Most of today's jobs involve reading and replying to lots of emails. Unfortunately, besides work stuff, you also have a bunch of subscriptions and personal emails to sort through, so this activity can be quite s time-consuming one. According to recent studies, an average person spends about 28% of his work week managing his or her emails. That's probably because they don't know that there are better ways of solving this kind of issues. If your inbox is giving you headaches, and the emails keep piling on, here are some really effective and time-saving tools that will help you out.
Let's start things off with a few services which are capable of automatically organizing your inbox, so that you don't have to do it yourself. These tools will sort your incoming messages by themselves, thus helping you focus on just the important messages that you receive.
SaneBox is a really clever tool, but let me tell you from the get go that it's not cheap. This service learns from you (by monitoring the emails that you open first) which messages are important to you and which aren't. Additionally, you can help the application catch on faster by manually moving some of your mail into folders. Once it figures things out, it will automatically sort your emails: the ones you should prioritize will be left in your inbox, while all the other not-so-important ones will be herded into a folder named SaneLater, so that you can deal with them at a more convenient time.
Using SaneBox is actually quite easy. All you have to do is enter your email into the service's webpage, and it will automatically start sorting through your emails (may take a while depending on the volume of messages stored in your Inbox). If, once it finishes, there are still unimportant messages in your Inbox, or important mails have been moved into the SaneLater folder, simply drag them where they belong, and all the future mails from the same sender will follow suit. The tool also offers a few extra features like SaneTomorrow (a folder where your emails are kept until the next day) or SaneBlackHole for senders you never want to hear from again.
As I said in the beginning, using SaneBox is not cheap. The service offers a few subscription plans which range from $7 per month (for the basic functionality + 1 feature of your choice) to $36 per month for the full package.
Alto Mail is another interesting service which organizes your emails by sorting them into stacks. This tool groups your emails into several categories: Daily deals, Special notifications, Photos, Attachments, Retailers or Starred, but also allows you to create your own stacks, should you so desire. (In case you manually create a category, drag and drop the desired email into your category, and all the future messages sent from the same address will be automatically moved there.)
If you're one of the people who process the information better visually, then you will really like this service. Unfortunately, this solution will force you to work in your browser, and since most prefer to use the designated email app, this could prove to be quite a drawback. Alto works with Gmail, Yahoo Mail, AolMail, iCloud, etc.
Organizer is also an effective way of cleaning out your email. This tool will scan through emails in your inbox and automatically group them into categories such as Business, Entertainment, Jobs, News, Shopping, Travel, etc. The service will send you a daily email to tell you exactly which emails have been recently organized and where they are now, so that, in case it misplaces some messages, you will be able to find them easily. Additionally, there are a number of customization options that you can use.
Besides the services capable of automatically sorting the emails in your Inbox, there are also several tools which offer some really handy functionality that you don't normally have. Here are a few of the ones I thought would be the most useful to you, dear reader.
Boomerang is a service that, unfortunately, only works with Gmail, but offers really cool functionality. There are many times when, for various reasons, you don't want to instantly replay to an email, but putting it off until later may result in you forgetting all about it. This service allows you to set a timer to the emails you write and automatically sends them at the desired hour, even if you're no longer logged into your email account. Boomerang works as a Chrome, Firefox or Safari extension and functions by adding a button to your Gmail interface (which provides you with the added functionality).
In case you don't have time to write a reply and schedule its sending, you can use FollowUpThen. This tool will make sure that you don't forget to send replies or follow up with someone who emailed you by sending reminders in your Inbox or even as text messages. Furthermore, it can be used for a variety of other purposes, such as remembering birthdays, evens, appointments, etc. and even for working with recurring emails. What's even cooler is that using this service is very simple. All you have to do is send an email to addresses like email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, etc., which also specify when you want the reminder to arrive.
If you've had an email address for a long time, you won't believe how many things you're subscribed to and completely forgot. Unfortunately, those subscriptions keep piling on emails in your Inbox, and that can be quite annoying. Unroll.me is a handy service which scans your email address and shows you a list with all the subscriptions you've ever made. What's even cooler is that the tool also enables you to easily unsubscribe from any of the detected services with a simple click of the mouse. Additionally, you can choose to have the messages from the subscription you're interest in packed into a roll up and sent to you daily in the morning or in the afternoon.
The only drawback of using this service is that, if you want to use its help to unsubscribe from more than five items, Unroll.me forces you to share its usage on social media.