What it does

In short, Dear Me is a fast and easy way for you to keep track of your day to day goals, events, and emotions. Dear Me is a text messaged based diary service that sends users prompts to record what's going on in their life in the form of text messages.

Every morning, Dear Me will text you and ask you to set a goal for the day, and to talk about how you feel about the day ahead. Over the course of the day, Dear Me will follow up with you to track your progress on your goals as well as your mood and emotions.

This information is sent back to our server and analyzed, and you are able to view statistics of your life on our website. Some examples would include trends in your mood over the course of the day, week, month, how your sleep schedule affects your emotions, how often you are achieving the goals you set, and when major events in your life have happened.


Dear Me was inspired namely by the decline of diaries/personal journals in the 21st century. In the age of technology, it seems that no one has the time or commitment to keep a paper journal anymore. While social media may seem like an alternative to this - the nature of sharing your content with everyone who's every known you means that your more sensitive topics and thoughts - things you might not necessarily want to share - are never talked about. A private, online diary not

Dear Me was also inspired by the scrum/agile methodology - especially the concept of the daily scrum in software development. We wanted a way to set and track goals for yourself to improve efficiency, productivity, motivation, similar to what scrum does for companies.

We chose to use an SMS based system over a native mobile because we believe it would more suit our goals. We wanted a fast, easy, and engaging way to keep track of "diary" entries - by using an SMS system, we avoided the hassle and complexity of downloading and setting up another mobile app, as well as save the user some space on their phone.

Use Cases

Dear Me not only has use cases in the personal productivity industry, but also in the mental health industry.

By keeping track of a user's emotion, Dear Me would be able to detect if a user is going through a rough period through their life, if they need any help or resources, or if they're at a major risk for suicide, and point them towards the right help.

Dear Me could also be used as a form of therapy to treat depression. One therapy for treating depression - Behavioral Activation Therapy, involves unlearning depressive behavior, and improving engagement in meaningful activity. Dear Me's daily goal setting prompts and emotion tracking could play a role in these kinds of therapy.

How we built it

We used Nexmo's API to coordinate sending and receiving text messages. Our backend was written in php and mySQL, and our frontend is a single page web app written in HTML/CSS/Javascript. We also worked on integrating our app with text and sentiment analysis APIs such as indicoio and aylien, as well as visualizing the data using google charts API.

Challenges we ran into

Issues with Nexmo, PHP and mySQL.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Using PHP in an app and not destroying everything with it.

What we learned

We learned PHP at this hackathon!

What's next for Dear Me

Mobile app with offline save option. Finish fully integrating Google Charts API and Text Analysis API. Integrate with other resources (suicide hotlines, suicide prevention resources). Account verification between text app and web app.

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