Tools for Jotting, Cleaning and Designing

A monthly rundown of the latest gadgets that can help you succeed in real estate.

February 1, 2010

Turn Your Phone Into Your Assistant

When you’re on the go, it’s much quicker—and often safer—to talk than to type. Jott Assistant lets you use your voice to capture notes, make or update lists, set appointments and reminders, send e-mail and text messages, and post updates to Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. Just call Jott Assistant and say where you want your message sent, then leave your message and hang up. Your voice message is converted to text and sent to its destination. Works with Google Calendar, Outlook, WordPress, Blogger, and other software. Starts at $3.95 per month. Jott Voicemail, which converts your voicemails into text, starts at $9.95 per month. Nuance Communications Inc.; Seattle; 866-568-8123;

Make the Stovetop Sparkle

Help sellers get rid of ugly cooking stains that can leave a bad impression on potential buyers. Cerama Bryte’s Ceramic Cooktop Cleaner is biodegradable and safe to use on all radiant and halogen cooktops. It can also be used for stainless steel appliances, faux marble, and porcelain sinks. The Ceramic Cooktop Cleaning Kit is $14 and includes a 10-ounce bottle of biodegradable cooktop cleaner, along with a scraper and cleaning pad combo tool that can help remove burnt-on messes. Golden Ventures Inc.; Indianapolis; 800-578-4663;

A Plan for Style

Interior design doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but hiring a pro can be pricey. is an online alternative that offers redesign plans at a fixed cost. Customers visit the Web site to provide room measurements and upload photos. Within three weeks, designers create and ship a customized color board with recommendations for paint, furniture, fabric, and layout. Also included: step-by-step instructions, ideas on where to purchase the furnishings, and specific design tips for the room. Design packages start at $299 for one room.; Long Beach, Calif.; 562-432-2600;