you go pricing is very hard to find on the website. I realize that it is most likely do to the fact you would rather have a subscription but I think you would get more people to at least sign up if they are on the fence about a monthly fee.

    Comment by Dan O — January 14, 2009 @ 10:23 am

  58. @John Pollard - Wow I am constantly impressed by you and your companies ability to communicate with your customers (users). Your company culture is something very special and I really wish you all all the success in the world.

    Sadly, however, I am one of those infrequent users who will find it impossible to justify paying for the service. Personally I use Jott at most a few times a month, and it’s hard to justify what would be $1 per Jott. I appreciate the need to not just to be profitable, but to be a viable in these tough economic times. I’m sure you’ve gone over dozens of business plan options before making this decision to go forward with a paid only service. However, I feel it worthwhile to speak out to you personally since you have proven to be the type of person and company that listens (ha ha, pun intended).

    I would stay a free Jott user and remain an evangelist for Jott as ell as a potential future paying customer even if the Free plan were much more restrictive. Therefore, may I humbly suggest that rather than eliminate the Free option you just scale it back dramatically such as:

    -Limiting the Free plan to one Jott per day, and perhaps in a few months even further restricting it to just one free Jott per week. This gradual pulling back to the free service might, instead of causing free users to flee, slowly move users into the paid service. Personally it would keep the application on my iPhone, and give me a clear reminder of just how often I use Jott. Running out of Jott’s each day or each week would serve as a strong reminder of how often one uses Jott and an incentive to convert to a paid account. In my estimation this would be a much more useful tool to entice new paid users than a one week trial. I find with one week trails I try something the frist day, forget about it for two week and before I can really incorporate the trail products use into my daily routine my trial is over and my belief that it would be helpful on a regular basis is gone too.

    - Alternatively a plan that only had automatic transcriptions, even poorly transcribed would keep me. I don’t use Jott for sending emails, I use it for quick reminders and even if the transcription is horrible it still enough to jog my memory and remind me what I needed to remember. Again, even if this were limited to a few Jotts per week this would keep me around.

    Either of these options would keep free users with Jott and when they ran out of Jott’s each day or week they’d be reminded how often they use the service and reminded that switching to a paid account would be worthwhile.

    Comment by Jon Brown — January 14, 2009 @ 10:27 am

  59. $3.95 is the plan for me. I am finding I am using JOTT more and more for my everyday things to do. People, if 3.95 is an issue, then consider dropping your 5.00 milkshake (frappawhatever) from Starbucks. Jott is lean and doesn’t stay on the hips. :)

    I have only bought one other app, and that’s the Geocaching app. So this is saying something for me, the guy who has 6 pages of (free) apps on his iPhone.

    I understand needing to go away from free; I’d rather have 4 per month than have ads all over anyway.

    Thanks for a great service!

    Tony V.

    Comment by TonyV — January 14, 2009 @ 10:44 am

  60. I agree with other comments. Please offer a Pay-As-You-Go plan.

    Comment by Daniel — January 14, 2009 @ 11:03 am

  61. Comment recap and response to questions:

    1. Pay-as-you-go is confusing - Thanks so much for this feedback. It will be more clear and visible in the next release. In short, though, we only count the seconds you use. If you speak for 23 seconds, we deduct 23 seconds from your total minute count (vs. rounding up to 30 seconds or anything silly like that). You get access to all of the Jott features and have a 60 second recording limit. The time deducted is based on the time of the recording, not the amount of time you are on the phone. Finally, you can keep track of time used by going to your billing settings page.

    2. Voicemail audio files - You can get an audio attachment for each voicemail. Go to your voicemail settings page (reachable from “My Account”) and there is an option there.

    3. All the ideas for how to adjust our business model to keep a free service - We really appreciate the feedback here. Trust me, we have been through countless revs on the business model. We will always continue to explore options that allow people to test the service. After February 2nd, new customers will receive a one week free trial.

    Comment by kate — January 14, 2009 @ 11:16 am

  62. All of you complaining about the cost of a latte ($3.95/month) are unreasonable. If Jott can’t stay in business, then guess what - you don’t get to use the service. People are spoiled by free sh*t. Ever seen the line outside a Ben & Jerry’s when they offer free cone day? People will wait an hour to get a free ice cream cone that would normally cost $2. Absolutely ridiculous. My time IS money, and I’ll gladly shell out a measly $3.95/month for something that makes my life a little more efficient.

    That being said, I do like Jon Brown’s comment above about a highly-restricted free version of the service.

    Comment by ChrisW — January 14, 2009 @ 11:19 am

  63. One more question about signing up for pay-as-you-go (which is the only option that makes sense for me)… Is there any way to sign up now, but not have it take effect until after Feb. 2? I’d like to take care of it now, while I’m still remembering it, but I don’t want to have to start paying for my minutes until they stop being free! Or do I need to wait (and hopefully remember) to sign up for PAYG until Feb. 1?

    I really like that Jott staff actually respond to these posts — very helpful!! :)

    Comment by Laura — January 14, 2009 @ 11:26 am

  64. I wish you the best luck. I put jott up there with iPint and LightSaber on my ’stupid cool’ page on the iPhone. Don’t get me wrong. I am sure that there are those that find Jott to be a tool they can’t live without but for me it was more of a ‘hey look what my iPhone can do’ sort of thing.

    On a marketing note, I occasionally look to see the ‘Top Downloads’ in the Free and Paid categories. Then I look at the ratings. If there was some way you could an free app that did one or two things onto this list it might help raise brand awareness.

    …all the luck in the world…

    Comment by so long and thanks for all the fish — January 14, 2009 @ 11:28 am

  65. Thanks Jott! I just love using your service and recommend it to my clients all the time. I see your service as a valuable productivity tool and will continue to keep it in my toolbox!

    Comment by Elizabeth — January 14, 2009 @ 11:37 am

  66. I have been a very infrequent user of Jott. What would’ve made me use it a lot more is to be able to send Jott Links from the iPhone app without having to make a phone call. Will the new iPhone app include that ability?

    Comment by Larry — January 14, 2009 @ 11:55 am

  67. Where do I put in the Promo Code? Is it after I accept the $39.95 charged to my credit card? Just don’t want to say yes and then find out I missed it on a previous screen.

    Comment by GaryP — January 14, 2009 @ 12:37 pm

  68. Some more answers. Thanks again for all of the support and comments!

    Q: Is there a way to sign up for pay as you go now, but not have it take effect until after the Feb 2nd cutoff?
    A: Unfortunately not. You could, however, set yourself a Jott reminder for February 1st and take care of it then;)

    Q: Will the new iPhone app have access to Jott Links?
    A: Yep.

    Q: Where/when do I put in the Promo Code?
    A: If you are an existing customer and want to upgrade your account, go to your billing settings in “My Account” (which is in the top nav of the site when you login). Once in your billing settings, there is a “Have a Promo Code?” link. Click the link, enter your code, and hit the “Apply” button. After that, you’ll be taken to a billing confirmation page.

    If you are a new customer, the “Have a promo code?” link is on the right hand side of the “Enter information” page when you sign up.

    Hope that helps!!

    Comment by kate — January 14, 2009 @ 1:08 pm

  69. For those of us who use the iphone app regularly, having the upgrade cutoff BEFORE releasing the new app, is poor planning. I won’t know if I want to upgrade UNTIL I see the new app.

    Furthermore, consider whether the expensive voice recognition is really your core value. It might be, but for me it is not. I’m happy typing 95% of the time. It is the readily accessible todo lists across multiple platforms and the Jott links that are valuable. Perhaps you could keep the text based uses free and charge for the voice based, expensive to implement, features.

    Comment by JT — January 14, 2009 @ 3:23 pm

  70. I think a pay as you go model would increase your revenue.

    Comment by Danso Gyamerah — January 14, 2009 @ 3:27 pm

  71. I’m also sorry to see Jott Free go. Honestly, I don’t use/want/need the audio transcription service, no not big loss there. The big loss is that Jott was the only free notes tool I found that wirelessly synchronized with a server, so I could edit text on my iPhone or on the web and make sure the data was consistent.

    Jott, please consider a free text-note only app and save the human QA for audio transcription for the paid folks. Thanks.

    Comment by Roger — January 14, 2009 @ 3:27 pm

  72. Shame on anyone who thinks a business shouldn’t profit. Do *you* work for nothing? Neither should Jott.

    Count me in for paid services!

    Comment by Kellianne — January 14, 2009 @ 3:34 pm

  73. I’m always sad to see when these services go paid, as I am a student and can’t pay for it. It looks like I’ll be moving to reQall, even though Jott is so much easier to use.

    Comment by Will — January 14, 2009 @ 3:54 pm

  74. I only had a very specific small use for the Jott application. With that in mind, I won’t be upgrading but not because I don’t think it was worth the money. For anyone using Jott to even 60% of it’s capabilities, your fees are reasonable and your reasons for the business change are sound. I only use Jott at 1% (it was my beloved grocery list proggy with any computer in my life able to update it) so I have to say farwell for now.

    I wish you all every continued success on a really cool product.

    Comment by HelpYouWell — January 14, 2009 @ 4:25 pm

  75. While I like jott, I use it maybe twice per month. Not gonna pay for it!

    Hope you’ve got some extensive patents–there are lots of talented Computer Science kids who will be graduating and won’t be able to get a job. They may just decide to use their free time to become your competitor. With the demise of the free option, you’ve certainly opened up a great market opportunity for them.

    If I were betting, my money would be on the side that without a critical mass, Jott won’t last through 2012.

    Capitalism. You devil, you!

    Comment by Christopher — January 14, 2009 @ 4:38 pm

  76. @JT & @Roger,
    Thanks a ton for the feedback. With regards to timing on the new iPhone app release, we agree the timing is not ideal, but it will definitely be worth the wait. Stick around long enough to get the release email and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. We’ll get back to you on the free online to-do list idea. It’s definitely something we’ve tossed around. Jott and the majority of its customers have been so psyched about the voice services for so long, that sometimes we give short shrift to what are some amazing list tools that our developers have put together. Jott Express is a personal favorite of mine, as is the ability to text and email in your Jotts.

    Thanks a ton for the emphatic support. You rule.

    Sorry, we were all students once as well (and still are in life;). We hope you come back once you are gainfully employed, or when you become so overwhelmed with school work that Jott is the only thing that keeps track of your crazy schedule. And thanks for the compliment vs. our some of our competition. We think so too.

    Comment by doug — January 14, 2009 @ 4:46 pm

  77. @Christopher,
    Thanks for your feedback. If you only use it occasionally, you might try our Pay as you Go plan just to have it around when you need it. If not, believe me we recognize that there are a lot of users where it doesn’t make sense to pay for Jott. There are also a lot of users where it makes a ton of sense and where Jott adds a lot of value to their lives. As you might imagine, we’d rather focus our development efforts and $ on the customers to whom Jott IS that important.

    Comment by doug — January 14, 2009 @ 4:55 pm

  78. I’m upgrading. Jott is now an essential part of my life (just don’t crash, OK?) and I can’t even think of being organized without it. I hope that people will still try it out without the free services. It only grew on me slowly, and I think 6 months ago I wouldn’t have signed up for the paid plan. I’m not sure a week or even a month is enough to see how powerful Jott can be. Keep up the good work folks! Can’t see what will develop when you’ve got more resources coming in.

    Comment by Erik — January 14, 2009 @ 5:02 pm

  79. I’m still confused. Will the new Jott iPhone application cost money to download/install from the AppStore? Or will it be a free download, but only work if you have a (paid) Jott account? Will there be any functionality of the new Jott iPhone application that will be useable for free by a non-paying user? (e.g. just using it to maintain to-do lists)

    Comment by Rob — January 14, 2009 @ 6:19 pm

  80. I upgraded the first time around, love it, use it a zillion times a day and it keeps me going. You’ve been more than fair, and I’m in for the long haul. (Though I’d be eternally grateful if you’d lose the 15 second limit and move to 30)

    Comment by Linda — January 14, 2009 @ 7:41 pm

  81. I’ll upgrade if the iphone App lets me transcribe voice notes and update Facebook without having to call into Jott. Its completely inefficient to make me call a telephone number and wait for prompts… I want to do it all in the App. Evernote does it… if they enabled me to add to-do items or update Facebook then I wouldn’t need Jott.

    If the new iPhone app still makes me call the #, then I’ll just use Evernote for notes, and Remember the Milk or another free To Do app for to do items.

    As someone in the advertising business I think you just didn’t try hard enough to monetize your free product. I’ve been using the current iPhone App for months and have never seen an ad on it. You also have a unique opportunity to offer ads as notes (like you do with the Jott updates you release as notes that magically appear in my account) - advertisers will pay top dollar for unique placements like that. Limit it to 1 or 2 a week per user and they won’t be intrusive.

    Comment by Justin Dean — January 14, 2009 @ 7:42 pm

  82. I have only just started using your Jott service and have not had enough time to decide if the paid for Jott is worthwhile to me. Is there any chance that you might extend the free time to 60 or 90 days to alow enough time to learn how the service works and determine if it is a good fit? Also, I am a distributor for a Internet greeting card service and have just started to share the Jott service with my distributor friends. Our company has a try before you buy “send some greeting cards free” policy that works great. I hope that you will consider doing this also. I think I would like the paid for service, but not sure enough at this time to commit to a year!

    Comment by Peggy — January 14, 2009 @ 7:55 pm

  83. I upgraded recently and I am glad I am. Jott is my #1 productivity app on my iPhone and I’m delighted to hear it will still be supported.

    Comment by Robert — January 14, 2009 @ 10:52 pm

  84. Jott is wonderful and an excellent value. Jott deserves to make a profit.

    I read most of the comments but I didn’t see anything about Jott Express. I don’t have an iPhone. Jott Express needs an update and I know it’s been mentioned. I hope it’s coming soon… soon!

    Also - if you are looking for more money - come up with an a la carte version of your voicemail translation service. $9 is wayyy to much for the 2-3 messages I get each week. I’d pay 25 cents per message though. Hey - it could add up!

    Keep up this great service!

    Comment by Paul — January 14, 2009 @ 11:22 pm

  85. I love Jott and have been a paying customer since it went “un-free” the firs time. I use Jot Express and the iPhone app and I couldn’t live without the combination of the two.
    The fact that I can add items to my Google Calendar and synch with my computer really rocks. I sometimes use it to update a WordPress swim team site I administer and Twitter as well
    Frankly, I would be lost without you!
    You are the best at customer service (I’ve contacted you a couple of times) and good service is worth paying for.
    “Live Long and Prosper”

    Comment by Nancy — January 15, 2009 @ 8:21 pm

  86. I do use the Jott iPhone ap quite a lot for the transcriptions of my spontaneous ideas. Lately, the inaccuracy has driven me a bit nutty, so if $3.95/mo would guarantee me more accuracy, then sign me up.

    Is there a page that shares exactly what features/benefits you get with the $3.95/mo service? I apologize if you posted and I missed it but I did look through the comments for a link and didn’t find one.

    Thanks so much!


    Comment by Carol Dickson-Carr — January 16, 2009 @ 12:33 pm

  87. Damn, just got an iPhone and when I went to download the Jott app, it wasn’t there. For me, upgrading Jott will be totally dependent upon your iPhone app (and assuming it will be a free app). I hope you will consider not cutting off the free service until the iPhone app is available.

    FWIW, great job with Jott!

    Comment by Mike — January 16, 2009 @ 2:30 pm

  88. I was just about to go upgrade on faith but didn’t see the iPhone ap along the list of options. This is what I saw:

    * 15 second voice-to-text notes & reminders via email & SMS
    * Hands-free email & text messaging
    * Free & Premium Jott Links
    * Jott Apps for Outlook & your desktop

    $3.95 USD/month
    $39.50 USD/year if I upgrade now, will I get a new iPhone ap that doesn’t do the auto-transcription?


    Comment by Carol Dickson-Carr — January 16, 2009 @ 5:25 pm

  89. Any news on export functionality?


    Comment by Tim — January 17, 2009 @ 12:59 am

  90. I appreciate the excellent communication from the company and completely understand why Jott cannot indefinitely give away its service. I have been a paying subscriber since the initial change to a paid service and consider it to be an excellent value.

    I have one request–could the 15 sec. plan be enhanced by adding just 5 sec.?
    :-) That 5 extra seconds would make a big difference!

    Thanks again for an excellent service. I continue to recommend it to others in the U.S. and internationally.

    Comment by Dr. Mosbacker — January 19, 2009 @ 8:14 pm

  91. @ Tim - Export should be ready on February 2nd.

    Comment by doug — January 20, 2009 @ 12:06 pm

  92. @ Carol Dickson-Carr - I just posted an update that should answer this, but in the spirit of thoroughness, yes, the new iPhone app will be included in all Jott plans. It should be ready before February 2nd. We’re working hard to finish it up. Thanks!

    Comment by doug — January 20, 2009 @ 12:08 pm

  93. With the new changes to service is there any chance of the blackberry app going to the “Jott” plan? I don’t have an iPhone (ATT service doesn’t quite do it in my area) and wound up with a Verizon Curve before realizing that I wouldn’t be able to use Jott with it.) but love the service.

    I can afford the “latte a month” but the “one to two lunch” a month service doesn’t quite work. It’s not clear why the Blackberry app is only available at the highest levels.

    Comment by David Levy — January 21, 2009 @ 7:37 am

  94. Doug wrote:
    “@ Tim - Export should be ready on February 2nd.”

    But that’s also the start date for the paid service–so there won’t be a way to export without paying?

    Comment by Kevin Crowston — January 22, 2009 @ 6:54 am

  95. J - Jott is great and I am upgrading right now. You’re right about advertising support is not viable now - for all the obvious reasons.

    Our idea here at enthusem is to reach out to Jott and propose that users be able to “Jott” a message and generate a piece of real postal mail. Sounds ‘out-there’ but e-cards are lame and people are re-discovering print. Love to work with you on a mashup as we are with others right now.

    Watch your mailbox for a cool mailer coming from us.

    Best Regards,
    Marc Fors

    Comment by Marc Fors — January 27, 2009 @ 7:35 pm

  96. I have had Jott for Iphone since July and am ready to plop down whatever you want to continue the service. Really, just take my credit card and pick a number. I love Jott for I-phone and must continue to use it (provided it is as good a quality as before you alerted us to the “test” in December. Now it’s about 70 percent as accurate as before.)

    It’s January 28 and only five more days before Jott D-Day.

    Are you guys really coming through before the 2nd of Feb.? If so, why are you waiting until the last moment? Tell us what to do. We’re like electronic sheep in the wilderness.

    – Jon

    Comment by Jon Ullman — January 28, 2009 @ 12:10 pm

  97. Any news on a time frame more specific than “by the 2nd?” :-) Please, pretty please.


    Comment by Linda — January 28, 2009 @ 7:31 pm

  98. Only 4 days to Feb 2nd!!! Will the iPhone app be available before then???

    I was hoping to see it before the annual plan discount expires on Feb 2nd!

    Comment by Tim — January 29, 2009 @ 2:19 pm

  99. I’d say “some people always want something for nothing”, but the truth is that they don’t want it “for nothing”, they don’t care how much it costs, as long as someone else is footing the bill. I’m more than willing to foot the costs for Jott… It is well worth the 3.95/month — given that I use it to remind me that my parking meter is about to expire! Just one parking ticket would cost me a year’s worth of Jott fees.

    Comment by Dawn — February 12, 2009 @ 12:02 am

  100. Add twitter, basecamp, and hybrid service (custom wsdl) integration and I’ll buy it, and have a snowballs chance at getting my CEO behind it too. But it just has to do more before I’ll shell out real money. The custom Api integration is very doable, even on an m$ platform.

    Comment by Matt — March 10, 2009 @ 2:31 am

  101. @Matt Thanks for the post. We have a twitter integration (, and since basecamp let’s you send emails directly to the system, we have an integration there too (you just need to set up basecamp as a contact). We also have the Jott Links api ( that lets you develop whatever applications you want / need. Our site will be changing over the next few weeks to make these easier to find.

    Comment by admin — March 10, 2009 @ 7:57 am

  102. It’s worth paying for. Keeping the service of a high standard is the most important thing. The accuracy of the voice to text translation alone imo is a great feature.

    Comment by Bree Anthony — April 16, 2009 @ 6:33 pm

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