#5 Action First Inbox

Is your inbox a todo list?

We have been thinking a lot about actions. Even if an email doesn't have a specific task in it, there is often a task related to an incoming message.

There is no frictionless way to capture that action.

Maybe you mark the email as unread, maybe you create a task in Trello or One Note., maybe you glue a note to your screen.

In 2012, Paul Graham remarked that his inbox was a todo list and called for a 'todo list protocol' to replace email. We figure it makes sense to work within email to create an action-first inbox.

What does action-first mean?

It means Plum Mail will contextualise communication as actionable tasks and link them to the related correspondence.

Of course you'll be able to see all your messages but we will prioritise actionable tasks visually in Plum Mail's UI.

Our vision is to help you get more value out of your conversations with less effort. We found that triaging email to figure out how to respond takes effort and oftentimes quite a bit of it.

An action-first inbox should help alleviate some of that triage effort and allow you to focus on what needs to get done.

Are you in an total todo tangle?

Do you mark things as unread? Do you email yourself tasks? Do you drop the ball if an email goes missing? I would love to chat to you about your experiences using your inbox as a todo list.

We're working hard on the action-first inbox. The first step is to take any highlighted questions and call those out as tasks on the list. It seems to make sense that if you're asked a specific question, the action is to provide an answer so why not focus on that.

We're also working on a task-specific markup, Plum Mail Email Client and smarter alternatives to marking emails as unread. These features all contribute to the action-first inbox approach.

Please reach out to me with your tales of inbox todo lists. It would be great to connect. richard@plummail.co

Cheers, Peter & Richard

p.s. If you have a friend who you think would be interested in our journey, please do forward this email to them! Thank you. :-)

Funded by Y Combinator Logo