The name “Lazy Texts” may sound like it’s just for lazy people, but that’s not how it started for one UCF senior.
With coding skills from a major in computer science, Charlie Levine created a software program to keep himself organized.
Levine shared his program with his close friends, and then an idea came to him that maybe his program could help other students.
“I didn’t go into this wanting to make money off of it,” Levine said. “I genuinely just wanted to help myself and then others.”
Lazy Texts is a customizable text reminder service for students’ assignments, due dates, exams and other activities.
The partnership with Student Government offers 2,000 students the chance to use the service for free until the end of the fall 2020 semester. The deadline to sign up is Dec. 15.
SG President Sabrina La Rosa said that the partnership could continue in the spring semester if students show an interest in using it.
Since March 2020, Levine and his business partner Harrison Cohn, a senior business major at the University of Florida, have been fine-tuning the service through trials and building the website. They also were recognized by Canvas as a partner for other schools.
Creating a business in a pandemic could be difficult, but Levine and Cohn both said the online aspect of Lazy Texts keeps them in constant communication and on track.
While Levine and Cohn attend different universities, they said they have good communication and work well together.
“Charlie makes it work,” Cohn said. “And I make it get out there.”
Levine and Cohn grew up in South Florida and became friends, graduating from the same high school.
When Cohn got the call from Levine in March, he said he was “definitely interested” in the venture.
Cohn said at least 500 UCF students currently use Lazy Texts.
Levine and Cohn both come from educator families. Cohn said he had a passion for this project, considering his experience with his mom as a teacher.
Levine said Cohn was a part of Lazy Texts when it was just an idea. He said Cohn’s business knowledge complemented his coding, and the business took off from there.
“He was on board from the beginning, just helping me figure out how to make it better because it started so basic,” Levine said.
Cohn’s younger brother, who is also a UCF student, designed the Lazy Texts mascot and parts of the website. Cohn said the mascot, Lazy Legend, is like a friend who sends the texts to your phone.
“We try and make it, again, as user-friendly and personable and customizable as possible,” he said.
Lazy Texts officially launched last September and focused on students.
“A lot of times, the kids have so much potential they just don’t reach because they’re so overwhelmed with everything,” Levine said. “So, if I can get rid of that, then they’ll be so much more successful.”
Levine said he realized he could reach other students like him — the ones he said have the most to gain from Lazy Texts.
“It’s just a way to conceptualize it for people that are easily overwhelmed and easily discouraged,” Levine said. “So those specific cases mean a lot to me because I relate to that.”
Cohn said students of all grade levels found value in the service, especially when remembering specific deadlines and reducing stress.
“My favorite thing about [Lazy Texts] is just knowing the service really helps,” Cohn said.
Kylee Anzueto, junior political science major, heard about Lazy Texts through her Student Government Leadership Council club.
“I was like, ‘Oh I guess I’ll just do it,’ but I’m so glad I did, because it’s great having a reminder every single day,” Anzueto said.
Anzueto said though she stayed on top of her work, Lazy Texts helped her to keep track of assignments in addition to her paper planner.
“Usually, I do take the initiative, but having a second source is just absolutely amazing for me, and it's definitely helped me feel a lot less anxious,” she said.
Anzueto said it was nice having the reminders go off at the times she chose and how many assignments she could view.
“It was huge for me to start things early on and not have to worry so much because I’m getting those constant reminders,” she said. “And I have felt way more relieved.”
Anzueto said there was one instance where Lazy Texts was surprisingly helpful. Her professor mixed up the due date of a big project, and she said the Lazy Texts reminders were “huge” when she needed to complete the project quickly.
With online learning increasing due to the pandemic, Levine said Lazy Texts will always have a purpose. He said the shift to virtual learning was an unexpected boost to their launch.
Levine and Cohn said they appreciate any feedback students may have.
Cohn said the next step for Lazy Texts is to get the word out to as many schools as they can.
“My biggest point of all of this is that no matter if you are on top of your game, or you’re disorganized, you can benefit from using this,” he said.
Levine and Cohn said they hope students will give Lazy Texts a try.
“I mean, why not get a text to your phone that tells you what you have to do?” Levine said.
Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly spelled Anzueto's name