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Trello Wants to Close the Digital Divide With Email Integration

Trello’s Brian Cervino recently provided examples and insights of how to integrate the card wall with email. He sees this feature as something that will “close the digital divide.” There’s a good debate to be had about whether removing friction from the task creation process is really helping.

We all get frustrated by lack of adoption in our work management systems. At the portfolio level, this sentiment leads to the over approval of projects…perhaps more appropriately described as the over allocation of our resources. For people managing their work in a card wall, this leads to the dilemma of planning collaboration where the lack of a curator leads to a breakdown in data quality.

The feature allows users to inject new cards by sending an email to the card wall. It’s a useful feature if it saves a bit of time and puts people back in their code editor. It’s a useful feature if it creates better capture of ideas before prioritization is done. It’s less useful when people start to perceive clutter.

To make the feature work properly, users are encouraged to simplify by abstracting the long auto-generated email addresses for each Trello Board with shortcuts and contacts. This overhead makes it easier to work the new ideas.

Source: Trello at SoftwareReviews, Accessed December 2019

Our Take

I will be surprised if anyone can make this work without a seriously committed content curator. Sometimes a bit of friction acts as the right remedy because it forces people to endure sufficient thought before acting.