Shortwave glossary

Definitions for common terms you see while working in Shortwave, or throughout our help center.


Sidebar — entire left navigation pane, from Inbox down to the bottom of the Conversations list

Inbox — page for emails you need to triage + page for emails you've prioritized to do next

Snoozed — page for emails you've scheduled for later

Done — page for emails requiring no further action

Channels — page for organized team collaboration

Favorites section — an area for quick access to user-selected contacts

Conversations list — an area for quick access to drafts and recent conversations you've actively participated in

Help box — bottom right menu which has keyboard shortcuts and links to documentation

Experiments — a page for in-progress features

Triage actions

📌 Pin — adds a thread / bundle as a to do

⏰ Snooze — schedules a thread / bundle to come back later

✔️ Done — marks a thread / bundle as taken care of


Conversation — your email history with a contact or group, analogous to how iMessage and other chat apps organize messages

Individual history — your past conversations with a single contact

Group history — your past conversations with 2+ contacts


Message — an email; equivalent to an email in Gmail

Thread — linear sequence of messages which reference each other; e.g. a series of back-and-forth emails under the same subject

Subjectless thread — a thread with no subject line

Side thread — a thread that branches off from another thread; e.g. someone in a group thread replies just to the sender instead of reply-all.

Label — a name given to a thread or bundle

Message actions — the quick actions and

overflow menu that appear when you hover over or right-click on a message

Thread actions — the triage actions and

menu at the top-right of a thread


Draft — an in-progress message that has not yet been sent

Reply — continuing an existing conversation with a set of participants

Compose box — the area where you type a message you want to send

Emoji reaction — responding to a message with an emoji

Mention — a reference to a contact or channel

Channel links — special reference using

that links to a channel, e.g. #Engineering or #Pets


Bundle — a collection of related threads grouped together. Bundles can be grouped automatically by Shortwave or by the user.

Section — collapsible collections of bundles, grouped together by time range or pinned status

Pinned section — the place where your to-do items live and are prioritized


Top bar — the entire top section of the app, from our logo to the logged-in user's profile photo

Search box — the input area used to search for specific threads and contacts. It can also be used for navigation across the app.

Search terms — special queries used to filter search results; examples include

, and


Workspaces — base unit of collaboration and payment which contains a set of channels, members, and guests

Workspace members — Shortwave users with full access to a workspace

Role — an attribute assigned to each workspace member which determines their access permissions

Owner — workspace member with the most elevated permissions

Admins — workspace members with elevated permissions

Collaborators — workspace members who do not have permission to manage workspace settings or membership

Guests — Shortwave users who only have partial access (1+ channels) in a workspace

Channels — the next evolution of mailing lists; analogous to an email-based Slack channel

Channel members — people actively in the channel


Do not disturb (DND) mode — a way to temporarily mute Shortwave notifications

Status indicator — a small dot on the corner of contacts' profile photos that displays online status

Typing indicator — displays if someone is actively responding to a message, configurable from the settings page

Available hours — a set of hours that automatically disable Shortwave notifications while you're not working

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