First Days in Foldera

We have been using Foldera tentatively for a few days now. And this is my first (non-poem) review - it is a brief mixture of initial reactions and-in-the-field use.


The first thing to tell you is, it's slow. Painfully slow. I think there is a guy In Folderaville shuffling floppies (and I aint talking in the "fluffing" sense).
Foldera is so slow that it's burnt my monitor. Foldera is so slow that by the time I have logged in to add a new project, the project has been completed. Online, there is one thing slower than Foldera, and that is SETI@home (which is slower than Fold(era)ing@home by a long shot).

Foldera is this slow in a years' time, it won't be here. And seeing as you're probably not reading this until then, then clearly they have speeded it up.


They have some quite hard design hurdles to cross, I think. They need to supply a lot of information, links and other interface items on the page at the same time. And this creates clutter, as you can see from this grab of my current Foldera:

I really should get some screen wipes.
And that's just part of the page. The blue links on the left are the folders, and the right hand side are the folder contents. They are already using some neat AJAXy dropdowns which work really well but they have a ways to go to get the screen ergonomics nailed. I think some compromises and extra steps will have to be juggled and see no reason why they won't get it right in the long run.


Though Foldera is new, there is bloat. It has an email system which I imagine won't get that much use. Not because of the system per se (it might be great) but just because people already have an email, and the kind of people who might use Foldera are probably pretty happy with the system they use now. What Foldera needs isn't its own email but to hook in seamlessly with Pop or Gmail in a configurable and filterable way.

Any task/project system nowadays has to use email as a core conduit, but that doesn't mean every task system needs its own email system.


Despite the speed and clutter and babybloat of the early version, there must be a reason why I/we at work are still using it and, so far, increasing our using it of it. Small projects first, but projects nonetheless. I said in a blog post last week about how Foldera is heading straight up for a Google buyout. So much so that the UI proportions are almost exact with Gmail. The Foldera colour scheme is a panchromatic (though mainly pale blue) celebration of the Google colour scheme. The lack of a task and project system in the Google Apps is, like the lack of a Powerpoint contender, a well discussed omission. Foldera is very very Google like, much more than Basecamp or Activecollab.

And there is another similarity with the Big G.
Foldera has that feeling, like when I first tried Gmail, Writely, Gcal, you can't but help think: "It may not be there now, but when it's there, whoooo-hoooooo, this baby is going to roll me over and butter my balls 'til Christmas," or at least the website/software equivalent of that sentiment.