Hey Letitia! Thank you, this feedback is interesting for us. For our official hosting, we offer customer support via Discourse so we’ve run into similar pain points internally and have made customizations in a few cases. Similar to an ongoing effort for #chat, I’d love to speak with you about your experiences and usage of the inbox as a site admin if you’re open to that, and see if we can help with any recurring pain points.
Below, I’ll try to dive into each section to share how we manage our work, if any work we’ve done can be made more generic and possible to use on other sites. All of these answers are based on the fact that we
Archive PMs once answered, and the only PMs in the inbox are the ones that still need to be resolved.
With growing support needs, we’re also running into this pain point. At the moment, I think tags are an obvious (but somewhat cumbersome) way to manage the “status” of each PM. We’ve started experimenting with priority indicators internally to help us make these decisions but other ideas like status tags (resolved, awaiting reply, new etc.) had been considered but not implemented yet.
So, Archived and Not Archived are the two statuses we are working with along with some tagging.
Today, adding/removing a group already moves a PM between group inboxes:
Through a recent change in discourse-assign by @vinothkannans, we also auto-invite a group to a PM if you assign them to make the process faster.
If you haven’t tried out Discourse Assign yet, we’d recommend it as it solves some points around delegating work in way visible to staff.
I don’t think we have this yet, but you could select a bunch of PMs (i.e. System) and then perform Bulk Operations on them like Archive & Assign PMs, Append/Replace/Remove Tags and more:
Currently, it is possible to have separate inboxes for separate working groups. All groups/inboxes that you are a member of will also be added to your sidebar automatically:
Let us know if you run into any problems as you try to configure this.
How would you plan to use that address book? Are you sending a message to a fixed group of users regularly?
It’s correct that a group is the only way at the moment and if you use Mailchimp, we recently announced Discourse Newsletter Integration.
On that note, we also built IMAP support for group inboxes and SMTP support for group inboxes, but I’m not very well versed with how they work yet.