Michael Seid Builds Text Nina, Keeps It Simple With Twilio SMS

Michael Seid
Michael Seid

I scribble my daily to-do list in a legal pad. My legal pad doesn’t ask for my email, award me fictional points for writing in it, or display full screen prompts enticing me unlock “premium” legal pad features. It just does its job, and I like that.

If you’re a developer, there’s probably someone trying to get your email to send you a LinkedIn message right now. I would understand if you’re hesitant to give your email out to a to-do list app. Michael Seid, is a developer (and CTO of Naytev). So he built a text powered to-do list service, Text Nina, that’s as simple as it is unintrusive.


The Anti-App: Text Nina Operates Simply, Efficiently With Twilio SMS

“I have never found a list app I liked,” says Seid. “I like the simple and easy interface of a phone number. It makes life easy instead of having to keep track of another app.”

Seid’s anti-app is Text Nina. When you have something you need to remember to do, you can Text Nina and she’ll remember it for you. When you need a list of things you forgot to remember, text “list.” When you want to actually forget those things text “clear” and Nina will delete your list. That’s it. It’s that simple.

It took Seid about four hours to build the whole thing using Twilio’s Node library, Redis DB, and Heroku. The code Seid used to enable receiving SMS is only a few lines long.


Michael is currently working on building out features so you can share your list with your friends via SMS, and import contacts to Text Nina via MMS. Despite the many new features in sprint, he’s committed to foregoing an app. He answers the app question with a question of his own: “Why not utilize the most used app on any phone?”

  • mattstibbs

    I love simple solutions to real problems like this – but wonder whether it wouldn’t get a little expensive which would put you off using it as much as you want?

    • mbseid

      Most US cell plans have unlimited texting so it isn’t much of a thought for consumers. For International Users, sms costs definitely would be a consideration but for those people data consumption is also a consideration.