Option to disable automatic "Mark as Read"
Idea shared by Rares Ispas - April 5, 2016 at 11:22 PM
Proposed
Hello,
 
There is a usage problem which prevents me from being able to use the web SmarterMail interface as my primary client: the lack of the option to disable automatic "Mark as Read".
1. First I preview all my messages to answer to priority messages. This automagically marks them as Read, and they disappear from the view if "Only View Unread Messages" is also checked, which generally is, because I have too many of them. As a general rule, when you have important messages you have to act on all of them, so Mark as Read should be disabled by default for safety reasons (Safety > Comfort).
2. Phone preview also marks them as Read, so they disappear from the desktop interface.
3. Please add shortcut keys for "Mark as Read" and "Mark as Unread"
 
Many of the problems reported with "Mark as Read" keywords can be traced to the default option of Yes.
Please note that the option existed until v9 when it was removed.
 

13 Replies

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1
Agree, I do the same thing, will read through 10 or so emails and then have to go back and mark as not read so i know i still have to deal with it later, and answer the most critical ones first

www.HawaiianHope.org - Providing technology services to non profit organizations, homeless shelters, clean and sober houses and prisoner reentry programs. To date we have given away over 1,000 free computers.

1
This feature is so important. So many people work backwards when using email. There should be an option that doesn't automatically mark messages as read when the preview pane is on and you go to another email message. Some people just like to skim the message and come back to that email message later. You could also make it so that it reads the message only when you open the message in a new window or popup. As a hosting company who is considering purchasing the product, this is an important feature I would think came out of the box. The fact that it is not there makes me question how many customers/users are going to be upset about this from an end-user perspective. Hope this is resolved soon.
4
Just an idea to consider -- you could click the 'flag' icon to mark messages that you want to deal with later.
 
SmarterMail could enhance webmail to filter or sort on flagged messages.
1
Andrea Rogers Replied
Employee Post
Hi Rares,
 
Thank you for the suggestion. I can see how some would be benefit from a manual "Mark as Read" option. I'm going to change this thread from a Problem to an Idea in order to facilitate tracking on this request. 
 
Thanks!

Andrea Rogers
Communications Specialist
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278

www.smartertools.com

1
Larry Duran Replied
Employee Post
Hello all,
 
I was able to install SmarterMail 9 and I can confirm that the "enable automatic mark as read for previewed messages" did exist in this version.  After enabling/disabling this setting and trying out different testing scenarios it looks like the setting allows a user to preview their top most email without having it tagged as "read".  However, it will be marked as "read" if the user clicks on the email.  The same thing will happen if the user has more than one unread email and they click on each individual message, SmarterMail 9 will tag them as read.
 
If this is the desired functionality then I do believe it's possible to get this back into a newer version of SmarterMail without too much effort on our part.  Aaron did describe an improvement on this setting, which I think would enhance it nicely from it's current implementation in SmarterMail 9.
 
What do you think?  Would it be nice to bring back the functionality from SmarterMail 9?  How about Aaron's suggestion, "You could also make it so that it reads the message only when you open the message in a new window or popup"?
Larry Duran
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
0
Hi Larry, I think having an option that only marks the message as read when it is opened in a new window would be a competitive feature and the correct path. MS Outlook had offed this feature for a long time and MS Webmail offers this feature too. For those migrating from Outlook or MS Webmail, the transition would be easier. Just my 2 cents.

Thank you so much for responding to this post, it shows the commitment to your product.

** Side Note **
We sent out a survey to our customer base that we would migrate to this product about this topic and I am surprised at actually how many people responded. We received about 90+ surveys back that said this was an important feature to have. Some added that it would make it harder for them to use the webmail system on a daily basis if the feature was not present.
0
Hello Larry,

Thank you for your response. My analysis of the situation is that people are using the Read Mark as a sort of poor man's Status (Active or Waiting), as in SmarterTrack. If the change of status is intentional (=manual), the Read Mark can double as the Active or Waiting status and workflow.
Regarding the method "it reads the message only when you open the message in a new window or popup" it is a step into the right direction, but it defeats another common workflow: quick confirmation to the sender that the problem is taken care of, without removing it from the queue. It is similar to SmarterTrack workflow where you send a confirmation email, but keep the Status as Active.
So if you add a checkbox, please have it disable automatic flagging all the way, without compromises.

For these workflows to work efficiently, you also need the keyboard shortcuts for Mark as Read/Unread, Junk and Followup, as described in my primary post.

Also please do not forget about the automatic mark as read when using a mobile client, it has become such a pain to go back and re-flag the mail after quickly previewing it.

BR,
Rares
1
Larry Duran Replied
Employee Post
Excellent discussions from everybody.  I went ahead and added the original functionality from SmarterMail9 and it should be part of our next minor build for SmarterMail15.
 
I can take the other ideas and present them to the team as possible feature updates for future releases.  In regards to the "active vs waiting" statuses can we use kevind's suggestion and use the flag as an option?  Another idea is to move certain emails into properly labeled folders, so maybe have an active folder and a waiting folder or even a previewed folder.  I totally understand both options are not automatic and moving emails to different folders on mobile can be far too many taps and swipes but these might be somewhat feasible options for the time being.  What does everybody think?
Larry Duran
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
0
Sounds good to me. How did the read on window popup idea go? Any guess if and when it may be incorporated? Thanks in advance.
0
any word?
0
Larry Duran Replied
Employee Post
Hey Aaron, I passed the suggestions on as I promised but I haven't heard anything about them becoming a possible feature request. I double checked our work backlog and I don't see this listed as a new feature yet so it doesn't look like it's in the pipeline any time soon.
Larry Duran
Software Developer
SmarterTools Inc.
(877) 357-6278
www.smartertools.com
0
I was very surprised that this was not already a built in feature. Every desktop and mobile (even some web mail alternatives) mail client that I use has this option. I should be able to read a message without marking it as read until I press a hotkey or click a button or use the context menu. It's that simple.
 
When you show only unread messages via the filter and then start looking over the emails to decide which one to handle first, they just start disappearing because they've been marked as read. This makes the filter completely useless.
 
It should be a dropdown option:
 
Mark messages as read:
  • When I reply
  • Manually
  • Never
0
I have seen in some email programs, i think it was Eudora from like 25 years ago, that would give you the option of a time threshold also. You could set it for 5 seconds, 15, all the way up to 3 minutes.  If you click on an email, and click off of it before the threshold, it did not mark it as read.

www.HawaiianHope.org - Providing technology services to non profit organizations, homeless shelters, clean and sober houses and prisoner reentry programs. To date we have given away over 1,000 free computers.

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