Matthew Andrews
Product Manager ・ Software Engineer ・ Executive MBA Graduate ・ Tokyo Resident

Email: the best task management app

Inspired by the note on hey.com, I wrote up some notes how I use email.

I spent years trying out fancy task individual management apps. Omnifocus, Evernote. Trello. Notion (which I love for other purposes). Trying to apply David Allen’s Getting Things Done principles in the quest for ever better personal productivity. Each time coming back to the same, boring, blisteringly effective solution. Email inbox. But not just emails other people write to me, emails as reminders from me to me.

Email is everywhere. It works on my laptop. My phone. My tablet. Other people’s phones and computers. Always in sync. Always up to date.

It works offline. When I’m on a plane, I can write myself an email and it will sit there waiting for connectivity to be restored. I can also access all my existing notes, and delete them. Again, waiting for a new connection to get in sync again.

Using email means I have one todo list for everything, regardless of whether someone else has asked me to do something or I have written myself a reminder.

It’s free.

It’s also an open standard. That means if I find a better alternative to gmail, I can switch to another provider whilst keeping all my data and my email address. I can also try out new apps on my phone, tablet, etc … Every component can be chopped and changed more-or-less seamlessly. As an email address comes with every job in the world, I can also keep this same workflow regardless of which organisation I am working for.

PS. Whilst I agree with pretty much all the issues Hey.com identified in email, I disagree with No. 16. It’s super simple to put stuff in your inbox. I do it all the time. Just write to yourself. As my colleagues I’m sure will attest, it’s common to hear me say “let me just write myself an email” …