The end of email insanity and the beginning of eMail Productivity. When Gmail’s Priority Inbox feature was unveiled, I was optimistic that it would solve all my email troubles by sorting out the important. The problem was that the smart pioritization used is not exactly very smart. It enables a new Inbox which YES includes some of the important things, but also makes you work double by starting a metodology to define and redefine important senders or topics. In the end, I just left it. Here’s what they say about their app:
“Email Sucks Without SaneBox! Our average user saves 8 hours per month.”
Since Sanebox appeared on scene, I’ve been quite amazed of its capabilities and advantages:
Really Smart Organization
After signing up with them, Sanebox takes your most recent 5,000 messages and sorts them. The importance based sorting is quite a flash, because you stay with your same inbox without most of the unimportant messages which are sent to a “SaneLater” folder. Other messages can be moved “drag & drop” to other folders like “SaneTomorrow” or “SaneNextWeek” and they will be put in your inbox when the time comes for you to make a decision on them.The messages that are not in your first 5.000 ones are sorted out to the Archive (this actually makes sense, cause nobody is actually reading those anyway). After this initial action, Sanebox continues filtering your inbox and learning as you go.
This is one of the great things also, many email organizers are platform based. SaneBox is different, it works with most email services that use IMAP or WebDAV, including Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Mozilla Thunderbird.
Easy & Intuitive Layout
SaneBox seems to work a lot like Priority Inbox, except that sorting takes place using folders instead of using a multi-section layout, which I think makes it easier to compartmentalize and maintain focus. With Priority Inbox, you see all messages in the same pane, making it tempting to jump around or check out less important emails. With SaneBox, you view one folder at a time, and other messages are displayed as a count within your sidebar.
The moving of messages back and forth is simple. SaneBox learns from your actions and preferences. If an email is priority for you and went to a wrong folder but you took it out, It will never go back to a mistaken folder. The moving back and forth of email between folders is what SaneBox calls trainings and can be modified any time through the control panel.
Other features worth mentioning
Besides the already simple but smart organization SaneBox has:
- Teams the same organization can be applied to teams and Sanebox works everywhere you read your email.
- Social network training helps to improve the accuracy of filtering, based on the strength of relationships and connections within social networking platforms.
- Blackhole folder to unsubscribe to unwanted emails with one click (to never receive them again).
- Multi-level email prioritization, which allows you to organize emails into five levels to maximize your email productivity.
- Encryption and “outside-the-envelope” examination of messages (SaneBox does not read your email) so that sensitive information remains protected and private.
- Follow up reminders, to not leave anything behind of the things that require a response.
- Cloud services to have every attachment with you wherever you go.
- CRM software integration and filtering, to treat your clients as a priority.
Yes you are right, most of what it does is filtering and prioritization and you could do it yourself. THAT IS the thing, those tasks take too much time, Sanebox gives you your time back.
Pricing for SaneBox Prices start at arount $2,04 for one email account and $5,79 per month for two email accounts, 250 reminder alerts and 250 attachments. You can try it out for two weeks for free.
There are many other applications and tools for email productivity and inbox organization, some of the popular ones are:
ActiveInbox: Priced at $24.95 per year, the service is designed specifically to work with Google Apps and Gmail. There’s also a Chrome browser add-on.
AwayFind (CRM software, Exchange, Gmail, Outlook, many others; $4.99 and up per month) — Launched by Jared Goralnick, a former productivity expert, AwayFind encourages people to step away from their inboxes. The software learns which emails are important and alerts users via a text message or a phone call when one arrives. The premise, Goralnick says, is that you can get more done if you stay focused on the task at hand instead of constantly responding to messages. “For every one hundred messages, maybe one or two need to be dealt with right away,” he says.
ClearContext (Outlook and Exchange; $89.95 and up) — A piece of software that you download and install, ClearContext highlights the most important messages so you see them first and files less critical ones into suggested folders. It also allows you to turn emails into tasks and appointments, as well as organize mail by project.
EmailTray: This application acts like an alert system, basically summarizes what’s showing up in your incoming Webmail service (the usual suspects). It also works with Microsoft Outlook, through a free Windows client version.
NEO: This is a rich organizer that is built explicitly for Microsoft Outlook. It includes oodles of customizations, such as the ability to track what you’ve sent.
OtherInbox: The service handles a broader range of services, including Yahoo, AOL, Gmail and iCloud. It includes a feature called “Unsubscribe,” which will let you take action on people you really don’t ever want to hear from.
Rapportive (Gmail; free) — Now owned by LinkedIn, Rapportive helps you see connections you may have with people you’re emailing by tapping into social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. It aims to help you develop a better rapport with those you are messaging, so that you can send more personal and effective emails and better build your business and sales network.
ToutApp (CRM software, Gmail, Outlook; free for limited service, $30 per month for professional edition) — ToutApp (pictured) aims to help its users save time writing and sending messages. With it, you can set up email templates, schedule messages to be delivered at certain times, and track whether a recipient has received and opened a given missive.
Unroll.me (Gmail and Yahoo Mail; free) — If you find yourself receiving too many mass emails and newsletters, Unroll.me will aggregate them and send them to you in one daily digest. It will also help you unsubscribe from unwanted messages.