Ever wonder how your emails sound to the reader? Crystal knows!

A new app, crystalknows.com, claims to be able to translate “your communication style to the recipient’s” as you type. By sourcing publicly-available data including social media and personal blogs, Crystal builds personality profiles which are used to suggest the “words, phrases, style, and tone you should use to reach the recipient in the way that they like to communicate”.

“Crystal tells you the best way to communicate with any coworker, prospect, or customer based on their unique personality…Crystal relies on three types of data to create your personality profile: 1) public data analysis (social media, blogs, articles, etc.), 2) peer assessment, and 3) self-assessment.”

After reading an article about Crystal on TechnologyReview.com, I had to test it out myself.



After signing up for a free 14-day trial, I was able to search personality profiles by name, company, location. Here’s what Crystal had to say about me. (I’ve noted, with a green star, the comments which I consider most accurate.)


After pulling up an individual’s personality profile, Crystal then allows you to analyze the relationships between the individual and others- for a fee.

The free trial allows you to view the relationship analysis between the individual and yourself.  Since I was not interested in upgrading at the time, I created a second free trial with the same info (only the signup email address was different) so that I could view the relationship analysis between myself and… myself.



Crystal offers a Chrome browser extension for Gmail which allows Crystal to offer real-time suggestions as you compose emails. Here’s a sample of what Crystal recommended in an email from myself to… myself.


I was impressed with Crystal’s use of publicly-accessible data to build a relatively accurate personality profile. Though not all personality traits and phrasing suggestions were 100%, Crystal is an impressive application of data mining and analysis. One contributing factor to Crystal’s success in defining my personality was surely the fact that I have my own website with a number of examples of my writing style.

Others’ profiles may be non-existent or paltry in comparison due to not having enough public data to form a credible/reliable profile. Only 3 out of 6 searches for different people returned a result. Though Crystal is an awesome idea and an effective product, until more data points are added to Crystal’s source library, the lack of profiles will be an issue confronting Crystal’s longevity.

Though I don’t have much use for this tool for personal correspondence, I do see value in a business context. As an IT Consultant working cross-country, I work with new people frequently and don’t always have the opportunity to meet each of them. Crystal would allow me to craft my email correspondence in a way that’s most conducive to the recipient- offering opportunities for faster turnaround times, less chance of miscommunication, etc.

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