Features I Still Miss in Mail #mail #email
UPDATE: GMail has introduced my number 3. YEAH! (Gmail introduces Priority Inbox: The importance filter for your email.)
With the exception of my happiness at some of the new features implemented by a few services – that are solutions to requirements I had in the past, and which are now integrated into my whole internet experience – there is seldom a week that goes by that I do not lament the limits of email.
Let me send customized mail to groups of people all at once.
Some time ago I wrote a tool which does this, it allows you to draft a mail and add on different messages/attachments for different people. And I don’t mean something as cumbersome as a Mail-Merge, I mean something that can be used for every message I send. People are already getting enough information they don’t need, with a little care from the sender a recipient’s load is minimized. Naturally you can still continue to work the way you did before, but for the people who want to lighten the mail burden they place on people it’s a handy tool. This includes the ability to send encrypted/signed messages to all the recipients based on the requirements of the sender and/or the recipient.
Let me initiate conversations with groups of people with just one tag.
Grouped mail exists already – it’s reasonably easily done with most mail clients, but what about tagged mailing. Three people in your addressbook are Java programmers, it would be handy to be able to mail only them your cool new code snippet rather than needing to go through the marketeers, managers and Perl programmers in your addressbook to find them. And without the need to update this list when a new contact is added, or an old one is removed.
GMail has the ability to recognize that certain contacts are often contacted at the same time as others, although this is meant more to protect you from contacting the wrong Bob. From experience I know that having multiple mail addresses for the same Bob screws with the algorithm. And this is based on the virtual grouping of mail history, rather than the taxonomy of the contact.
Let me queue up people who want to interact with me and work my way through the list in a way that works for both of us.
This is similar to an inbox for mail, although it is more efficiently ordered, perhaps implemented as a reversed spam filter, using either Bayesian or Markov filtering techniques to weight a message based on the inferred importance. The client allows you to assign weight to an email and you can ask the client to order all the messages by the weight you assigned to that email and similar messages, and all the previous messages you have weighted. It can also do this based on client side rules, and business rules and requirements. Interactions or interaction sessions could also be Timeboxed for greater efficiency.
What are your thoughts?
Adapted from post originally posted here.