• Update on Mint.com and Google Inbox

    Over four months ago I wrote a review of Google Inbox. About two months ago I bashed Mint.com. I still use both, suggesting I like them enough to do so. I still have issues with both. Here’s an update:

    Google Inbox

    It’s still the email app I use 99% of the time for the simple reason that it allows the user to hide email conversations but schedule them to return to one’s inbox as a reminder. [UPDATE: I now use Google Inbox only 1% of the time, specifically to schedule these reminders. I’m 99% back to standard Gmail.] This is very handy. I use this feature multiple times a day. I wrote about it in my initial review. I would recommend that Google simply add this feature to standard Gmail, which is otherwise just fine.

    What annoys me most about Inbox is that there’s still no way to add a default signature to one’s emails. This is my main frustration, but it’s a large one. I’m not the only one who feels this way. I’ve seen indications on the Intertubes that Google plans to add signatures. When? It’s been four months. Why is this hard?

    Secondary annoyances: (1) The Inbox Android app seems to drain my phone’s battery from time to time. (Other users have experienced this.) I’ve gotten in the habit of fully stopping the app, which is an extra step. It shouldn’t be necessary. (2) The Android app periodically forgets my notification settings and stops notifying me of incoming emails. This is another problem others have experienced. Solution: uninstall/reinstall, but that’s annoying. (3) The iPad app’s font is too small and cannot be adjusted. That’s dumb.

    Mint.com

    For reasons explained in my prior post, I had to stop using Mint, switching to a spreadsheet. I listed three problems. To date, Mint has fixed only one of them: now cleared transactions have descriptions, as they should. Yay! I’ve switched back to Mint. It is (to me) slightly easier than a spreadsheet, but not as easy as it should be (more below).

    Has Mint reinstated the pending transactions they deleted when they messed with my account in an attempt to fix the missing descriptions problem? No. I still don’t know what those transactions were, in full. Mint hasn’t even apologized for its error. This is a pretty big screw-up.

    But Mint is still failing in another big way: written checks are not auto-reconciling with cleared ones in one of my accounts. This feature exists on other accounts. It’s a core element of Mint. It’s why most people use it.

    I’ve been notifying Mint of this problem for years. Several times, Mint has provided nonsense answers to why this occurs. Those answers include the idea that both pending and cleared entries must have the same date. That’s fundamentally impossible. How do I know when I enter a check on what date it will clear? This cannot be the right answer because other accounts auto-reconcile.

    Yes, yes, I can manually reconcile and have done so for years, as Mint has instructed me to do. (By the way, they also say they won’t troubleshoot the problem if I do this manual reconciliation. You can imagine how good that makes me feel.*) I shouldn’t have to manually reconcile anyway. Auto-reconciliation should work. Both pending and cleared entries match on check number and amount. A child can see they match. Mint should fix this. It should not be hard.

    On balance I still like and use Google Inbox and Mint, but I would prefer they both fix the biggest annoyances: Google Inbox should add a signature. Mint should fix whatever bug is preventing auto-reconciliation in my account.

    * Nevertheless, I have opened up a new ticket and will refrain from manually reconciling at least one check so they can take another whack at this.

    @afrakt

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