Email's not just a way to send messages—it's also a way to connect apps without APIs. And with some apps, it can be the main way you use the software. I Done This, for example, was entirely built around email to start with, emailing you once a day to ask what you'd accomplished. Journaling app Penzu works similarly, not to mention all the newsletters that, without email, might be another app.
You can email apps to your todo list, notes to your notebook, and reminders to yourself, and more. What are your favorite apps that use email as the main way you work with them? Or, what are your favorite hacks to use email for more than it's designed for, such as emailing a file or store list to yourself so you don't forget it?
So just a disclaimer to start: I am new to Capiche, and I work on Twobird. But I think the reasons we made Twobird are relevant to your question: We started with the assertion that your email inbox is the one place that's perennially central to your work and life. It's functionally our primary todo list; it's just that existing software didn't embrace it. Like you said, the practice of emailing yourself something as a todo/reminder is really common, but a bit clunky and read-only. Email integrations with notes apps are also useful, but limited.
We realized that what we really wanted was first-class editable/shareable/collaborative notes integrated into our inbox. So that's what we made with Twobird. This also solves another problem we noticed: content in notes apps rots unless you're really committed to manual organization. Notes stay more relevant and useful when they're in the inbox you already use all the time anyway. And you do everything with just one set of simple tools: archiving and setting reminders on email and notes works the same way, as does search.
We also just added a new calendar feature, and once again, the idea is to have everything tightly integrated. Upcoming events appear at the top of your inbox. Reminders (for both notes and email) are integrated into the full calendar view. You can even embed a Twobird note in an event.
So that's the angle we continue to build on. But it's just exciting, in general, to see folks embracing email and using it in new ways. We love email and we certainly hope the trend continues!
I've always found it cool how many to-do list apps let you email in tasks—everything from Basecamp to Todoist to even native Mac apps like Things. That's actually how some of the Zapier to-do list integrations work or started out; some apps don't have an API, but they do let you email in data, so you could use Zapier's email tool to send data to that app automatically. That's how I copied team tasks from Trello to my personal Things to-do list for years.
Other cool email-powered apps include Evernote, which lets you email in stuff to save as a note, I Done This to reply to an email and list everything you've accomplished to keep a record, and more. One I just came across today was Nat.app, which emails you before every meeting starts, so you can email back in details about the call with a client to log notes to your CRM quickly.
@aleemmawani's Streak is another interesting take on the idea of email as software, though in Streak's case it's an app built inside Gmail to manage CRM and more, rather than actually using your emails as the CRM, say.
Then, @dharmesh had perhaps the best email-powered workflow when he shared that "Starring email is my to-do list." Sometimes you don't even need another email-powered app, and email itself can be your productivity app.
Hey @Maguay, Sivan from Spike
To be honest, I think the question is also part of the problem with how we work and try to organize our thoughts/tasks etc. The hack isn't just using email in addition to all our other tools, but rather using only our Inboxes. Email, in and of itself, is extremely powerful. Not only is it a technology that's based on open protocols that allow us to have entirely un-siloed conversations, it's also the starting place and the main hub for all your tasks - personal and professional.
That's why at Spike, we utilize the full potential of email and made it into a centralized workplace that's just as powerful as it is simple to use. We harness the conversational nature of chat, and combine it with the asynchronous nature of email to create the world's first Conversational Email that spices up your daily comms and strips away stiff formalities. But we went ahead and took our mission to improve productivity even further. We added easy calendar and cloud integration, group and team chat, collaborative online Notes, Docs, Tasks and To-Dos, and video and voice calls to our workspace so everything you need for your work and personal communications is in one place - improving your organization and work day.
So instead of juggling dozens of apps and connecting different APIs or apps-- we just brought all your essential tools into your Inbox.
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