Picking Up Where Inbox Left Off

Scott White
March 26, 2019

As we all know, Google is sunsetting Inbox this month, leaving its hoards of passionate users wondering what's next.

Inbox wasn't just an email client. It was indicative of a philosophy on how to handle the deluge of information you process in daily life, and how to focus on what is important and ignore everything else.

At Monolist, that philosophy is our sole focus. We want to take the spirit of what made Inbox great and propel it well beyond just your email. We’re aiming to re-imagine the inbox by delivering you everything you need to do in one place. Read on or request access.

What was the Inbox Philosophy?

At its core, Inbox was about managing your email as a to-do list. A great to-do list does two things:

  1. Aggregates all the tasks you want to accomplish, and gives you the context necessary to complete your tasks
  2. Enables you to prioritize, organize, and schedule your tasks

Inbox was a central repository for your tasks

  • Email is still the primary place for formal business communication. As apps like Slack, Telegram, etc. gain popularity in workplaces, email increasingly is the location for “heavier” workplace communication. This type of communication often correlates with a task that needs to be accomplished.
  • Email is the default notification center for work. Because you sign up for workplace apps with your email, it becomes the source of truth for notifications about information that has changed, often which correlate with tasks.

Prioritization was central to the Inbox user experience

Inbox allowed users to quickly remove unimportant information from the inbox, scheduling items in the inbox, and categorize items relative to their priority.

Quickly removing less important information

Inbox separated items by how long ago they came into the inbox, giving users the ability to easily scan and prioritize messages by recency.

Inbox also enabled you to automatically categorize items into bundles, which you could act on in one click.

Scheduling tasks

Inbox allowed you to snooze items or bundles until later, effectively scheduling your tasks for a different time and enabling you to focus on what matters now.

What's next?

Inbox is leaving at the time we need it most. Since Google first introduced the concept of managing your inbox as a to-do list five years ago, the number of tools people use at work has grown dramatically, leading to increased context switching, missed and lost tasks and information overload.

We’re building the future of your inbox. Meet Monolist.

Everything you need to do in one place

Sync your tasks from all of your tools

  • The inbox of the future Integrates with the tools you use at work so you can see the most up-to-date tasks that you need to accomplish across all of the tools you use.
  • Furthermore, you can act on those items directly from the Inbox, and those actions will sync back out to the tool that the task originates from.

Tasks aggregated in Monolist

Search everywhere

As we’ve mentioned, real-time context is an essential part of any functional to-do list. When your inbox is integrated with the tools you use at work, you can search for any piece of context from one place, and see results from all of the tools you use.

Search across all of your tools

Turn your inbox into your personal assistant

Never let an item fall through the cracks

A to-do list is an aggregated view of tasks that you’ve assigned yourself, and tasks that other people have assigned for you. Having this aggregated view relies on the fact that you will create tasks for yourself whenever they come up, which may not be realistic.

Tasks come from everywhere. A question in a chat room, a comment in a ticket, or an email that you need to follow up on. Forget to add an agenda to the meeting you scheduled? Awaiting a response on that Slack message from yesterday? Monolist identifies these tasks that you are not tracking for yourself and adds them to your to-do list, so you never let anything slip through the cracks.

Nudges and reminders on action items

Triage faster than ever before

Because a traditional inbox is not integrated with the underlying tools that populate it, messages can become stale quickly.

  • Real-time sync means that tasks come in as they are relevant, and leave as they become irrelevant (if they are completed, or if a comment is resolved, for example.)
  • Automated bundling makes it easier to see what’s changed in your inbox at a glance, and act on large bodies of information with one click.


Task list, meet your calendar

Just as important as figuring out what you need to do is figuring out when you’re going to do it. With Monolist, you can schedule your tasks to be worked on in the future, while taking your other calendar events into consideration.

Scheduling a created action item

Want to see what’s next?

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