What kind of email user are you: piler or filer?
“Pile…File… what?” you’re probably thinking.
I know I was when Geary pinged over a new user survey asking me this exact same question.
But it all makes sense, I promise!
There are 2 basic email workflows: pile, or file
‘most of us fall in to just one of two email workflows: pile, or file
Most of us tackle our email inboxes in different ways, ways that (we think) are unique to us.
Me: I keep my email neatly organised using labels, groups and filters. It is both superficially efficient, but somewhat practical too. Depending on the source, sender or topic some email will end up read sooner than others — hopefully in the right order!
Others — and I bet there’ll be more than a couple among you reading this — simply cannot bear the thought of having unread email left loitering about. Their aim: fastidiously work their way down to inbox zen aka zero, treating their unread mail as a to-do list of sorts in the process.
But according to former Microsoft UX leader Jensen Harris, who worked on the company’s Outlook service (among other things), most of us fall in to just one of two email workflows: pile, or file:
When redesigning Outlook, we found two basic groups of users: pilers and filers. Pilers kept a single, ever-expanding list of mail in their Inbox and then worked it down to "inbox zero." Filers wrote rules or manually filed mail into folders, creating an organizational system.
— Jensen Harris (@jensenharris) March 14, 2018
Reading Harris’ descriptions (click here if the embeds above don’t load) it kind of sounds like i’m in the ‘filer’ group.
But which category do you fall into? That’s what Linux email client Geary wants to know.
Geary is one of the best desktop email clients for Linux — period! I’ve been a fan of it for as long as it’s existed, Geary stands apart from Thunderbird, Evolution and more traditional email apps thanks to its focus on conversations (aka threaded email), Gmail compatibly, and user friendliness.
Now, somewhat intrigued by the piler vs filer workflow, Geary’s chief developer wants to better understand how its users manage their mail.
“Data collected in this survey will be used to help improve Geary’s user experience in the future. Aggregated results will be published to the general public, and no personally identifying information will be requested from you,” the survey reads.
The data the survey yields will almost certainly help improve Geary. If it turns out the majority of its users favour one workflow over another, it might make sense for the developers to focus their attention on bulking out a certain feature set, or improving a specific functionality.
You can take the Geary user survey using the link below:
The survey doesn’t take very long to complete but it does ask some pointed questions. Don’t be in a hurry to rush through; take your time and really think about each question and how your email workflow relates to it.
Finally, once you’re done, it’d be super helpful if you could share the survey with other Geary (and desktop email app) users you know.