July 25, 2022

Introducing the new Sortd

We're excited to announce the upcoming release of a major update to the Sortd experience. This release mostly contains usability and performance improvements. Here's what you need to know...

What’s new

These changes have mostly been to the Sortd UX.  With a product like Sortd, UX matters. A lot. And as such, a lot of work has gone into making the whole experience smoother and more intuitive. It’s been in the making for a while, and frankly way more work than we expected, but we’re there.

When you open a board, Sortd no longer changes your entire Gmail interface - it opens inside Gmail’s content area so you never lose access to your search and Gmail folders.  It also just feels more comfortable so getting your team to buy into this is going to be a whole lot easier.

A big focus has been getting to the information you are looking for quickly and easily (without any major changes to your existing habits and workflows).  There’s more to come in this regard, things like universal search, but getting around is now much easier.

You’ll now see a list of your most recent boards just above your gmail folders. Don’t mistake these for folders, they are quick links that take you directly to your boards.

You can navigate to your boards from the Sortd menu on the left as well (under the mail icon), where you will also find your team contacts, reports, account and settings.

Sortd details like notes, due dates and custom fields are inside the email on the right.  You can hide that when you need more space.

If you switch between your Inbox and the board a lot, we’ve added this handy little button to quickly jump back and forth.

There’s not much more to it, other than some design tweaks that you will notice in the board view.  Change always takes a little getting used to, but all around this is a better experience of the product.  We’ve tried to keep as much of what was already there in more or less the same place so there isn’t too much of a change to your existing habits.

When is this update rolling out?

Google has made some changes to the Gmail UI, which they have been rolling out in phases.  You can read more about it here (https://workspaceupdates.googleblog.com/2022/01/new-integrated-view-for-gmail.html).   It looks like they will be finished with their rollout by the end of July 2022. The new version of Sortd has been designed to work with this update, so we expect to have it live with a week or two of Gmail making their new experience the default.

Why we’ve made these changes

I’d like to expound on this update to give you a glimpse into our internal thinking.  Many people won’t care for this kind of detail, but I guess if you are still reading you aren’t one of those people.

We introduced Sortd to the world a number of years ago to transform the way that people manage their email.  It was a very new email paradigm, one that had a lot of appeal - while email was very much a part of peoples’ everyday workflows it had not evolved to keep up with market needs. It lacked flexibility (and still does).  It still baffles me that in this day and age the Inbox is a date ordered list of messages.

That has its benefits too, but that’s another topic for another day.

Some of the problems we see time and time again:-
⁃ Missing important emails in the noise.
⁃ Simply forgetting to respond because with the never ending inflow of emails to your Inbox, everything eventually goes below the fold.
⁃ In a team context, emails are locked away behind people’s personal login details - so managers lack visibility and teams aren’t able to collaborate to solve customer problems quickly and easily.

The consequences?
⁃ Unreliable customer service
⁃ Missed opportunities
⁃ Mistakes
⁃ Lack of follow-up and follow-through
⁃ Lack of visibility into conversations with customers
⁃ An inability to manage and coach customer facing people

There has been, and will continue to be, a shift towards instant messaging for internal collaboration. But in many roles in a business there’s just no way to get away from e-mail.  That unfortunately causes a break in the ability for information to flow freely through your organization.  And the front facing people (the ones that are supposed to be super fast to respond and make a good impression) bear the brunt of it. Having to communicate with the external world over email, and internally with coworkers using Slack / Google Chat / Trello is not only a massive time waster, it’s also a de-motivator.

There is more work to be done here, but we have managed to build a bridge without breaking the core email experience - no change to the way your team communicates with the outside world, but internal conversations can happen right alongside your conversations with customers.  Everyone who needs to know what’s going on has the full picture (with no need to CC anyone or Forward emails), and can focus on getting the job done rather than piecing the puzzle together.

This ultimately means happier customers and more sales.

If you’d like early access to the new version please email us at team@sortd.com.  No guarantee that we can accommodate you but we’ll try.  Otherwise, feel free to reach out for anything else, we’re here.

  (for now)

Written by
Wayne Silbermann