AwayFind is a new web based service that allows one to set up professional email auto responses and signatures. On the surface, the purpose is to allow you to set appropriate expectations for those that send you email and allow those with an urgent need to get in touch with you right away. It is a very elegantly executed service that provides just the right balance between method and message. I can’t say enough good things about the web site itself. It is elegantly designed and a joy to use.

Now, AwayFind could be just another web service. They could just give you the basic free service and gladly take your subscription money when you are ready to upgrade to the pro level to get more features. But, it seems, founder Jared Goralnick is not interested in solely doing that. This is made apparent by the very front page of the AwayFind web site:

Awayfind is not just a web tool, it’s a blueprint for escaping email, with a handbook and a community to ensure your success.

What Jared really wants to do is to change the way you approach the idea of email. He provides that message, and the corresponding short lessons, at almost every opportunity on the site. As you navigate around, there are videos to watch, tutorials to guide you and a fantastic PDF handbook to download. All with one purpose in mind, to educate and encourage you to do the following:

  • Batch process your email once or twice a day.
  • Clear your Inbox by processing everything.
  • Turn off notifications.
  • Let people know your intention while providing a route to get time sensitive and urgent messages to you.

It soon becomes clear that AwayFind is first about education and, also, happens to have a service that, if you would like, can help you facilitate the goal in mind.

What I find most interesting is that, with this message front and center and the lessons provided, there is nothing that would prevent one from simply setting up an auto response on their own that provides the same opportunity. Heck, I have even written here before about doing this very thing myself at a previous employer. Having spoken with Jared, if that ends up being your takeaway from AwayFind, he will have achieved his main goal. It may seem a little altruistic on Jared’s part but that is because it is. His main goal is to set out to try to solve a problem that is a growing concern to us all. If it is a bit of LaMancha-esqu windmill battling then so be it. If one persons life if made a little bit easier, their time a bit more free, due to the lesson taught and, secondly, the service provided, he is fine with that.

There is a certain level of compassion I see in all of this. It is a unique and special thing. That alone will cause me to use AwayFind versus my own DIY solution. I urge you, gentle reader, to have a look and consider doing the same.