For many of us, email has become something of a to-do list. We sit down and answer email requests as they come in, and often it’s those messages that let you know what you need to get done that day.
When I check email in the morning, I’m receiving requests and responses to requests for time and attention. My list of things to do each day depends on what I receive in my email inbox. Usually, a day isn’t complete until every message has been answered and actions taken (or scheduled) based on the emails I received. Inbox 0 isn’t just a goal, but a sign that the workday is complete and everything that needed to get done (at least at that moment) is done.
Enter Taskbox, a Kickstarter project that promises to change the way you view email. By turning your inbox into an easy-to-manage list of tasks, it would essentially optimize your time spent in email and enable you to concentrate more on the tasks at hand.
The makers of Taskbox are promising a series of mobile apps that enable you to use swipe gestures to sort the important emails from the non-essential ones. The goal here is to reduce the amount of time you take to clear your inbox to 60 seconds or less. Is it possible? It could be.
One way Taskbox hopes to accomplish this is by generating quick responses through the use of templates. The majority of the responses I make to an email are as simple as saying, “Got it. It’ll get done.” or “I’ve got it scheduled in tomorrow.” If these responses were available in a quick gesture, and those tasks were added to a list for me (rather than having to go into Google Calendar to schedule them myself), then I could absolutely see Taskbox as a huge advantage over my current workflow.
Email hasn’t really improved over the past decade. The clients have hardly changed for the better, with the exception of one or two that attempted to turn email into more of a social experience. An email client that enabled me to speed through a mountain of email while waiting in line at the bank or during a pause between meetings would certainly come in handy.
Why is Taskbox a Kickstarter Project?
Like any software development, Taskbox takes a staff to get right. The goal is to launch apps on a variety of mobile platforms. For right now, the goal is to launch Taskbox on iOS, with Android and a Web app following behind. In order to accomplish this, the Taskbox team set a funding goal of $30,000.
The hope of the Taskbox team is to generate enough through Kickstarter to fund the development of the app and make it available to the public. Not only that, but this added income will fund the development of a Web app that can be used from a desktop browser. To me, that’s the most important component as I’m quite tired of dedicated email clients that really don’t help me get anything done. Sparrow is about the closest thing I can name to a good solid desktop email client for quickly getting the inbox to zero, and its team is working for Google now.
Additional funding will also allow Taskbox to support more email servers. Currently, only Google apps and Gmail are supported, which doesn’t do much to help the folks still stuck on dedicated IMAP and POP email systems.
Being able to swipe and quickly respond to email would be an advantage over any app I’ve used to date. It would spare me the time it takes to pen a response, forward and assign a task, or simply sort through the clutter. If the Taskbox team pulls off what it hopes to, it could change the way I use email for the first time in a very long time.