|Flagged Messages --- ?RonGoldman 23 Feb 2002
* * *Many people get hundreds of email messages a day. Some messages they can deal with immediately, while others require more time and answering them needs to be put off till later. However it is all too easy to lose track of the pending messages amidst the clutter of a mailbox full of many, many other ones.
Some people try to solve the problem by creating a special place where they can put these important messages: a special in box. That can help, but what happens as the number of messages in that special place grows? Do you then create another really special place to store the very important messages?
Also there is more than just a message's priority that we want to indicate. Maybe it has important information, so we want it to stand out in order to find it more easily at some later date. Or within some conversational thread we would like to visually mark which messages favor or oppose an issue.
Current email clients use labels to indicate things like a message's priority, whether we have read it or not, if we have replied to it or forwarded it, if it has any attachments and so forth. The Eudora email client labels messages with one or more chili peppers to indicate that the contents might be offensive.
Provide a way to flag important messages so they can be easily found later. Allow messages to be labelled along multiple dimensions. Let users define new labels relevant to their life. Make sure that messages can be highlighted and sorted based on how they are labelled.
Note that a related solution is to have our computer remind us of messages we have yet to deal with---?GentleReminder. That solution works best when we are being nudged about only a few messages. When there are many messages pending that we must handle in a short time frame, then the reminders would be more disruptive than helpful---and would soon become noise we just ignore. In such a case a visual cue is a better aid.
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|Last edited December 24, 2002
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