Category Archives: Third Generation Mail

This section contains thoughts on the next (third) generation of mail. The first generation of mail is traditional postal (snail) mail. The second generation is conventional email. The third generation is ….

Slack Threads: A Missed Opportunity

19 January,2017

Earlier today Slack announced their long-awaited support for threading. Apparently it has been in the making for 2 years. We at TMail21, (having built a thread-centric communication and collaboration app) were intrigued. We decide to take Slack threads for a spin and report our findings.

First the good part. Slack has done their usual bang-up job with polish. Everything just works and is fast to boot. And they introduced threads without disturbing their main user experience (UX) much. This is probably a good thing since users who don’t care about threads won’t be shocked by massive changes.

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The Biggest Pitfall of Slack and how to Overcome it

29 February,2016
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If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about Slack, the communication tool that is taking companies by storm. At its heart Slack is a super-slick chat tool. In geek terms it is great for synchronous communication or communication where the various users are willing and able to communicate simultaneously. In turns out that synchronous communication is superior to asynchronous communication (think email) for many types of communication. The rapidity with ideas can be exchanged coupled with the low overhead of sending a message is the primary reason for this. A key point though is the notion that users must be ‘willing and able‘ to communicate synchronously. Why may they not be willing or able?

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The Multi-Billion Dollar Cost Of Communication Overload

28 October,2015
Office Workers at the Silicon Rus Headquarters. (Image by Konstantin Panphilov via Wikimedia Commons)

Office Workers at the Silicon Rus Headquarters. (Image by Konstantin Panphilov via Wikimedia Commons)

When it comes to collaboration, chat currently reigns king. Teams are constantly changing the way they communicate and collaborate internally— seemingly centered around a shared frustration towards the disconnect basic email creates. But are we losing productivity in in our quest to transition seamlessly from platform to platform, and cluttering our own internal inbox? The numbers say yes, and the cost is enormous.

It’s Monday. 8 AM. You’re en route to the office, and the push notifications start flowing in. Your team has begun a brainstorming session in the Slack chat. That 5 PM presentation deadline is lingering and you can begin to feel the heat turn up. Sometime over the weekend, you finalized this week’s report and notified the group. But oh wait, that was in Google Docs. Better let everyone know.

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How Businesses are Missing Out on One of the Most Powerful Collaboration Techniques

13 October,2015

The primary way that businesses collaborate on processes (other than specialized applications) is via a mix of EMail/Chat + document-oriented-collaboration . An example of a modern document-oriented collaboration system is Google Docs. But do businesses realize that there is a better way? It turns out there is a much more powerful collaboration technique available and it has been sitting right underneath our noses all this time.

It is a technique used by software developers on a daily basis and goes by the techie name of Source Code Management .

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Tracked Mail: How Tracking Numbers Will Transform Email

25 September,2015
tracking-numbers

Tracking numbers are a concept yet to be fully integrated into mainstream email. But they can provide an immediate path to critical information, without the need to frantically scavenge through your inbox. TMail has incorporated tracking numbers into its core product model, with each TMail assigned its own unique number. Information doesn’t have to be hard to find, so why has a better and more organized system not yet come to prominence?

Incorporating Tracked Mail

Email has operated in a traditionally silo-based format since its inception. Therefore, incorporating content from emails into the entire workplace ecosystem requires copying and pasting which unnecessarily duplicates information. Furthermore, this can slow up the collaborative process, and require individuals to hunt through chain after chain of mail in search of the right information to reference. Finally, let’s say you want to tell a co-worker to look at a particular message. You have to use vague generalities like ‘  It was in an email about the product launch I sent sometime yesterday morning‘. A tracked mail system, however, overcomes this problem by sending individuals right to the message that matters.

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Is Social the Future of Work?

18 September,2015
Social network interface businessman touch button.

With the impending release of Facebook at Work, it once again raises
the question of whether Social is the Future of Work.

Color us skeptical.

Now it seems that Facebook at Work is not just a social network
for work, but also a group chat system for work. We definitely believe that
chat has a big place in the future of work. So, the question is not
whether Facebook at Work will succeed, as much as whether the
social component of it will succeed.

Social is great for keeping up with the joneses (er bosses and
colleagues) but is that what companies primarily want out of their
productivity solutions? While it can’t hurt to know what Joe in
Marketing is up to, it could prove to be more of a distraction than
a productivity boost.

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4 Ways Email Drives Us Crazy, and What One Can Do About it.

15 September,2015
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Email. In many ways, it is best defined by a love-hate relationship triangle between senders, servers and recipients. Email has transformed the way we communicate, especially in a collaborative setting. But has this love child of 90’s era Internet fallen out of date when compared to the plethora of new chat platforms and document collaboration solutions? Let’s take a closer look at some of the problems email poses, and how we’re navigating its pitfalls.

 

1. Attachment Anarchy

Email has become notorious for making the process of sharing documents difficult. Attachments initially provided a great solution to share and update material.However, attachments lack the ability to be updated, leaving room for confusion and disarray when updating documents via attachments. We’ve all seen it. Deep in the heart of an email thread, someone updates an OLD version of the presentation; without the updated numbers and new graphics. By this point, there’s little stopping the flood of confused and distressed emails from working their evil magic and turning a very civilized collaboration into a corporate anarchist’s dream. Hours later, someone manages to fix the issue and send out an updated version in an entirely new chain.

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killerstartups.com review of TMail21

9 September,2015
killer-startups-review

Roger Hollings of killerstartups.com recently did a review of TMail21. Here’s a quote.

Though TMail21 works alongside existing email, it’s perfectly willing to kick traditional email to the curb. TMail21 looks to keep the best aspects of our standard emailing while adding a number of lightweight features that make it a better way to both communicate and work.

You can read the full review at http://killerstartups.com/startup-reviews/had-enough-of-email-try-tmail21

You can get started with TMail21 for free by clicking here.

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Tracked Mail and Chat: A Match Made in Heaven

4 September,2015
Chat loves Tracked Mail

There are two major communication paradigms in the enterprise. These are synchronous and asynchronous. Synchronous communication is typified by chat. Asynchronous communication is typified by email.

In synchronous communications both (or all) parties need to be present at the same time to be effective. Asynchronous communications are designed around both (or all parties) not needing to be present at the same time to be effective.

Historically, most electronic communication within an enterprise was conducted using email (an asynchronous communication tool). Even communication that was better done synchronously was done within email.

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Announcing TMail21

4 September,2015

We are pleased to announce the upcoming launch of TMail21.

Here at TMail21 we are obsessed with productivity in general and enterprise productivity in particular. We’ve been dogfooding TMail internally for the past year and will shortly be starting our private beta. You can sign up for the private beta on our home page at http://tmail21.wpengine.com.

Our goal is to preserve the great characteristics of email while rethinking and reinventing its not-so-great characteristics. Finally, we take interoperation with existing email as a requirement.

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