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Mailbox Alternatives

Zero inbox.

Inbox control

Email management.

mailbox app alternativesWhatever you want to call wrangling your email inbox into submission, I’ve counted on Mailbox for years. With news that creator Dropbox is shutting down my second favorite email management app, I can admit that I am moving into the 5th stage of grief: acceptance.

Mailbox was, as far as I can tell, the pioneer of swiping to temporarily archive your messages to help you get to Zero Inbox. Literally having zero messages in your email box. Productivity experts hailed it as “the way” to manage your email woes and regain control over the black hole of business today.

I dabbled with zero inbox, heck, I’ll try just about anything to improve productivity. The theory never quite gained traction with me, but I have adopted a few tricks, as a result.

That said, I was saddened to hear that Dropbox would be shuttering it’s popular email app.

If you find yourself in the similar situation of looking for an alternative to Mailbox, let me share some of my thoughts with the other options out there:

Over the years, I have tried a number of email management applications. I run Apple products exclusively, so all of the apps listed here are iOS versions.

I am currently considering the following for my professional email management:

  • Microsoft Outlook (I really, really, really don’t want to settle on this)
  • Inbox by Gmail
  • Apple’s built-in Mail app (maybe it’s work another look?)

Microsoft Outlook

I hear the Microsoft team has really beefed up their mobile email application. A number of other professionals use it …mainly because their IT department told them they had to. The number of complaints I hear from them has gone down considerably in the last couple Outlook versions. Perhaps it is time to give it a serious look.

Inbox by Gmail

I tried Inbox by Gmail when it was launched as a beta in October 2014. I really liked the highlight and snooze feature. In fact, the snooze was the closest thing I had found to the Mailbox “Remind” feature that I mentioned earlier.

What I remember hating about Inbox by Gmail was the bundling. It automatically groups similar messages (like all of those promotion emails) into a ‘bundle’. Call me old fashioned or even OCD, but I like to have more control over how my messages are displayed. I don’t like the idea of them being grouped together and inadvertently overlooking something the ‘system’ thought was not important.

Mail App

If you run any iOS devices, you already have Mail installed. The default Apple email app is probably victim to default bias. Many users simply found other email apps when Apple neglected to maintain or update their go-to inbox manager.

In their recent iOS update announcement, Apple gave extra attention to raising awareness for their forgotten app. I suppose now it a good time to revisit the little engine that could and redeem it from the “Apple Crap” folder on all of my devices.

What about Gmail?

As some of you know, I already use the “regular” Gmail app to manage my personal email messages. I love having the two separated! Running two apps, one for personal and one for business, gives me the ability to be intentional about what type of email I am responding to. I have no problem checking personal email on the weekends; but my own boundaries prohibit work email during off-hours.

Next Steps

I will keep you updated as I choose a new default email app to replace Mailbox. If you’ve found an iOS-friendly solution, I’d love to hear about it in the comments. Sound off!

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