Ideas and Validation April 8, 2020

Why do you find email terrible?

thatswam

Would you mind letting me know what makes you feel frustrated with email?

  1. 2

    Actually, I am not frustrated with email. I was at some point, but I think it's just poor management on my side and not email fault if it's cluttered.

    The only thing that is out of anyone control is spam, but Gmail sorts that pretty nice and I never have to see it in my primary inbox.

    What is your frustration with email?

    1. 1

      Thanks for the feedback @benas11. So would it be fair to say that your biggest pain with email is that it is cluttered, no matter whether it is because of the way you manage it or because of the design of the tool? How do you handle the email overload then?

      1. 1

        I suppose design does matter in a tool, so I could argue that 50% is the fault of the design and 50% is a mine of why the email is cluttered.

        Email overload was handled not on email, but on changing communication channels (to slack) and unsubscribing from all emails that provide no value.

        Once these two things were done, email feels a lot cleaner.

        1. 1

          Nice. So now, are you fully satisfied with those 2 tools in parallel?

          1. 1

            Yeah, it seems to be working right now.

            1. 2

              Good to know thanks for sharing all of this, I really appreciate it!
              Even though you seem satisfied with the tools you currently use, if you are interested in discovering a new solution addressing the whole thing, you can register through my landing page so you will be informed when the service is launched. The page is very basic and needs to be reshuffled but that's a start :)
              https://www.bondinbox.com/
              Thanks again for all! 🙌

  2. 2

    My biggest frustration is that I can't save a link to email :(

    1. 1

      Very interesting. Why is it that much a big frustration for you? Do you have a way to handle this differently?

      1. 1

        It is a big frustration because I'm a big procrastinator :) E.g. I'm writing an interview today, but I got an invitation in October 2019.

        I keep my notes in this way: "Todo: write interview (see inbox email Oct 31 2019)". Then I just open Spark and scroll to that date instead of clicking on a link to the email.

        1. 1

          Even more interesting. So my understanding is that you are managing your todos outside of your email. Is this 100% true, or do you manage some todos within email as well? May I know which tool you use to manage todos?

          1. 2

            I manage my todo in external tools because there are many things to do unrelated to my inbox.

            I keep the pool of all todos with details in Notion. Then I pick some todos for a day/week/month and put them in Trello.

            I would use Notion only but, unfortunately, Notion doesn't support recurring tasks.

            Let me know if you need a video call or more people for your research :)

            1. 1

              Hello @alexanderisora, thanks for this valuable insight. It looks like to be quite a complex process to keep up with your information! There is for sure some from for improvement there! 😉 I'd be very happy to discuss this further with you and if you or to anybody you could refer to. Is there a way / day / time that is more suitable to you?
              Cheers.
              Will

              1. 1

                You are welcome!

                Please reach me in Twitter DM: https://twitter.com/alexanderisora

                I will send you my Calendly page so you pick a suitable date/time.

  3. 2

    I like email, even more so since switching to Spark as my email client.

    My only frustration is SPAM.

    I actually don't mind receiving cold email, providing it's targeted and something I may be interested in.

    The kind of spam I'm talking about is 100s of random emails from Chinese manufacturers every day.

    1. 1

      Thanks for the reply @kylegawley. Can I ask why you are using Spark if the client has a less efficient solution to filter Spam VS other services such as Gmail? Has Spark some qualities that competitors don't have, which make worth supporting your main pain (Spam)?

      1. 1

        Spark has a nice UI, I hate the Gmail UI, in fact I dislike most Google UIs. I'm also uncomfortable with having my emails parsed by Google in order to serve me ads.

        1. 1

          Definitely understand the ads thing. Regarding the UI, what is it that you like most in Spark's? Is it 1 - how pretty it is, or 2 - how the UX is well designed / how you navigate through the tool and manage your messages? If #2 any favorite(s) features Spark has that Gmail doesn't?

          1. 2

            It's pretty, but also works how I'd expect. I've used Gmail before and often find myself getting frustrated trying to find emails.

            1. 1

              Very clear. Hey I wanted to thank you a ton to have taken some time to share your experience!
              No intent to spam you, but if you are curious to discover a new solution addressing the messaging very differently (and better of course 😉) you can register below to be informed when the service I am building is launched. The page is very basic and needs to be reshuffled but that's a start.
              https://www.bondinbox.com/
              Thanks again for all! 🙌
              Will

  4. 2

    In general, I really like email. Most of my issues are more "nice to have" rather than "need to have."

    1. I wish the Gmail web app was faster. I feel like it used to be fast, but these days it's super slow. I can see why some people like the idea of Superhunan though I'm not quite ready to pay for it yet. This is by far my #1 wish. I've tried some desktop clients but none have been better than the Gmail web app.
    2. I wish Gmail would support a unified inbox. I have 5 different Gmail accounts that I use, and opening separate browser windows for each is annoying. I use Edison's mail app on my iPhone which does have a unified inbox and I do a lot of my emails from there. But I'm much faster a typing longer email on my computer than on my phone.
    3. Setting up filters is a minor pain. Too many options. I set up a filter to tag emails whenever I sign up for a newsletter – that's all I want to do, just add a tag.

    Things I do like about Gmail:

    1. Spam filter is excellent
    2. Keyboard shortcuts
    3. Split pane for viewing emails
    1. 1

      That's great feedback thanks for sharing it @stevenkkim!
      Regarding item #2, not sure if you are aware of it but there is a unified email option on the Gmail mobile app (https://9to5google.com/2018/10/30/gmail-ios-unified-inbox/)

      Also, fast email can have different meanings depending on the person. So that makes me wonder: why do you feel the need to get a fast email experience?
      Additionally, why are you tagging newsletters?

      1. 2

        Yes I’m aware of the gmail mobile app’s unified inbox. I prefer to do emails on my computer so I wish there was an option for that.

        Re: speed, I have a lot of emails that I need to go through. Most emails I quickly archive if no response is required. And I just want to get through it as fast as possible and I find it annoying to have to wait 2-3 seconds for Gmail to archive then bring up the next email. I’d like that to be instant.

        I tag newsletters so I can process them quickly. For example, I may have 4 or 5 emails from IH, and I want to process them all at once. Also, if I ever want to reference them, it’s easy to do so. Also I color code my tags which makes a nice visual cue when I’m scanning my inbox.

        Hope that helps!

        1. 1

          That's very helpful thanks a lot! So if there was a client out there that would allow you to archive selected messages instantly, propose a unified inbox through desktop app, as well as sorting out newsletters instantly, would that be helpful sufficient for you to switch to this new client?

          1. 1

            Well yes, but the rest of the email experience has to be good too. For example keyboard shortcuts are very important to me. I also like a well-designed UI. I think something like Superhuman appeals to me, I'm just not ready to pay $30/month for it.

            1. 1

              Thanks again @stevenkkim it was very insightful.

              No intent to spam you, but if you are curious to discover a new solution addressing the messaging very differently (and better of course 😉) you can register below to be informed when the service I am building is launched. The page is very basic and needs to be reshuffled but that's a start.
              https://www.bondinbox.com/
              Thanks again for all! 🙌
              Will

              1. 2

                Just signed up. Will be interested to see what you make. Good luck!

                1. 1

                  Thank you Sir! I will try my best to not only not disappoint, but even better to make people enjoy the tool. 🤞

  5. 2

    Companies that make randomized addresses so that you can never figure out how to get their emails from going to your primary inbox.

    Nonstop emails from app development shops I've never heard of from all over the world.

    Making it difficult to unsubscribe, Techstars Startup Digest is the worst for this.

    Why not have a 12-digit hash, or something like this that I can give out as a relay, so I'm never actually giving out a real email address?

    We have the tools to make email spamming ineffective, but we just don't use them.

    1. 1

      Thanks for sharing this @Blake_Emigro. So Is it fair to say that for you the main issue is email overload, and that the main driver of this to you is unsolicited messages?
      Would you mind letting me know how you deal with the situation? Any workaround or specific tip to share?

  6. 2

    Email is pretty alright. Its restrictions are some of its strengths. For example, newsletters are less bloated because they have no choice.

    Most of my pain from email is related to triaging. Inbox zero is elusive.

    1. 1

      Thanks for the response @sirotkin. I can only agree with you regarding the triaging and inbox zero that is elusive (I have actually written an article about it if you are interested: https://www.bondinbox.com/post/email-fantasy-of-inbox-zero)

      May I know why do you struggle to triage though?

      1. 1

        There are emails I immediately triage as I soon as I get them. Everything else I leave as potential things I would want to reference (e.g. shipping info). Realistically I should archive anything that hits page 3 of gmail.

  7. 1

    I'm actually fine with most email activities. Except low-quality newsletters, would be nice to reinforce that @thatswam

    1. 1

      Interesting, thanks for the reply @felix12777. May I ask you what you mean by "low quality newsletters"? Why are they bothering you and what would you like to change?

  8. 1

    I can't send emails without going to gmail.com

    1. 1

      Why is that a frustration to you?

      1. 1

        I'm on a website, now, I want to share it. Or it sparks in me a reminder to send a quick email. Where do I go? I have to go to gmail.com and open it up, wait, and compose. sounds little but it adds up. I'd rather not keep gmail open on a tab all day. amongst the 100 other tabs I have.

  9. 2

    This comment was deleted 7 months ago.

    1. 1

      I'm curious, why do you think those don't work well from emails?

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