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Backseat Email Reader

Automatically parses your email and stores info for you
(+1, -1)
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The idea here is to have a program + web-service that allows you to send and receive free-text email, and it can accordingly do all kinds of actions, as if you were reading the mail. You would of course be consulted before actually submitting.

This email add-on reads your email and identifies it and its contents:

If it's spam it skips it (or does whatever spam filters do) If it's legit mail, it goes through the mail, and finds information to be stored: Names and addresses go to your address book (it could show you what it found and ask before doing any changes. If there are dates it asks you if you want to create a meeting or event in your calendar) it also automatically suggests and adds tags to the email according to keywords that it finds in your other email, and can create a "thread of discussion" according to these tags. It can find "issues" and suggest "tasks" so that you know the "bottom line" of the discussion. And it can check if you already saw a link and if it's in your favorites (or kickit etc. or twitter etc) and let you mark it with a remark and flag it as "interesting", "don't show me", or other tags. If you get an email from someone that payment is due, it could tell you that it detected this, and ask if you wish to fill in the fields and pay. If you get a notice about a sale, and it was identified as none spam, and the program knows you are interested in this type of artifice, the program would search the web for price/quality comparison.

It can also ask you questions if there are "missing parts". So if you receive an email about your daughter coming by train, leaving some city at some hour, and it doesn't say the destination station, the Backseat Email Reader would ask you if you wish to open the train company website to check for arrival time, and if so, is it to the usual station...

pashute, Dec 24 2009


       A sequel would be a HB idea backseat reader, that would annotate (and vote) for you, according to your previous activity on HB.
pashute, Dec 24 2009

       And the next sequel would be a Backseat Car Driver that watches you driving and after a year automatically takes over, reacting to traffic in the same way you would.
pashute, Dec 24 2009

       Gmail can do much of this now. It has the spam handling and contact lists, and it will ask to add dates and times it finds to Google Calendar. It doesn't need tags, but it automatically threads discussions.   

       I'm not sure I understand the links functions you describe - browsers display a visited link in a different color already, and I can already "mark it with a remark" by responding to the email it came in.   

       I don't think I'd want my email paying my bills. I'd prefer to do this myself, or set up automatic payments with my bank's online tools.
tatterdemalion, Dec 24 2009

       I like this a lot. It is I think within current computing capabilities. All that needs to be added is a "reply" function which jusges whether the received email requires a reply, and if so, drafts a suitable response, with reference to your task list, schedule. Requests for information could scan the hard drive for relevant documents, or even send a search query to your subscribed online journals. Then the email would either be put in your 'approve' box for you to scan, edit and send, or preferably just sent straight away.   

       Soon the computers can just chat amongst themselves
pocmloc, Dec 24 2009

       Its all about what is DONE with the link. [tatter], maybe I wasn't clear enough, but this idea is about doing things with your email WITHOUT you seeing it, or BEFORE you see it. So that your like the president who has somebody read your email, sort it out for you, store important info so you'll find it without sifting through old emails, and leave you with a list of "action items". It won't pay your bills, but will be able to open the bank app and fill in anything that has to be done, or assist you in doing so.   

       [poc] you got it correctly, thanks!
pashute, Jan 05 2010


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