The problem of e-mail

TaskBeat has been designed specifically because of the suffering from prolific e-mail overflow. Although we now learned how to escape from starring at our mailboxes all day, some of us moved to social networking sites, RSS feeds and some other more modern communication protocols. TaskBeat provides best of both worlds, allowing to offload e-mails to a central workspace that alleviates most of the problems attributed with e-mail.

Whether it would remain as just a relic in modern workspaces, or not, e-mail comes with inherent problem of a single list that is ordered by time in which messages have been received. As we all know some of the e-mails are more important than order, but some of them do contain requests or some other type of actionable items which are essentially working as tasks for us.

So one ends up with a list of tasks ordered by time and you end up remembering which are more important than other, star the most important or label accordingly, or just go by them in order. The problem with doing things according to an order in which they were received is that it’s strictly reactive. Unless you are treating priorities in your life as call centre customers this cannot possibly work well for anyone.

Some sort of smart solution would be to create labels allowing to rank importance of messages. This is a definitely better approach and saves lots of frustration allowing to whizz through tasks embedded in e-mails more quickly. As the number of of e-mails occassionally increases (new venture, deadline) you would quickly realise that at times too many items marked as high-important tend too hang in your inbox.

The other problem is that some of the tasks are broken down in two or three e-mails and there’s nowhere to go from there as you can’t move contents and attachments between them. You might be tempted to start saving e-mails or attachments in local folders on disk, but this would turn against you faster than you think.