I’ve used Yahoo mail for about 12 years now, much of that as a paying customer (Yahoo plus is ad-free). I realize it is not as hip as Gmail — which I use as a secondary account — but I’ve found it to be perfectly functional. That’s why I’ve used it for my entire professional life.
Anyway, I hadn’t realized how much the Yahoo mail format was part of my workflow until Yahoo elected to “upgrade” the email program this past week to be more like Gmail. Which I don’t use — I’d point out — because I preferred the Yahoo version. And it is really screwing with my productivity.
For instance, I don’t like to see emails grouped as conversations. I like to see individual notes, which I can then delete or respond to or forward on their own merits. If I forward an email to someone, but then want to respond to the original, the conversation grouping makes this trickier. Indeed, Yahoo doesn’t seem to have the bugs out of this yet — how to make sure a whole conversation isn’t forwarded, including parts you sent to other people, if you reply to someone.
Another problem with conversations? Yahoo seems to be grouping anything with the same subject line as a conversation, even if it isn’t. When people post comments on my blog, I get an email with the comment. But now all comments on a post are part of a conversation. Multiple responses to an email blast are treated as a conversation, even though they’re really not. Those people aren’t talking to each other. They’re each replying to me individually. Before I could see that. Now I’m losing emails nestled in conversations.
I also deeply dislike that the new version of Yahoo doesn’t automatically show what you’ve responded to and not responded to. I don’t file emails; seeing the little response arrow indicates to me that I’ve dealt with the email. Now there’s no such thing. I have no idea why not. It doesn’t cost anything to put a few pixels next to an email. How am I supposed to remember that I’ve responded? I don’t always deal with email as soon as I’ve opened it because sometimes I have to think about it. I’ve emailed multiple people multiple times this week to be sure I’ve responded. This is not a productive way to spend my time.
I suppose I will adjust, because I don’t want to convert to Gmail. But if this is the result of Yahoo’s employees having their telecommuting arrangements curtailed, I think they should just go ahead and let people work from home again.