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Feature Requests

Updating Tasks via Email

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    We've recently received more requests to Email Integration:

    I'm finding that a lot of the task updates are coming by way of copy/paste from email correspondence to customers, vendors, executives, etc. So, Give each task an email account, so that email correspondence can show up in the task comments. Something like: The task's email address would be included in the notification email sent to assignee / owner.

    Interesting idea; one worth more consideration as we further define integrating email into Intervals. How would you like to see emails handled in Intervals? Let us know what you think...

    If your addy is

    and your project is "Job for the betterment of the world"

    Then why not have the email work like a phone touchpad directory. It looks for characters that are similar to the first 3 or 4 characters. Since we add a code to each project name, why not have variables that allow you to set the email to ignore the first (#) characters of a project name. - This is ofcourse if you are emailing the task for the first time. Certain defaults for Module, dates, and status will have to be a given and obviously editable once logged in and looking at the site. I think the email would look like this from the information above:

    Now when a task is already created, (and you are emailed) It can have a "reply to the task" link provided in the email.

    If you reply via the Gui Reply button you still reply to the administrator.


    My #1 request is to let people email a request to my queue, without being defined names in my account.

    I'm using Intervals pretty well at work, and a lot of people don't know it exists. A key challenge I face personally is that when someone gives me a request (by voice or email) I have to remember that it needs attention. It's often hard to stop and switch to Intervals to enter it (even quick-enter it into my queue). It'd be much more likely to get done if I can just forward the email to my queue, or even give repeat requesters that address.

    As I'm sure you know, people are much more likely to comply with any request system if they know it'll get handled.

    As for emailing updates into the system, it seems obvious that the simplest thing is to do what a lot of issue-tracking systems do: put the task# or other identifier at the start of the subject line.


    It doesn't need to be complicated.
    An email comes in to the cue and I should be able to do the following:

    1. Create "new task" OR associate with an existing task.
    2. Decide how/what it is added to the task (comments, notes, attachment, etc.)


    i know this thread has been going on for about a year there any news? this would be a great addition, some people just refuse to learn anything beyond email. regardless of how simple myintervals is, they will still want to update and question via email.

    i think that one of the few things basecamp does well is its email integration

    each message or task is given a random numerical id and that is the from and "reply-to" address

    ex: a comment on task 209375 will send an email
    responding to that address will automatically append the email as a comment on task 209375.

    also, they have a VERY important feature which is
    "------Please Respond ABOVE This Line---------"
    where that line and everything below is stripped from the email. without this, the comments get quite confusing since many email programs include text from prior emails in the response.

    I agree, per task would be good, because then it's guaranteed to get attached no matter what.

    Stan's Basecamp comparison is very relevant. What 37 Signals is doing is probably the most client-friendly method of trackable central communication you can have. It was the killer feature that clients complimented us on, when we used BC 3 years ago.

    Intervals could have something very similar, as people have described above. Right now, I forward my incoming email requests in to the Intervals request queue, but then have to go to the additional step of choosing project/client/module before it becomes a task. Since that's a slowish process, I actually have delegated somebody just to do that for me, and I type the needed variables into my forwarded message. Of course I would much rather that Intervals had incoming mail rules to handle this automatically.. and either assign to existing, or create new tasks, appropriately.

    And of course I would like it if replying to notifications caused Comment entries in Intervals, rather than just emailing the sender directly.

    All of our task requests get forwarded into Intervals using a support email address. We require a subject of <client name> - <project name> - <task name>. (I have been considering creating a webform that requires this information, as well as some other information, and submits the form with the correctly formatted subject, and all of the gathered info in the body to our support email address.) Then our Project Coordinator assigns the task to a client, project and resource. We'd love a way to update tasks with a similar method. I think modeling after Basecamp and having replies to notifications cause updates in Intervals are great ideas.
    We use a trouble ticket system for managing customer requests, and a collector for managing tasks. Intervals does not have the features we need for either function, nor (IMHO) should it attempt to. Although I'm clearly outvoted on this, I'd like to continue to advocate for building in basic project management features and making time entry simpler and simpler - both functions being the strengths of intervals IMHO.

    The task management portion of Intervals was built to model a traditional ticketing system. This was done so that web development firms like ours could track application bugs and customer requests all in one place. However, that does not mean we intend Intervals to work exactly like a ticketing (or issue tracking) system. What we do intend is to port over the functionality we find most applicable to a majority of our customers. While I agree that Intervals does not require full blown email integration, we do have plans to evolve the existing email integration. You can already create a task via email. Our next round of enhancements will simply allow you to add task notes to the task history. This is a logical next step that we think many of you will find very useful.

    Meanwhile, keep letting us know your thoughts and ideas on this feature. We'd love your input on where to take it next.


    i really don't know why there is a resistance to allowing intervals to be used as a ticket management system. just because you have it doesn't mean people are obligated to use it. and for those that need it, it would REALLY improve workflow. having clients submit updates in a ticket system or via regular email and then being forced to copy that data into intervals and have two parallel systems is a nightmare. i cannot tell you how frustrating this is. it is like intervals is 95% of what i need it to be...does alot of things very well, but the last few pieces which are not there are critical!

    i have found another system that has superb email integration:

    i was actually looking to switch to them because of this severe lack in intervals, however their time tracking and invoicing is terrible.

  12. truly has a great help desk ticket system / email integration. their integration with attached files, html or text emails, assigning agents, etc, is well done imho.

    if you need a standard to go by, use zendesk as a standard. even if you implement just minor portion of what they're able to do, it would be good. i would not use basecamp as a standard for this process. ;)

    thanks for reading!


    With regards to comments about two-way email integration ...

    Being notified via email of comment updates, etc is great. But if I can reply to that notification and have my comment assigned to the specific task, that would be great.

    Because with that I can now use any email client on any system to add info I won't need to have a special iphone app. I don't need to go to the browser on an iphone or blackberry. I can do this from any computer as long as I have email -- which I can and do have no matter where I go.

    Extra bonus would be able to add: {{ASSIGN:user}} to reassign task to another person. That would be sweet. :)

    thanks for reading!

    Any update to this feature request? The request queue is nice, but being able to reply to task comment via email and adding that to the task is a major request from our users.

    Email integration is current on the development roadmap and is scheduled for late Q2 this year. Feel free to checkout the roadmap here.

    • rmlewis
    • Mar 9th 2011 edited @ 03/09/2011 5:36 am

    Thanks for the update Michael. "Late Q2". Anxiously waiting.

    I concur with Jo22. Not looking to control or manipulate Intervals from email; Simply the ability to respond to emails (and reassigned 'next step') generated by Intervals and accordingly, logged into Task history.

    I notice that while this wasn't in last weekend's update, it is still on the roadmap for Q2. Does that mean you'll be doing an extra release just for this (and person search)?
    Email integration is still on the roadmap for Q2 but it might fall into early Q3 depending on how things come together. We will update the roadmap discussion with more items that will be included in the sprint once the details are solidified. Also, just an FYI the roadmap listing and blog posts we do when a new release is deployed are not all encompassing of every item that was launched. For example this weekend we deployed 60 updates but we try to mention the more noteworthy ones and not every minor change or bug fix.

    ## Update ##
    Email integration launched in 2011
    An overview of the functionality including a video overview is available here.

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

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