Getting a handle on Handle, another email triage tool

Handle is a new application in beta that attempts the task of managing your email and tasks. It’s integrated with Gmail but strangely not with Google Calendar or Google Tasks. It is positioned as an email triage tool, like Mailbox (now acquired by Dropbox), so in principle you use it to work your way through email, turning email into tasks, and perhaps adding additional tasks as well.

Handle is built on the notion of three task priorities: must do, should do, and want to. The work flow is supposed to be simply rifling through emails, assigning them these priorities, and perhaps dates to be done. And then pulling to-dos from the things scheduled for today and working on them.

task list

I found the user interface a bit strange, perhaps because it’s based around typing certain letters on the keyboard for fast entry, and I am more oriented — as a newb — toward mousing around. I also found certain discrepancies annoying.  For example, dragging a task to a certain time on the calendar doesn’t set the due date/time.


I can see the appeal of going through my inbox and simply typing ‘a’ to archive an email, or alternatively typing 1, 2, or 3 to add to must do, should do, want to task lists respectively. But until the basics of full integration with Google are completed, I’m not sold.

Bottom Line

What I really don’t understand, and which is a show stopper for me, is why the tool doesn’t integrate with Google calendar. At the very least, I would like to see the events that I’ve already created in Google, and vice versa, see the task list created by Handle as Google tasks. It just doesn’t make sense not to do that, at the very least.