There’s a new kid in town “Mailbox, “The Email App Everyone’s Panting Over “
What’s so good about it? Well here at Dooster Towers we like what we see. Why? Have we have tried it out for a few days? Er no. You can’t do that yet. They’re using the classic scarcity marketing tactic of allowing you to join a queue and wait like a good consumer to get past the velvet rope into the cool club. (Admittedly in this age of an over-crowded app space it’s hard to get people excited, so who can blame them).
Anyway we’ve been able to check out some screenshots covering its basic features – see link below.
We like what we see
Why? Well it’s a nice enough looking phone app. But the main reason is because – smug, narcissistic tone alert – it confirms one of the main reasons we thought there was demand for our own tool / app, Dooster,
When we started out almost every “expert” was saying that email would soon be made obsolete by Text / Skype / Facebook etc.
But we knew 2 things. First: Nobody knows anything (Thank you William.Boyd). Second: We had seen a survey of business people who rated email as their second most important business tool. (The first was the pen…). Based on that we felt email wasn’t going away anytime soon. It was too entrenched in the business world. Inertia is a powerful force.
But there was / is a major problem with using your inbox as an organizer – which many of us still do.
It just doesn’t work that well. Stuff gets lost “below the fold” ie disappears below the screen, out of view…. or is placed “out of sight / out of mind” in folders… Even if you’re super-skillful with it, it takes more effort than it should and is more prone to slip ups.
That’s why we developed Dooster with a strong focus on task / email integration – something you could use to help organise your emails
So naturally we think Mailbox are onto something.
Their main claim to fame is the “ability to resend an email to your inbox after a certain amount of time. You can be reminded later that day, later in the week, / month, or even at a specific time of your choosing“.
Now this is an improvement on a basic inbox and we agree there’s a real need for it.
However we thought about doing this ourselves and road tested. But we found a major problem. And this is it::
IF you can’t deal with an email there and then, the chances are you wont be able to deal with it when it is sent out again
– even if it is “at time of your choosing”. You’ll most likely just end up in a loop with an increasing backlog of re-sent emails
What we thought would work better is the ability to forward emails into pre arranged “buckets” where they could assume pre-arranged properties. For example they could be assigned to specific people, be given pre-set priorities with due dates and so on. Basically where they could be turned into tasks – because let’s be honest, an email is either a nice note from a friend that you’ll file and forget, or it’s spam which you just delete. Or it’s a task which you have to do something with.
Rather than resending it to yourself to do something “manyana”, it’s better to filter and grade it there and then. That way you’re using the classic “one touch” time management technique (ie whereby you only touch a piece of paper once. You deal with it there and then and move on to the next in the pile)
To be fair even turning emails into tasks quickly and easily like this doesn’t totally solve the problem of “when the heck can I get the time to deal with this thing…” There’s almost never enough time. That’s a fact of life. (If you’ve got enough time you may need to ask yourself why…)
But the additional filtering that Dooster gives you means you have a real edge over just sending stuff back in your inbox. You’re lightening the road at each iteration and there is much less of a backlog. And once you set a task in Dooster it doesn’t go away until you’ve dealt with it one way or another.
(Dooster also sends email into your inbox in the form of task alerts and notifications. So you might see your original email / task return to your inbox. But hopefully you’ll see it back in your inbox as a task that’s been completed by someone else. That’s my favourite type 😉
So this is why we carried on with Dooster, despite various cool bloggers telling us we were behind the times; because we knew there was a demand. And the emergence of apps like Mailbox by the smart young kids confirms it.
Now if only we could get the press that Mailbox is getting 😉 As usual with tech apps the interest seems to be more focused on the financial outcome for the founders – in this case Apple’s apparent interest in buying them – which Businessweek hints is because one of the cool kids behind it has a daddy who works for apple…
and so it goes.
Screenshots at http://www.businessinsider.com/mailbox-app-for-iphone-2013-1#soon-youll-be-able-to-download-mailbox-once-youve-installed-the-app-go-ahead-and-tap-to-open-1
The Dooster feature we refer to in this article is “emailing tasks into Dooster” /
Creating Tasks from Email