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Three things you can now do in email

As you'd expect, at Consider we are big users of Consider. Yesterday's launch of reactions, comments, and presence, along with our previous launch of Groups, have enabled us to do things in email that are either impossible or incredibly clunky with the status-quo tools. We think these new use-cases are pretty cool! So today we're sharing our top three.

Note: we wanted to share our actual usage of the product, so these are real screenshots - with some details redacted.

1. Run a standup

Our Boston team used to run a digital standup in Slack. We had a bot that would collect and aggregate responses from everyone each morning. The fact that you need an extra piece of software here is the first smell. But you do need it because otherwise the second anyone shares something interesting in their update, and a conversation follows, there's no natural time or place for anyone else to post their update.

We moved this to a Consider group: boston-standups@. The first person in the office each morning starts the thread:

Each person then replies:

Without reactions or comments, these threads would be terrible in email. Reactions give them life. People get little bits of feedback on what they’re working on - you don’t feel as if you’re writing into a blackhole. Comments allow you to ask follow ups without the thread descending into chaos.

Finally, Groups means boston-standups@ becomes a great archive - accessible to all existing and future teammates:

2. Run a poll

I had a yes/no question about a new piece of product we were working on. This is something that you might naturally gravitate towards Slack for because of Reactions. Yet Slack is terrible for this - unless it is top of mind for everyone, you are pushing your priorities to the top of the queue. Instead, send an email to a group. Here's what I sent:

Because they're self-contained email conversations, you don't have to worry about the channel running off and talking about something else. So follow ups are easy:

And again, because of email’s conversation model you can actually find this conversation in the future.

3. A wiki you’ll actually use

The biggest problem with internal wikis or knowledge bases: they quickly go out of date. It’s no-one’s job (until you’re hundreds of people) to keep them up-to-date and they’re not a natural place to spend time. Email is a natural system of record for work. Yet its deficiencies have prevented it from fully playing this role. Join a new team? Empty inbox. Want to see what’s important to another team? Good luck finding that. Want to link someone an email? lol.

When you fix these problems you quickly realize you have a wiki you’ll actually use. Here’s just a snapshot of our groups:

In a group you can pin items you want people to reference later:

And… you can share links to emails:

We are certainly biased but, for us, email is increasingly a tool we gladly, rather than reluctantly, reach for. It's completely changed the way we work – we're excited to help you get there too.