Foldera Simplifies Your Digital Life

Posted on Mar 4, 2006

These days, like many of you, my life is filled with electronic communications, whether that’s email, chat, collaborative project management, mobile messages, or other data sources. I’ve written about this in the past.

On any given day, I spend hours on communications and between my work as Ideacodes, eHub, and personal communications, I pretty much live between a web browser, email client, and IM. Navigating these various spaces takes time, effort, and manual labor. Even with wikis, Basecamp’s efficiency in project management, iMail’s smart folders or Gmail’s labeling, I still find myself sorting and searching through multiple applications, browser windows, saving documents to project folders on my hard drive and then backed up to external drives.

Foldera plans to change that.

Max and I enjoyed meeting and chatting with Richard Lusk, Foldera’s CEO and founder, and Oliver Starr, Chief Mobility Officer, Director Business Development, and Corporate Blogger a couple of weeks ago. Since then, we’ve decided to work together and our company, Ideacodes, will be providing strategic design consulting on Foldera’s application and creating their corporate blog.

foldera-ideacodesRichard and Oliver came by our office Friday morning to talk about the project and to show us a private demo of the web application, which is still in stealth mode but will be debuting at next week’s O’Reilly’s ETech Conference.

Foldera has truly created an innovative new web-based productivity suite which “inverts the sorting and filing paradigm,” allowing users to centralize communications based on context. The web application has a full feature set, including:

Activity Folders
– Instantly Organize your applications, teams, projects, and information

Email
– Email is automatically presorted and filed on a project by project basis

Document Manager
– File sharing with secure storage, version control and locking

Task Manager
– Task management, with assignment and tracking

Calendar
– Schedule events and share your Calendar with others

Contact Manager
– Organize personal and company contact directories

Comments
– Exchange ideas, make suggestions, and share information

Instant Messenger
– Conduct instant conversations

Administration
– Customizable to suit your workflow

Sharing Manager
– Share anything, everything or nothing at all

One of the core concepts is that your communications can be organized by activity, so whether you’re a large company or an individual, Foldera can be customized to suit the way you naturally communicate and work.

You create a dedicated Activity Folder for each distinct project or activity. Email, instant messaging, and all your other applications are now accessed from within this folder instead of their original disconnected and unstructured state. This organizational structure also keeps everything in context; for example, all your email conversations and instant message dialogs stay right inside that specific Activity Folder, so everything related to that project stays grouped together.

Richard showed us how easy it was to send and receive email while inside an activity folder, as well as direct commenting on projects, and simple customization of permissions and preferences. You can see screenshots of each feature at the Foldera site, but here are a few key screens of the current application:

foldera-app

For the skeptics out there, I would reserve judgement until you’ve tried it! Foldera is a solid product, fully functional on both PC and Mac browsers, and extremely fast. In addition to the application itself, I’ve been impressed with Richard’s rapid and open discourse about Foldera on various blogs and in comment threads. Both Richard and Oliver are doing a great job approaching bloggers to promote and get feedback on the application and their enthusiasm and expertise shine through. Clearly, they’ve also impressed their investors, having raised $13 million since its launch and another $8.5 million after a reverse merger into an existing public company.

See Max’s post, Foldera – Next Generation Communications.

To read what others have said about Foldera:
Two passionate companies (that are seeing huge adoption) by Robert Scoble
Foldera: Never organize your inbox again by Mike Arrington at TechCrunch
Foldera: 1 Million SignUps in 12 Days (later corrected to 400,000 signups) by Shel Israel
Foldera, 400,000 downloads in 12 days? by Robert Scoble
Will Foldera hit the mark? by Marc Orchant at ZDNet

UPDATE: TechNewsRadio interviews Richard Lusk about Foldera. Listen to the 7 minute podcast here.

8 comments

  1. Gary Pick on March 08, 2006 at 07:28 PM:
    It will be interesting to find out if Foldera makes it.  When I heard about the company by an investment advisor, I wasn’t sure what to think.  Unfortunately, I was unable to view the BETA version or anything other than the company Web Site http://www.taskport.com.

    Since the launch, it has been pretty exciting to see the numbers.  Although I didn’t invest in the company (I never like to invest in something I can’t try see, first), I do think it is a good idea and I’ve seen other companies with similar “New” Folder applications.  Bulk Register of Baltimore offers a folder solution to manage domain portfolios.

    My thought process, initially, was, how are they going to make any money.  A company’s stock price is based on expected income from contracts or steady revenue expectations.  The Foldera Solution is expecting to get their revenue, primarily, from Google Adsense Revenue.  To me, that seems risky.  Although, we all know that Google is great, Foldera is betting that they will pay advertising click revenue for searches done through the application dashboard and that the amount of visitors using Google through their service will be large.  They will have to have a pretty large pool of users, making quite a large number of clicks.  And, if Google decides to dramatically decrease their per click pay-outs or their is some kind of click-fraud issue (Google’s potential down-fall) I can only pray for Foldera / TaskPort / Expert Systems or the lot.

    I am not sure if what value, if any, their other add-ons might have.  Anybody know ?

    I with them luck.

    -G.Pick

  2. Richard Lusk on March 09, 2006 at 10:12 AM:
    Hi Emily,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to meet with us and to take Foldera for a spin the other day.

    And thanks for sending so many of your readers our way too. I really appreciate it.

    Gary-here are answers to your questions:

    We operated under the stealth name Taskport for a number of years, but when our firm was acquired by Expert Systems we changed our name to Foldera. You can see what Foldera is all about over at:

    http://www.foldera.com

    ….and sign up for a free beta account there too :)

    Foldera’s mission is to be the best Business Organizer in the world. Our aim is to organize your email, documents, events and tasks on a project by project basis while you work. And we do it for you -so you don’t have to waste your time organizing your stuff by hand anymore.

    You asked about our revenue model- here’s how it works:

    We give you and every business as many Foldera’s as you want-for Free

    •We give you free storage too-if you want more, you can pay us a little money and get some more.

    •A free online help trail is embedded in Foldera, but if you get in a jam, and want to speak to a Foldera tech representative on the phone-that costs us money, so unfortunately we have to charge you for the call (unless the support issue is our fault, in which case we won’t charge you a thing)

    •We also charge you a one time fee to host your MX records-ie if you want your own custom domain we can make that happen too –ie- joe@joesplumbing.com, rather than using a Foldera url

    •Foldera also intends to help you buy keyword campaigns on Yahoo, Google and other search engines. So if you want that service, then you pay us a little bit of money for that too. It all adds up.

    One more thing:

    Gary you asked ..what

    “if Google decides to dramatically decrease their per click pay-outs”???

    Paid search is becoming a very competitive business, if Google does decrease their per click pay-outs, then we might move to Yahoo or Microsoft, or somewhere else, simple as that.

    Thanks for raising the questions. I enjoyed answering them.

    Best

    Richard Lusk
    CEO/Foldera

  3. Investor on March 09, 2006 at 10:51 AM:
    What happened to the demo?
  4. Gary Pick on March 09, 2006 at 05:18 PM:
    Richard,

    Thanks for the response.  I pulled information on Foldera in a Blog Search and was pretty surprised to see that you’ve responded to every posting I’ve seen and, now, mine included.

    With Google’s recent loss on that click-fraud case, it makes me worry a little about the future of ocmpanies focused on that revenue source.  My company is working on a number of different options for network related revenue, so I am very interested to see how you handle it >>>>>…. moving forward.

    -Gary Pick

  5. James Price on March 10, 2006 at 02:29 PM:
    “if Google does decrease their per click pay-outs, then we might move to Yahoo or Microsoft, or somewhere else, simple as that.”

    That is rather terse Mr. Lusk.  As you know Google is the leader in pay per click advertising.

    I pay them and Yahoo monthly.  I am considering dropping Yahoo (which is more expensive in my particular case per click) because Google is dramatically more effective in bringing me business.

    Apart from my acnecdotes, if per click pay-outs are your meat and potatoes, and if Google is the ad leader, it follows that you will be serving fairly raw meat without them.

    Maybe i miss something here?

  6. Richard Lusk on March 10, 2006 at 07:08 PM:
    Hi Jim,

    Sorry if my comment sounded terse. I didn’t mean for it to sound terse, but if I was, and if I offended you I am very sorry.

    Jim, I don’t believe that Google will substantially reduce the amount of revenue they share with publishers like Foldera. Because doing so would alienate the very publishers that provide over 40% of their ad distribution and revenue. But if Google did decide to do this, then businesses like Foldera have a reasonable alternative by way of Google’s competitors. That was all I was trying to say.

    Thanks for helping me clear this up though. I will be clearer about this subject in future postings.

    Best,
    Richard Lusk
    CEO/Foldera

  7. teak living room furniture on November 26, 2006 at 07:14 AM:
    Foldera is great for group collaboration and working on a common project, as it makes exchanging documents and making comments about them very easy, but it would undoubtedly benefit from including a wiki capability, which is unfortunately missing at the moment. As the concept of automatically filing documents is so central to Foldera, I did find paradoxical that there is currently no possibility to actually archive email messages. The gmail message archiving function has become so central to the way I process emails and get to an empty in-box by the end of each day, that I was disapointed not to find something similar here.
  8. Merms on December 04, 2006 at 03:19 PM:
    It is officially a year since I signed up. I have not bee sent anything to login except an email in April saying sorry & coming soon.

    Blah