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Traditionally workflows include various protocols and mechanisms, and applications rather cater to technical implementations then to workflows.
We work with a calendar and an email application rather than a module that does whatever is necessary to manage a project, or plan a meeting, etc.
This page is an attempt to identify some of those usage patters so we hopefully can improve the user experience a bit beyond making email prettier.

Mail workflows

  • Conversations
    • one to one
    • one to many
  • Notification (fire and forget, one way)
  • Invitation (I expect a specific response)
  • Delegation (I expect an action in return)
  • Collaborative editing (we send drafts back and forth)

Email is used for various tasks for which alternatives already exist (invitations, collaborative editing...), and is often the fallback if nothing better is available. iTip even leverages that by using mail as the transport mechanism but having a level of automation on top of it.

Notetaking workflows

  • Knowledge base
    • Commandlines
    • Scripts
    • ...
  • Drafts
  • Brainstorming
  • Research

Notetaking traditionally focuses on the the knowledge base usecase I think, because the applications tend to be silos. With better integration it could be interesting to i.e. draft in the notetaking, and then decide at some point whether this should now be published as mail, blog, tweet or simply become a shared note (like a wiki).

Calendar workflows

  • Invitation
  • Delegation
  • Reminder (sometimes attached to an event or task, sometimes enough by itself)
  • Events
  • Tasks
  • Planning/Scheduling
  • Projects

Workflow ideas


A project contains:

  • Tasks
  • Research information
    • Notes
    • Links
    • Mindmaps
  • Documentation
  • All relevant communication
    • Chatlogs
    • Mails
  • Members

Projects could be a powerful way for a user to manage or participate in a "project". It allows the user to focus on solely the relevant dataset, and makes it very easy for a new participant to figure out what's what when he was just invited to the project. This featureset would go in the same direction as tools as slack or phabricator.


A set of steps that can be shared.

This could include automation in the form of scripts, or simply contain a tasklist with descriptions of what to do.

A project could i.e. have a "Setup development environment" recipe. The user picks it and it's added to his tasklist, he then simply works of the steps one by one, either by executing the automated scripts or following the instructions.

Other instructions could be "Distribute marketing news" (who to write to, in which blogs to publish, which templates to use...), or whatever any other procedure that is existing within an organization really.


Instead of creating an event the meeting component is used to plan for a meeting.

A meeting contains:

  • a state: pending, scheduling, scheduled
  • a schedule (recurring or one time)
  • scheduling like doodle or traditional
  • A room or a chat or a videochat or ...
  • Notes and meeting minutes (that can be approved)
  • An agenda that comes in a set of tasks that can be checked.
  • Invitations and reminders for all participants (or maybe it's public and can simply be joined)
  • A history of with minutes, notes, chatlogs... in case of a recurring meeting.


A central place to pull together all interesting information.

  • project activity
  • relevant mails
  • invitations
  • delegations
  • relevant social media updates
  • missed calls or messenger messages


A way to plan your day/week/... from a central place.
It gives suggestions from:

  • due tasks
  • upcoming events
  • flagged or unread mail
  • missed calls or messenger messages


Ignore the transport medium and have conversations.

  • Contacts with online status
  • Merge mail, chat, video (videochats can have a short text summary for the history)
  • Share documents, screen, ...
  • One on one, One to many, many to many.

Slack, but integrated.

collaborative editing session

It's not only about editing, but also setting up the session, and concluding it.

  • Presence information tells me whether somebody is available right now
  • Invitations make people aware that they are supposed to participate
  • video chat/chat support the editing workflow
  • A review can conclude the editing session and mark the document as "final"
Last Author
Last Edited
Feb 4 2016, 2:52 PM

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