Email is integral part of communication, a convenient asset, but also a necessary evil. Give it a day, or even an hour for some users, and an inbox can fill up quick. If you don’t give it your undying attention, things can become overwhelming, particularly the mobile experience. Even when you do get the opportunity to actually sort through your inbox, you read an email and then what? It just sits there. You need to take action, but other more urgent emails require your attention.
Maybe you have a system that works for you, but me? There are currently hundreds and hundreds of emails just idling in my inbox—some flagged, but mostly an unorganized mess. That’s my fault. But it’s why I’m so excited about Mailbox for iOS. Nothing is complicated, email is no longer intimidating. The layout and gesture-based system makes dealing with everything so much easier.
If I can hit Inbox Zero, anyone can.
When Gentry Underwood, leader of the new email revolution, set out to create Mailbox, his focus wasn’t on altering the core email experience. Rather, building a more intuitive design, taking elements from his company’s Orchestra to-do app, and making email on the whole less complicated. He discovered a way to help dopes like me better organize their digital inbox, thus allowing people to be more productive. Not only that, but much less overwhelmed.
When you have to respond to twenty different people about twenty different things, or something needs following up, the ease of Mailbox can seem like a small miracle.
One of my biggest failings is remembering to come back to an email I don’t want to deal with the exact moment I check it. On the desktop I have a loose flagging system I’ve devised that more or less gets the job done. But on mobile? Complete chaos. It’s a nightmare. Mailbox has already helped me get that under control.
The app’s bread and butter is the ability to snooze messages: for later today, this evening, tomorrow, this weekend, next week, in a month, someday, or a date you designate. That way dealing with something, or at least coming back to something at a more convenient time, isn’t such a pain.
The simple feature has helped me improve my workflow in a matter of hours—simply swipe an email left from inside your inbox and the bar will turn yellow to indicate snooze. After that a screen will pop up so you can designate when you want to actually deal with that particular email. You can later today, or someday. You’re in control—but the great thing is that the email isn’t there staring you in the face.
And if you want to see what you have snoozed, or archived, navigating the app itself is just on tap away, making the experience so, so simple. There are three main buttons: Inbox, Archive and Snooze. There’s also a compose button on the top, and a search bar just beneath that. In the top left corner can access a bigger overall view of your mailbox, what you’ve snoozed, lists, settings and so on. Everything is accessible with either a simple type or swipe.
I’ve only used the app for a day, and I’m already in love. No matter how many emails come flooding in, it’s super easy to deal with everything in a more productive manner. Snoozing an email to when I want to deal with it has made the experience much less laborious, and organizing my inbox is much more doable.
I’m not an insane power user. I send out emails, reply, forward, the usual. But I always felt like there had to be an easier system. I’m sure a lot of people who have already devised their perfect solution through Gmail, Outlook and whatnot, and that’s fine. If you have a system that already works for you, stick to it. But if you’re like me, who can sometimes feel buried under multiple emails in a matter of hours, Mailbox is an incredible useful tool.
Underwood told us that reception has been incredible thus far, and that the reservation system was necessary for a smooth launch. Mailbox is currently the number two top free app in the iOS store—ABOVE Temple Run 2. So far, I haven’t run into any issues or glitches. Service has been fantastic, and it sounds like the community is responding quite well. Not every user will be convinced enough to ditch Gmail, or even iOS’s native email client, but I’m 100 percent behind the project. It works perfectly for my needs.
Whatever helps me more easily achieve Inbox Zero.
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