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Idea: Email based task management for small teams


#1

The problem
As a small team, we use email as an informal to-do list. Somebody might email me to ask me to do something, I will either flag it, note it down somewhere in another app or use something like Boomerang to re-send it to me later.

This process makes it easy to miss things, clutters up inboxes and is prone to error.

The idea
This application is a central mailbox that allows you to add items to others’ to-do lists and manage yours by email.

Every day (at a time of your choosing), your to-do list for the day is sent to you by email.

You can add items to your own to-do list (or others’ list) by sending an email to the team’s mailbox:

Ask @Dave to call the client on Wednesday

On Wednesday, the item will appear in my daily to-do list email. I can defer it by replying with something like this:

As me about #2 again next Thursday

or reply to say I have complete the task

#2 is done, this client will meet us on Friday.

at which point it is removed from my To-do list and the person that created the task is informed that it is complete (and it’s resolution).

The idea is to allow teams that are still dependant on email to manage it a little better.

Any feedback or criticism is more than welcome! :slight_smile:


#2

I think task management can be a tough space to get into. Is this just for the fun/challenge of it or something you’re really wanting to turn into a business?


#3

It’s something I would like to use (and I think we would use it internally), but I was wondering what people’s thoughts were on whether it was a business.


#4

I do use my inbox as my main to-do list manager, and I wrote more about it here if you want to know the details. When Google announced Inbox I thought that was going to be the product I always dreamed of, but it didn’t really match my expectations and I switched back to Gmail. Too opinionated. Maybe your product could be better!


#5

There are tons of Apps that basically do what you have above. It’s a tough space that requires total team adoption to do well. I don’t think it’s a fertile business opportunity.

Lucky for you, the first step is the same: Even if just satisfying your own team needs, going out and trying lots of things that could work would get you closer to evaluating if this was a real business idea or if there is already the perfect solution for you out there.

Wunderlist, Omnifocus, and many CRMs (such as Sugar) sound like they do some of what you’re looking for.


#6

Good idea. Crowded space:

Active Inbox is great and does exactly this with gmail.
NudgeMail is a newer, simpler version.

I’ve used a few others as well.
And Google has Tasks built into Gmail (although it doesn’t yet have due dates I think)


#7

I’m surprised that nobody else has mentioned www.trello.com yet (there are others like asana.com too). Both of these apps do what you’re suggesting and much much more. Personally I wouldn’t progress this idea unless you can highlight something this does over and above what those incumbent apps already offers.


#8

Some concepts of the idea you mentioned Dave are implemented in flowdock.com. With one big difference that it doesn’t rely on email anymore but uses chat messages.

We are building at the moment taskblitz, which is a task management tool for businesses. We’re working on NLP mechanism like you described above. But not using email but input in the application itself. I can say from our experience of building such a system: it is technically super complicated to implement.


#9

My company uses outlook as email client. In the latest version(at least web interface), you can find the similar function like what you said. I think it’s very hard to cook it as everyone will like it and use it.