While our email apps are a great starting place for helping you focus on what’s most important in your inbox, we built Astro with a bigger vision in mind. With the help of machine learning and natural language processing, we saw an opportunity to build a bot that could not only live within Astro’s Email Apps, but also meet you on other platforms.
No matter what tools you use most, we want Astrobot to help you cut through the noise and stay on top of important emails.
So today, we are launching both Slack and Alexa integrations. Scroll down past the video to get straight to the details about these integrations, or for a bit more about our vision for Astro and Astrobot, keep reading below.👇
If you’ve been following along so far, you know that the last few months at Astro have been busy. We’ve introduced new features, like Email Tracking, and built a new app for Android–Astro’s email apps are also available on Mac, iPhone, and iPad. While we’ve been working to perfect our email apps and improve Astrobot’s intelligence within our email apps, we know very few people just use email to communicate at work. You can’t build a modern email app without recognizing that it’s being used side by side with other tools—and we want to make this easier for you.
As the number of communication and collaboration tools has increased in the past few years, some might argue that inbox overload and distractions have increased, rather than decreased. With all the advances in technology, like artificial intelligence, we think it should be the opposite: inbox overload should decrease. With that in mind, we’re bringing Astrobot to Slack and Alexa to help end information overload and keep you focused on the most important conversations.
Astrobot travels to new places
In building Astrobot for new platforms, we’ve thought a lot about how each platform is used and what features matter most. As we bring Astrobot to new places, we’re designing Astrobot to fit the specific needs of each platform and reduce the “firehose” of information and notifications you deal with at work. Meaning, Astrobot’s goal to make sure you don’t miss an important message remains—but the messages, insights, and reminders you receive will differ by platform.
Slack is an obvious place for us take Astrobot next. We love Slack, and you probably do too. In a few short years, it’s become a must-have tool for teams. For real-time conversations with your team, you can’t beat it. That said, while Slack has dramatically changed the way we work, it hasn’t replaced email. Email is still something you need to keep up with and also holds a wealth of data that can make your inbox smarter through AI.
With our launch today, we’ve made it easy to manage email and Slack side by side—we think this is essential for modern teams.
Astrobot + Slack = A smarter inbox
To help cut through the noise and allow information to flow freely between email and Slack, we’ve built a deep integration with Slack that brings Astrobot to Slack and also brings Slack features into Astro’s Email Apps.
Whether you spend more time in email or more time in Slack, our integration will help you simplify how you communicate at work. Astrobot’s Slack integration means you can seamlessly share, search, and move information and conversations across Slack and email—and of course manage your inbox from Slack.
While you don’t need to use Astro’s Email Apps to use Astrobot in Slack, using Astro’s Email Apps helps provide Astrobot with additional insights and a better understanding of your behavior so that prioritization, notifications, and reminders are more accurate.
As we mentioned, we didn’t just clone Astrobot from our Email Apps into Slack, we designed it specifically for Slack. Our goal when building the integration was to make sure you don’t miss an important email when you are working in Slack, without getting distracted in the process.
How it works
Our integration has two parts: We’ve brought Astrobot to Slack, and we’ve added Slack functionality to Astro’s Email Apps. With Astrobot in Slack, you can intelligently manage your inbox and stay on top of what’s most important. And Astro’s Email Apps are now connected to Slack, so you can move and find information between the two apps quickly.
1. Astrobot in Slack
- Get notified about Priority emails in Slack to limit distractions while staying on top of what’s important
- Astrobot automatically sorts your email into Priority and Other Inboxes using machine learning, and you can choose what comes to Slack
Manage your inbox from Slack
- Take actions on emails without leaving Slack: Reply, Archive, Delete, Snooze, or Star emails
- Send a quick email or set a reminder
Astrobot insights & reminders
- If you are using this side by side with Astro’s Email Apps you will also see email open and reply tracking notifications, so you know exactly when to follow up
- Get reminded about important emails and questions you may have missed
Add Slack VIPs
- If you’re using Astro’s Email Apps alongside Astrobot for Slack, we can take signals from your contacts in Slack to enhance our VIP recommendations in Astro
- You can also add contacts to your VIP list (/astrobot vips) and receive VIP suggestions in Slack. You may then choose to only receive emails from VIPs in Slack
- Choose where Astrobot lives: we recommend starting by keeping a Direct Message with Astrobot—you’ll get all of your emails and talk to Astrobot here. But if you want more control over Slack Notifications, you can also create a Private Channel for Astrobot instead
- Use Slash commands /astrobot settings, /astrobot help, /astrobot vips, and /email
2. Slack features in Astro’s Email Apps
- Do a single search in the Astro search bar, and get results from Slack and email
- For Slack results, see the exact message in Slack with a single click
Share to Slack
- If you receive an email, and want to talk about it in Slack, share it directly from Astro’s Email Apps. You can add it to a Slack Channel or Direct Message
- You can also share attachments with a Slack Channel or contact
- You can customize your share message, so the team knows why you moved the conversation
- You can also choose to send an email to everyone on the original email, so they know the conversation has moved to Slack and can join in
To get started, connect Astrobot and Slack at helloastro.com/slack, or download (or update) our Email Apps and connect in Settings. We currently support Gmail and Office 365 emails, and you don’t need to have Astro’s Email Apps to use Astrobot in Slack.
If you’re thinking “That’s a lot of features, where do I start?” We agree, this is a DEEP integration. Once you connect your email account to Slack these features will automatically appear in Astro’s Email Apps and be part of your core workflows, and Astrobot will also be added to Slack. Learn more details about how the integration works and watch the demo video on our Help Site.
Astrobot for Alexa
While we’re really excited about our Slack integration, you BOT-ter believe we’ve got more for you! 🤖 We know that you check and respond to email multiple times a day, in multiple places. And catching up on email through voice makes a lot of sense. When you get up in the morning, when making dinner at night, whenever you’re near your Echo, you can multi-task and get through your inbox.
With Astrobot for Alexa, you can catch up on email through your Amazon Echo. You can now ask Alexa to Snooze, Delete, Archive, Star, or send Quick Replies to emails. You can even set a pin, to make sure no one else can access your email.
Like with Slack and Astro’s Email Apps, Astrobot organizes your inbox into Priority and Other Inboxes. You can ask Astrobot for Alexa to just read you things from your Priority inbox, so she doesn’t bore you by reading junk mail or newsletters.
So far we’ve focused on ways to quickly manage your inbox and keep up with email through voice, but we plan to continue adding more Astrobot commands in the future. Be sure to check back for additions!
Looking to the future…
Our integration with Slack and our Alexa Skill are the first examples of how Astrobot can help you manage your inbox from different platforms and help you focus on what’s most important, no matter what apps you use most. Astrobot is looking forward to traveling to even more platforms soon, and getting smarter along the way. 🚀
Connect Astrobot to Slack and Alexa now and let us know what you think—we want your help in shaping the future of our apps. Comment here 👇, leave a comment on Product Hunt today, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.