I'm constantly frustrated by how I have to interact with information on a daily basis, be it email, web sites, random thoughts occurring in my brain, etc. I just can't figure out a system that allows me to effectively work with the information that's critical while constantly allowing me to change my definition of what's critical.
Here's one dilemma: I have my Inbox sorted by date received, which makes sense. But sometimes something arrives and gets buried so it's out of view, but I need to do something about it. Outlook (yes, I use Outlook, but I don't go all willy-nilly opening attachments) allows me to flag something, but this is rather useless. If it's out of view, I don't remember to work on it until the reminder pops up saying I should be done dealing with it. All I'd like to do is move it to the top of the stack. I'd like to say to Outlook, Show me everything as it arrives, newest to oldest, but let me override at any point by dragging something to where I want it to go. The current Inbox is too structured for my tastes, I need more flexibility *within* my Inbox. Using separate folders isn't effective for me, I'm an out-of-sight, out-of-mind kind of girl.
I don't know how I'd survive without email, and no one would argue the importance of email in the workplace, but sometimes I wonder how I'm going to survive email. I get more and more everyday and it's getting hard and harder to deal with. The easy ones are the ones I read and delete. Any email that requires action, oy, then the questions flood my brain: Do I make it a task in Outlook? Do I flag it and hope it doesn't disappear from sight? If I flag, will I remember why I did by glancing, or will I have to open it? Do I copy and paste it someplace else? If so, where? [side note: a long time ago, these were questions we set out to answer, but we've gotten sidetracked along the way.]
As more people come online, as more people embrace email, a sophisticated and powerful, but easy-to-use system will become critical in helping people deal with the volumes of mail they receive. Unfortunately, I don't know many VCs who are keen to invest in people developing next generation email clients, do you?