Getting dozens or even hundreds of emails a day? Are you also managing lots of inbound tweets, text messages, and tagged photos? Oh, and did you say you had a full time job, too?
Email is a double edged sword in the digital world. As great as it is for instant communication, we’ve all started using it more and more over the past few years, making for inboxes that are overwhelming, frustrating and sometimes even impossible to sort through. Yet we still keep using the thing, treading water to keep up with the daily grind.
Fortunately, there are a few new innovative apps that have come to market which may finally prove to be our ticket out of Email Hell. Here are eight that have caught our eye lately.
1. Mailbox (free, iOS): Just launched last week, Mailbox will literally change your email experience. Its goal is to help get you to Inbox Zero (e.g. no new messages) as quickly as possible. How does it work? Instead of marking your email as read or unread, Mailbox lets you reply to urgent messages first, then punt anything non-urgent for later times such as “this evening,” “tomorrow,” “next week,” or a date specified by you. With one easy swipe, you can also add emails to your different to-do lists, including To Buy, To Read, or To Watch. I’ve been a beta user for months now and can vouch that it’s AMAZING. The app is rolling out gradually, so get in line asap!
2. Cloze (free, iOS): With a brand new mobile release today, Cloze has become one of the go-to email apps that integrates with your social networks. Once you’ve connected all of your accounts, the app will analyze your contacts and email to determine who and what is most important to you. While it’s a bit scary that an app can learn so much about you, have no fear: there are multiple layers of network and application security in place. Your info is safe. Once everything is in place, your email and social messages will be sorted into smart lists based on importance. That way you are always reading what’s most urgent first. The rest can wait.
3. Gmail (free, iOS, Android): Okay, okay, we know you’ve heard of this one, but of course it had to be on this list. Gmail is obviously not new, but has had a few recent updates that have made it even more awesome than before. It’s especially important to note how fast it is, which in turn, makes getting through your email that much faster as well. I’m personally still going back and forth between Gmail and Mailbox as my email app of choice. Yep, it’s THAT good.
4. Aqua (free, Android): Aqua is one of the mostly highly rated and frequently downloaded Android apps for a reason: not only does it keep your inbox sorted the way you want it, but it also has easy shortcut buttons to reply, delete, or send. What’s also great is that you can link multiple email accounts — yes, including your ever-beloved Outlook — into one. Win!
5. K-9 Mail (free, Android): Like Aqua, K-9 is a powerhouse in the Android market. Similar to Sparrow and Mailbox for iOS, K-9 has swipe functionality and the ability to sync emails to multiple folders. The best part about this app is that it’s been developed by the community, for the community. There are oogles of features that were developed and sourced by the power of the crowd.
6. Inky (Free): Inky is a desktop app that helps you organize your crazy, unwieldy inbox. Not only is it very pretty, but it also has “smart views” and “relevance views” that let you sort through your email in a more meaningful way. For instance, messages from close contacts have a vibrant blue drop and flow to the top of your message list. Less important mail and spam appears faded and flows to the bottom. It works with any email account and is super simple to set up.
7. OtherInbox (Free): OtherInbox creates multiple plugins (read: apps within an app) that work with your existing Gmail, AOL Mail, Yahoo! Mail, or iCloud accounts. Organizer will instantly organize receipts, newsletters and more into folders so that you don’t constantly see them in your main inbox feed. Unsubscriber lets you bucket email spam that you no longer want to see into a folder and then does the work to unsubscribe you (um, amazing!).
8. Sanebox (Free): Sanebox is all about what it says it’s about: keeping your inbox sane. And it actually works. Best of all, there’s nothing to download! Once you sign up, a new folder will appear in your email account called SaneLater that automatically collects unimportant emails like newsletters so that your inbox only stays full of the email that really matters. There are a variety of other features that make Sanebox amazing (spam filtering, follow-up reminders, and more). Definitely give this app a look.
Do you use any of these already? Which are your favorites? Or, do you have any other secret email weapons we should know about? Talk to us in the comments below, find us on Facebook or Twitter, or heck, email us!