The War on Email

Inbox Heroes: ‘Inbox Zero’ Is the Wrong Objective

chris holmes meshin1 Inbox Heroes: Inbox Zero Is the Wrong Objective

Mr. Holmes.

Chris Holmes is the founder and CEO of Meshin, on a mission to bring the world a contextually unified, prioritized view of the people and information that matter most, so they can better understand what takes priority and bring them to action.

The inbox is a busy place. It’s a hectic place where data and people overlap. Historically, the inbox hasn’t particularly cared whether it was your wife that sent an update on the kids or if your boss sent you an important file. Priority was lacking and, from the looks of it, productivity was, too.

As we’ve stepped away from the office to get more work done, we’ve brought the inbox with us on our mobile devices. Only now, it’s layered with messages from Twitter, Facebook and SMS. As a benchmark of productivity, the inbox at zero is a failed objective. The true objective is a smarter inbox with all of our communications put in context.

Undeniably, all of our relationships are important. But depending on context, some are simply more important than others. We developed Meshin, available in the Android Market, to automatically position the most important people front and center. We call those people VIPs, and Meshin knows that they are very important people.  Because priority is about knowing and doing what’s most important right now. We can shift context—from father to boss—but we can’t lose focus of (and what) is VIP to us.

In going a step further, there’s a need to unify communications streams into a single app. Switching back and forth between apps—checking Twitter and Facebook or Email and SMS messages—is hardly a model of productivity. Meshin unifies communications in a single place.

Meshin also allows for personalized activity streams based on the people and groups that matter most—one stream customized for family members and one for the team at work, for example, in order to put the information in context.

Undoubtedly, the email inbox is an important part of everyday life because it’s where we keep our relationships. A smarter inbox is all in context.
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Comments

  1. Doug G. says:

    The problem I have with email is the complete randomness of it. I may want to check my mailbox in order to click the confirm link to activate an account I just created, but when I get there I find a completely unrelated but interesting message that distracts me and off I go on a tangent, completely forgetting my original purpose for checking email. 

    What would be really neat is a way to search my mailbox without seeing all of my mail first. Give me a blank screen with just a search box, and let me look for the specific mail I went there to check. Keep the list of messages hidden unless I specifically ask to see it, that way I can avoid the random distractions when I am trying to complete a particular task.

  2. Doug G. says:

    The problem I have with email is the complete randomness of it. I may want to check my mailbox in order to click the confirm link to activate an account I just created, but when I get there I find a completely unrelated but interesting message that distracts me and off I go on a tangent, completely forgetting my original purpose for checking email. 

    What would be really neat is a way to search my mailbox without seeing all of my mail first. Give me a blank screen with just a search box, and let me look for the specific mail I went there to check. Keep the list of messages hidden unless I specifically ask to see it, that way I can avoid the random distractions when I am trying to complete a particular task.

    1. Meshin says:

      That’s an interesting thought, Doug. Would you ever toggle between the “blank screen search box” and a prioritized inbox?

      1. Doug G. says:

        Well I think they both have their place. There are times when I go to my inbox to see what new mail has arrived, but there are other times when I go to my email because I need to find something that is archived there. It’s the latter scenario that would be helped by a blank search box. Achieving “Inbox zero” gives you that blank page to search from, but only accidentally and only temporarily.

        Meshin, at least by what I read in this post, seems to be tackling a different but still relevant problem. You could still connect the two concepts: if I want to check, for example, if I have a new message from my wife, I may not want to see at that moment that, oh by the way, my boss sent one too.

  3. Doug G. says:

    The problem I have with email is the complete randomness of it. I may want to check my mailbox in order to click the confirm link to activate an account I just created, but when I get there I find a completely unrelated but interesting message that distracts me and off I go on a tangent, completely forgetting my original purpose for checking email. 

    What would be really neat is a way to search my mailbox without seeing all of my mail first. Give me a blank screen with just a search box, and let me look for the specific mail I went there to check. Keep the list of messages hidden unless I specifically ask to see it, that way I can avoid the random distractions when I am trying to complete a particular task.