Email as Input Mehtod

Smallthought has a post about Backpackit and one of its features:

The specific feature that Ive been thinking about, and that Backpack seems to leverage nicely, is the use of email as an input method. This seems like an odd idea: isnt it a lot clunkier to send an email to an application, even a web application, than to use some custom form within the application itself? And yet, even without something like Backpack available, I find myself using email as a quasi-database all the time: to make lists, send myself reminders, record important snippets of information, even log hours spent on a project. Why? First of all, because the email client is the one window that I will always have open and easily accessible, whatever else I might be doing. Second, email is a great redundant data source: as well as going to whoever (or whatever) I send it to, a copy of the message ends up on my local machine, another on my servers, maybe yet another on Googles servers, and so on. If I need to, chances are I can find it later from pretty much anywhere. But probably most importantly, email is, for many of us, the main personal input stream: if some new piece of information comes up that I have to record or take action on, chances are pretty good it came to me through email. So what more natural way to respond than right from the email client?

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.