Your Email Weapon of Choice?
Now, we can look at the second part of the email problem which is the actual email weapon of choice. Alan Henry from Lifehacker wrote a great piece to answer a big email question, “Should I be using a desktop email client?” So the conclusion was that there is no right or wrong between using web based versus an email client. The article is from 2012, and in the three years since then, research indicates that the stronger option is to choose an an email client. When sitting at your computer to process your tasks, communication and workflow we need a tool that helps us better collaborate through different channels with email as the core foundation. A 2014 follow up article suggests what desktop email clients still do better than web mail is offline access to email management.
Desktop vs. Web Email Fight
Sure we may be slightly biased, but putting our egos aside, there are many problems faced with email managed via web. The email client landscape really started to boom again in 2012 and this trend continues in 2015. Alternatives to Outlook are taken more seriously today, particularly in the consumer market. Initially web based email remained a popular choice such as Outlook.com (formerly Hotmail.com) and Gmail. However people found that web based email to be very distracting, not as easy to customize, lacking of feature integration to improve email management and no offline access. Joel Falconer studied the war between web mail versus mail client and says,
“I’m opting to move back to the client for a trial run. Without the distraction of tabs and the addition of full-screen mode, there’ll be less gnawing at my attention when I need to focus on getting to Inbox Zero. I won’t have to switch between tabs to check on various email accounts or make sure they’re all signed in every morning or every time I re-open the browser. I won’t have to resort to strange workarounds to use POP3-only accounts.” – Desktop Versus Web-Based Email: FIGHT! by The Next Web
When it all started…
When we started Mailbird, we asked several hundred people using an email client like Thunderbird, Outlook, Sparrow, Postbox and emClient why they opted for an email client. What was it about the native desktop application that gave them a fulfilling experience in managing a constant flow of information? Initially most people just responded, “I don’t know. I just like it.” So we dug a little deeper, and what it came down to was that a native email client gave users a feeling of control, productivity and focus. For this cohort of Mailbird users, the philosophy of inbox zero was a common practice – inbox zero simply meaning keeping your inbox clean and managed.
We challenge people on web based email solutions to try an email client for at least one month, and to pick one that really delivers the experience you want that facilitates productivity at work and communication overflow, while integrating with all the modern key tools used for getting things done and managing conversations. Choose an email client that gives you control and customization for a great user experience.
This closes our series of blog shorts from “Productivity Hole to Productivity Hub”. Five posts on understanding email, productivity, communication and information management. These posts are inspired by you, the email users across the globe, research and interest topics on solving the modern day communication dilemma. We hope you enjoyed this series and hope you stay in touch! Watch out for an exciting update on our blog this Wednesday August 19, 2015.