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Feature Requests

POP3 Polling and/or Email Integration

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  1.  
  1.  

    We recently received the following feature request:

    It would be great if Intervals had a POP3 polling feature for Work Requests (and possibly other functions). So a client could e-mail a specific address (requests@domain.com) and Intervals would poll that mail account every 5-10 minutes for new messages. If there’s one that matches certain criteria (or all for that matter), a new work request would be generated. Intervals would look up the user by their e-mail address. Then all I’d have to do is assign it to a project.


    On our long range development plan we have plans to do email integration to handle this exact scenario. When you create your Intervals URL we are planning on associating a work request email with it. For example, requests@intervals.projectaccount.com. Then, if that address gets an email it would automatically pull it into the Work Request Queue...including attachments.

    We currently have our Clients either:
    a. log into Intervals as executive users to submit work requests
    or
    b. have them send an email to a generic email account that we check periodically throughout the day and then copy and paste the email as a task.

    It would be great to get others thoughts on email integration in general, automating work requests, and ways to use email to streamline work flow.

    We have wrestled with this issue over the years because we feel like email is a terrible productivity tool. That is why we try to get all of our work done inside of Intervals and a lot of the emails push you back into Intervals. If you track time, this is essential. However, we are not naive enough to try and shut out email altogether, but we are wrestling with the best integration that is easy to use, makes sense, and enhances work flows.

    If you have any thoughts, please feel free to sound off...
  2.  
    I would love this....and might expand upon it further. Can the polling pickup a "project id" in the subject line and add the item to a project?
  3.  

    Email may be a terrible productivity tool but it has a couple of serious advantages.

    For one thing, I can use it (see the mobile thread) when I'm off the 'net, e.g. texting. This would let Intervals answer my "who knows where the time goes" even when I'm not at my desk, which is where its real-time usefulness currently stops.

    For another, even when I'm at my desk, I spend 1000% of my time in email, and organize large amounts of my life in email (which is one reason, btw, that your *outbound* emails are so useful). It's frankly a lot easier to do Ctrl+N and whip out a quick email to get a task captured into Intervals than to Alt-tab over, click the right window, find Create New Task, and fill in the required fields.

    A key reality: likelihood of a tool being used at every opportunity is inversely proportional to the SQUARE of how long it takes. (Something I can do in 10 seconds, without leaving my current tool, is dozens of times more likely to happen than something that "only" requires going to my browser and filling out a form.)

    p.s. I just started using Intervals yesterday and I'm going nuts with it - already planning world domination (in-house), and I'll probably upgrade shortly. Can't believe I never heard of this thing.

  4.  

    We've started developing email integration into Intervals and have a few updates to share. Here are a few highlights from our whiteboard sessions:


    • Each Intervals account will be given its own unique email domain (i.e. request@email.pelago.projectaccount.com)

    • Send requests into the work queue: request@email.pelago.projectaccount.com

    • Send comments to tasks: task#@email.pelago.projectaccount.com

  5.  
    I will love this feature,I hope it can support some "group" features, like <a href="http://www.softsea.com/review/GroupMail.html">groupmail</a>, for group using, good luck.
  6.  
    Email integration is almost complete and will go live soon. It will be implemented differently than described above. The initial release will allow Intervals to automatically poll a POP3 email box and pull the emails into the request queue.
  7.  

    This would be a dream come true!

    It's a pain to move tasks from email to Intervals and then get them into certain fields.
    If I could provide my clients with an email outline that corresponds to all of the fields in Intervals so that it auto populates that would be stellar.

    Currently we have emails coming in to 3 different project managers that they have to disseminate not only between the 3 of them but then assign them to someone on their team. Then someone has to put it into Intervals.

    Regardless -- my team loves Intervals. No more Basecamp!

  8.  

    Our plan is to evolve email integration over the next few months. Our first plan is to add the ability to respond to a task notification, or send an email to a specific task number, and have that email appended to the task. After that is complete we will consider adding email formatting for the automatic creation of tasks.

    Meanwhile, have you been using the email request queue? If you go to Tasks -> Queue you will see that you have the ability to setup a pop3 or imap email account on any server of your choice. Intervals will then poll that account at regular intervals and add the emails as task requests that can easily be assigned.

  9.  

    has that email request queue existed for a while? that is great, we will start using that right away!

    regarding the email integration, that is also great news!

    couple questions on the email integration...

    1) am i understanding correctly that all task comments will create emails that when replied to will automatically add comments to the same task?

    2) also, it looks like this means there will be an email pipe instead of polling (making the conversion instant)?

    3) will there be a way to use our own domain for the email pipe (either by automatically forwarding emails or adding the pipe script to our server)

    this brings up a point. i don't think it is ideal to use different emails for each task (request@domain.com, task234@domain.com, task 235@domain.com). it would be much more ideal to use a single email address (ex: portal@domain.com) and use the subject line to direct the message (subject: requests, or subject: task234, etc).

  10.  

    I agree with yourmanstan. I think it's fine with one email -- my clients have trouble enough getting used to using one new one as it is.

    I would like to see the ability to add follow-up emails to existing tasks and choose what section in the existing task it goes into (i.e add to ... comments, documents, etc.)

    For example:
    A client emails a new request to our queue. I create a new task, due date, etc.
    Later that day the client realizes he forgot to mention something and sends a follow-up email to the queue with further instructions and an attachment.

    I would love it if I could add his new comments to the existing task and add the attachment to the docs section of the existing task.

    Thanks in advance.

  11.  

    The email request queue currently only supports the ability to receive and assign new requests as tasks. When replying to task emails generated by Intervals, the comments will not appear on the task. However, this is something we are working on. We appreciate the feedback from both of you. It supports our notion that the emailed task updates would best be handled by one email address using the subject to delineate which task to apply the notes to.

    So it's in the works and yes, it will support the email address of your choosing. We'll likely have to channel all email communications through that one domain. Thanks again for the feedback.

  12.  
    One more thing I would encourage you both to do is submit these as official feature requests using the link in the footer of Intervals. Simply log into your Intervals account and fill out the form. This will make it an official request in our customer database where we're cataloging such requests so we can make more informed decisions about where to take Intervals in the future.
  13.  

    i was really hoping to read about the launch of two way email integration in todays email :(

    again, if you want to see a great way to do it, see:
    <a href="http://www.5pmweb.com/help/using_projects_tasks_activities.php#email_integration">http://www.5pmweb.com/help/using_projects_tasks_activities.php#email_integration</a>

  14.  
    Email integration was never scheduled for this release, it's in the next release - see http://www.myintervals.com/forum/discussion/265/intervals-roadmap/
  15.  

    ## Update ##

    Email integration was launched in 2011. More information is available here including a video overview.

    The ability to email requests directly to a project launched February 2012. More information is available about the release on our blog.