For the last few weeks, all of us at GreenMellen have been using the Missive email app and and it’s been great. Missive is an email program that works with your existing account (Gmail, Office 365, iCloud, etc) and adds some neat features. Here is a quick video that shows what it does:
We aren’t using all of the features that it has, and we likely never will, but there is really one key feature that is killer — comments! It’s weird to think of comments in the area of email, but the way Missive handles it is brilliant.
As an example, if Ali and I both receive an email from someone, we generally need to discuss who is handling it. We can do that via Slack or Text, and that’s fine, but with Missive we can do it inline with the email. In our inbox, just below the email itself, I can leave her a comment and we’re done.
Back to the inbox
Better yet, if Ali were to archive an email and then I commented about it, Missive pulls the email back to her inbox so that she sees the comment. It’s not unlike replying to her email privately (and leaving the original sender out of the loop), but it’s SO much easier to do.
Perhaps the most impressive thing is that if I tag a teammate in a comment, the entire email shows up in their inbox (including my comment), even if I was the only one that it was originally sent to!
This has been super helpful for times when a client emails me with a question I don’t know. I can write a comment like “@ashlea is this an easy fix?”. The full email will pop into her inbox (along with my comment), she can simply leave a comment back saying “yes it is”, and I can write up my response to the client.
I can even give access to drafts that I’m writing, and others can edit the drafts in real-time, similar to how Google Docs work. As you saw in the video above, you can have teammates add attachments to your email and help you put it together. They can even send it on your behalf, with a warning message from Missive reminding them that they’re sending as someone else. It’s really impressive.
The real key to all of this is the separation of emails and comments, which it handles well. The concern we all have when writing private emails inside of larger threads is mistakenly leaving the client on an email when we shouldn’t have. This solves that problem perfectly.
It still needs to be a great email client
At the end of the day, though, the stuff I mentioned above accounts for perhaps 10% of the emails I receive. If I’m going to use Missive full-time, it needs to do a great job with the other 90% of my work as well – reading, writing, forwarding, archiving, deleting, etc. So far it’s been pretty solid. Some benefits include:
- Multiple appearance modes: light mode, dark mode, some inbetween.
- Solid keyboard shortcuts: they have their own, but can also pull in the standard Gmail shortcuts.
- Great app support: it works on the web, but has apps for Windows, Mac, iPhone and Android.
We can always go back
What’s really given me the confidence to switch is that it’s really easy to switch back to Gmail if we want. This isn’t some whole new system — it’s essentially just a wrapper on top of Gmail. If we decide to stop using it, we can just stop using it and go back. No worries.
So far it’s been great, and time will tell if we stick with it long-term or not! If you have a team, I encourage you to check it out for yourself.