People have a natural tendency to seek the path of least resistance. This is visible in the eroded shortcuts in green spaces; empty stairways near congested escalators, or the boom in delivery service businesses.
We all want to do things efficiently, especially amidst a backdrop of an increasingly complex digital world. The multitude of apps we use every day make this difficult; they’re too fragmented.
Most of us use email, reminders, notes, and a calendar in our personal and professional lives, but switching apps (or accounts) is often a hassle. We tend to skip setting the reminder for that important event, or making a list of our daily todos, or getting back to people who need our help — just to avoid that hassle. At Ginger Labs, we wanted to tackle this problem and help people find more productivity with less friction. Here’s a breakdown of the opportunities and problems as we see them.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the different options for dealing with mail, notes, todos, and reminders? Each of these are central to our digital lives, yet nothing elegantly brings all four together. It should be easy to set reminders on notes. Emails are often todos; you shouldn’t need different apps for the todos you make and the todos other people send you. Which app did I write that in? Which account was that in?
We had internal debates on how much we should fold together. Some of us were initially skeptical of the idea of merging the personal and work inbox. We’ve found that the more we can bring together, generally, the better we’re able to use that information. Swapping to a different inbox or toggling things is an uphill effort. We’ll be discussing more about this topic in the future!
We tried many different tools to help manage teamwork, but none offered an elegant solution without excess friction. Most treat collaboration as the primary focus (think the tickets list in JIRA, the board in Trello, the document in Google Docs), and fail to recognize that communication is the most essential element when working with people. Everything starts with communication.
Communication is often a task in and of itself! When collaboration tools live alone in their own space, they tend to rot away. People are eager to communicate but are not willing to maintain a collaboration space that they don’t visit frequently — because it becomes a hassle. All the documentation in the world wouldn’t be useful if nobody ever visits or maintains it. Keep an eye out for more on this topic also!
Today, everything is much more connected. We all have more devices. We knew our solution had to be networked with collaboration first. Reminders or todos we make should be trivial to share with others and between our own devices. Content should update live — who wants to bother refreshing?
Much of the solutions to these problems come in bloated packages. The more features a note-taking app has, the more knowledge is required to use it. The interface for email is burdened by decades of complexity, features that are no longer relevant today. More features mean more visual clutter to tune out, making getting day-to-day things done, harder. So we strived to find a sweet spot between power and simplicity.
Twobird addresses these problems by bringing together lightweight versions of notes, todos and reminders into your inbox, alongside your email. Yes, the same inbox you already check every day. It also supports merging multiple accounts into a single view, so you don’t have to worry about which account something came from ( try this for a week if you’re skeptical, but we think you’ll like it!) The clean interface drops unnecessary email features to make room for more modern and useful ones like:
- a low priority bucket that keeps noisy messages from invading your inbox (no setup required!)
- automatic pixel tracker blocking
- emoji reactions 👏
- one-click smart unsubscribe from newsletters
Our goal is to give you a newer, simpler, and more powerful inbox. We’re doing our best to let you do more — with less.
We’re super excited to announce that today, Twobird is leaving early access. We look forward to getting feedback to improve and keep building on what people need for a more unified digital life. Sign up for Twobird for free, and get more out of your inbox today.
Follow us on @Twobirdapp to hear our latest updates.
Originally published at https://gingerlabs.medium.com on May 12, 2020.