eM Client -- Great Email/PIM program or Greatest Email/PIM program?

I’ve been trying out eM Client 5 this week and I’m completely blown away by what a cool piece of software it is. You guys obvious have been working very hard on it. You have almost created the “holy grail” of communication/productivity software.

With that in mind, I would love to see eM Client become the greatest email/PIM program around. I apologize if this post is too long and I understand you’re busy, but it’s my hope that you welcome constructive feedback about your software, and that you too would like to see it be the best!

Tasks:

  1. There is a problem with the column names in the task list: There is no column that indicates the status of a task. Actually the column called “status” is for the completed checkbox itself. The column called “completed” is for the date it was completed, however the actual “Status” field (i.e., in the task properties, there is a dropdown box called Status that has items such as Not Started, In Progress, Completed, Deferred, Waiting On Someone) has no corresponding column in the task list (and obviously should have, especially one that can be edited in-cell). Perhaps this can be addressed and these columns can be renamed to: Complete (Icon), Date Completed, Status

  2. The Reminder window doesn’t let you mark a task as complete, all you can do is snooze, dismiss or open a task, but if you open a task, it’s not entirely clear how to mark it complete (because you have to either change the percentage to be 100% or select completed in the Status dropdown, but neither is as quick, easy or satisfying as checking a checkbox). If it’s at all possible, it would be great if each task in the reminder window had a checkbox next to it on the left side, so that you could just check them off directly from the reminder window if you’ve completed them.

  3. Clicking the Today button in Tasks does not do what I expect: Show only tasks for today. I still see past and future tasks. Is this the correct behavior? (or on further inspection, it’s not clear that this button does anything)

  4. The filters/views for the tasks are totally lacking. Short of introducing some advanced GTD methodology into the program, there should be at least the following views for the task list – displayed as buttons above the task list next to the Hide Completed button (they could look similar to the calendar’s buttons that let you select calendar views [Day, Week, Month View, etc]):

  • Today’s Tasks (meaning only show tasks due today or tasks with no due date, ordered by importance)
  • This Week’s Tasks (tasks due next 7 days, ordered by importance and due date).
  • Overdue Tasks (only show overdue task)
  • All Tasks
  1. Oh ya, there really needs to be an “Importance” dropdown for tasks. (Lower, Low, Normal, High, Highest) as well as an in-cell editable “Importance” column in the task list.

  2. Somewhat important UI/UX thing (meaning less mouse-clicking fatigue for us poor users): Consider changing all time fields in events and tasks to be a dropdown rather than a increment “spinner” field. The dropdown box values would be 24 hours divided by the granularity already set from the preferences (e.g. if my granularity is 30 minutes, then in the dropdown I see values such as 3:00 PM, 3:30 PM, 4:00 PM, etc), HOWEVER the field is still a text box so that if I choose to, I can still just type 3:37 PM if I want and it will accept it. This makes entering times much more convenient because I just have to click on a time in the drop down box, rather than increment the hours one at a time and then increment the minutes one at a time (or type and arrow key in the time by hand). This way, if my event is at a round time such as 3:00 PM, it’s just one click in the dropdown box; if it’s a non-standard appointment time, I can still type it if I need to (but the pre-defined granularity works for most people!).

  3. Also, make the Complete percentage field a dropdown, rather than an increment “spinner”… Again, much easier to change the value if it’s a dropdown (for example, say a task is 0% complete. Currently if I wanted to change that to 100%, I’d have to click the up spinner 4 times to get it to go to 100% – but if it was a dropdown, I’d only have to click it twice: once to expand the dropdown, and once to select 100%.

  4. Can you create a preference for “Defaults for New Tasks”? For example, quickly adding tasks at the top of the Agenda window is great! But I don’t want all the new tasks I type in to have a default Due Date of an hour from now (which is presently the default behavior). This just creates more work, as I then have to go to the task list and edit each task individually to change or remove the due date.

In short, currently the program is saying “a new task starts right now and is due in an hour”; I’m saying “let me decide” (by giving me preferences that control this).

So the preference for this could be something simple like:

*** Defaults for New Tasks ***

  • Due Date for New Tasks:
    No Due Date
    At Start
    5 mins
    […]
    1 hour
    […]
    1 day
    […]
    1 week

  • Start Date for New Tasks:
    No Start Date
    Now
    […]
    1 hour
    etc. etc. etc.

  • Create Reminder for New Tasks:
    No Reminder
    […]
    etc. etc. etc.

  • Status for New Tasks:
    Not Started
    etc.

  1. We can change the color of Calendars, but why not Task folders (and for that matter, Contact folders)?

Mail:
10) The New Message window is missing a way to see/edit the HTML. Outlook Express has tabs at the bottom of the new message window labeled: Edit, Source, Preview… clicking on these seamlessly switches between editing the text of a message and looking at (or editing) the HTML of the message, and a read-only preview. While I don’t use this feature every day, occasionally there are some messages where it is essential to be able to edit the HTML before sending it out.

  1. Why did you remove the mail folder icons (from earlier versions)? Could you put a checkbox in the preferences to enable them, or is this part of the themes? (Seeing the icons next to the folder names helps to more quickly differential between them)

  2. Also, the Junk E-mail Folder Properties have both “Show in Communication and Attachment history” and “Show in Agenda” checked by default; I would assume that those should obviously both be UN-checked by default.

  3. The way the old version bolded folders with unread messages in it was much better. Why was this removed? In fact this is the same behavior that Outlook/OE has had for over a decade. (Or is this part of the theme and can hopefully be customized?)

  4. What exactly does “Send as mass mail” do? It’s SO close to Send (right underneath it), that I accidentally clicked it and was horrified to think who I sent this message to.

  5. In the Rules, what EXACTLY does the Spam filter do?

Calendar:
16) BUG: When you edit an event already on the calendar, and you wish to make it recurring, if you select Monthly, it does not automatically default to the correct day of the month, instead it defaults to day 1. (For example, selecting an event already on my calendar, that falls on Tuesday, December 11th, if I then go into the Recurrence tab and select Weekly, it will correctly default to Tuesday already checked, if I click on Yearly, it will also correctly default to December 11, BUT if I select Monthly, it will incorrectly default to December 1. However, when adding a new event, and selecting Recurrence, and selecting Monthly, it will default to the correct day.

Misc:
17) Sound Notification icons: Both icons for the on and off states have red in them and it’s *very difficult* to distinguish between them. Change them so only the Sound Disabled icon has a red X, and change the “sound waves” on the Sound Enabled to a different color like blue, gray or green – anything but red!

  1. All time input fields and columns that display a timestamp in the entire program are not honoring the regional options set in my operating system. I’m using XP and have my time settings set to 24 hour time, yet every time is in AM/PM 12 hour format.

  2. While the program feels fairly responsive (certainly more than Thunderbird), it’s nowhere near as fast or “peppy” as Outlook Express or even Outlook for that matter (although to be fair, I know Microsoft has tons of resources at its disposal and I’m sure more than a few well-coded native COM libraries to make these apps run so well), but it would be nice if eM could be boosted in the performance department. A cold-loading of eM takes 10 seconds before I’m looking at my inbox, and the RAM usage is quite surprising: It sucks up 100MB immediately upon loading, where it drops down to under 10MB within a few seconds, but rather quickly climbs up to around 60MB after a minute or two. After not too much use, it grows beyond 100MB… Both Outlook Express and Outlook load practically instantaneously (within a second or two) and their RAM (in my experience) rarely grows beyond ~30MB.

Overall, this is a very impressive piece of software. You should be proud. I’m personally excited to ditch my current hodgepodge mix of Outlook Express for email, plus Outlook for contacts, another calendar program for reminders, and a to-do list app, and finally have all of that back in one piece of software for the first time since 2001 (when I found out Sidekick 99 was being abandoned by its developers – that was the last time I had a great all-in-one PIM except for email).

So in other words, I’m really looking forward to sending you guys my $50. (I just hope you can address even just a few of these issues first :wink:

I think this is all pretty good feedback. I think em Client is the best PIM in terms of its support for the most important features (full Google synchronisation, for example).

However, I think it really lacks polish and quality. It seems like the strategy of releasing prototype software and having users be the testers is what is happening.

By the way, it might be better for you to delete this question and post an individual issue/idea/question for each of piece of feedback so it’s easier to keep track of. Processing every piece of feedback you’ve provided in one session might not be possible if the em Client representative who reads it is busy. Of course, I’m just guessing about this.

Thanks Sam… I heard George say that even though they don’t respond immediately to every post, they do read them. So I’m hopeful they will read this. I would even be happy if they only had time to respond to one or two points at a time. But if I don’t hear from them after a while, perhaps I’ll do as you suggest and post them as individual issues/suggestions.

I have a feeling you’re right though; it does really lack polish as you start to poke around the program you find tiny little things missing or broken or poorly implemented. My hope is that this is simply due to this being a major new release, and in the coming weeks all those little things will be polished out.

Hey, I can always dream, right?

Hello,
thank you very much for your feedback. Here are my answers:

    1. It sounds reasonable, please create a separate topic (Idea) so people can vote for it.
  1. It works only when the list of tasks does not fit to screen (you have lot of tasks in a current view). Then it change your focus to Today.
      1. It sounds good too - please create a separate topic so people can vote for it. Implementation of these features depends on the number of customers requiring this feature.
  2. This is meant to be used that way or you can simply type in e.g. 30 % manually.
  3. We will discuss it, but most probably we will change the default due date to the end of the current day (23:59)
  4. I added it to our feature requests list.
  5. Create a separate topic (Idea) for this please.
  6. It is a matter of graphic design - we would make it more clear. We did also a small investigation and found out that most of people does not find these icons useful.
  7. You are right - we will try to change it ASAP.
  8. The same like number 11 - it is a matter of graphic design. I will ask our developers if there is something you can do with that (themes).
  9. If you send an email to multiple recipients this function will send an email to each sender separately.
  10. It simply moves all incoming messages containing Spam mark, or sent from a common spam address to Junk folder.
  11. We will try to fix it ASAP.
  12. We will consider it.
  13. I have discussed it with one of our developers and he told me that they are aware of this issue but that the fix is not so easy as it seems.

Thanks for the response George! And thank you for considering some of these issues/requests.

Regarding number 8, I think it’s better to have no default due date for tasks. To me, this ensures that they remain in the “No Date” section until they are processed later on. With the default due date, if the user forgets to update the due date, he/she might lose track of the task and forget about it. This happened to me.

I agree; to me it’s so much more work to turn them off or set them to my preference than it would be for the default to be off on all task and I have to update a few of them. As it stands, the eM Client is making a lot of assumptions about how I should be managing my personal productivity.