Alexander Obenauer

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Reimagining email

My career began with reimagining email and finding ways to build that vision on top of the existing email protocols.

Ten Years of Designing Mail Pilot and Thinking About Email

A talk on a decade’s worth of product design decisions.

Watch the talk

Available soon

Available soon


Mail Pilot is an email client that introduced new perspectives and useful features to email in 2012, such as reminders, which was later adopted by other apps as “snooze”. After a record-breaking Kickstarter campaign, Mail Pilot went on to become the #1 paid app in the Mac App Store at launch. It is available today as a native app for macOS, iPadOS, and iOS.

Throttle is a service that introduced sender-specific addresses in 2015 to give email receivers fine-grained oversight and control over the transactional and bulk email headed their way, and is often turned to as a home away from the inbox for less urgent email.

Mail Pilot featured in the App Store

2013 · With two days’ notice to put together graphics for a feature of our first iOS launch in 2013, I quickly made ~80 variations, then text them to my friends to help pick which to give Apple.

I’m an independent researcher; my work is graciously made possible thanks to funding from the community.

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Most importantly, supporters help make more of this work happen — most of which is published for members and non-members alike.

If you’d like to make a bigger contribution to support my work, get in touch — I might have the right project for you to sponsor.

Go to the member portal — Signed-in members will have access to the links within; others can preview.

Member Magazine, Issue 2: Directions. Summer 2022.

Member Magazine Issue 2: Directions

Member download

Letter to the Members / Towards Symbiosis in Personal Computing / Experimental Prototype Computer of Tomorrow / My personal stack of home brewed software / Challenges in Research

Issue 2: Directions

Published: Summer 2022

Length: 5,650 words

Member Magazine, Issue 1: Foundations. Winter 2022.

Member Magazine Issue 1: Foundations

Member download

Letter to the Members / Introduction to the Member Magazine / Personal computers are amazing / Thinking Out Loud / Making things better / An item-centric perspective on personal computing / The future of personal computing

Issue 1: Foundations

Published: Winter 2022

Length: 9,352 words

Other projects

Songs I’m Made Of

A radio-style show with songwriters, where we discuss and play their songs and the ones that inspired them.


A digital planner — tasks, on dates.

Currently available to members.

Simple Habits

A simple habit tracker with widgets for iPhone.

Want to purchase this project? Get in touch.

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