I don’t have to write anything more about the annoyance of dealing with a constant barrage of emails day in and day out. From those dealing with a handful of emails to those getting hundreds of them, the collective feeling is that of pain and boredom. What is supposed to make sure that you get the job done, ends up taking up a major chunk of productive hours.
In the last few months we have reviewed a few apps that try to help people tackle their overloaded inboxes. SaneBox separates your most important emails from the ones that can wait, helping you prioritize the way you read your messages all the while saving you time and frustration. Come join me to learn how to put this app to use and enhance your productivity.
SaneBox’ most unique feature compared to ther similar tools is that it works with any mail client you use, whether its Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird, Yahoo!, Gmail or other email service. This way you don’t have to switch to a new email client or a different service provider to enjoy a sane Inbox. And there are no plugins to install as well.
SaneBox subscriptions start at a $4.95 a month, with have one year and two year plans, too. There is a free 30 day trial period to give the app a try before paying up, and you can get free subscriptions by recommending it to friends as well.
Enter your email address to sign up for the app. To my delight, I was asked to link my Google Account and that’s all I had to do sign up. It takes a bit for the app to set up the account. You can either sit back and watch their intro video or move on to other chores. As soon as the app is set up, you will receive an email and in my case it took about 30 minutes.
The developers say that if you know how to use email folders, you know how to use SaneBox. I found the claim to be absolutely true. Emails arrive like they normally would and SaneBox uses it algorithm to see which ones need to be addressed immediately and which ones at a later point in time. All important emails stay in your Inbox and the unimportant ones are swiftly moved to the SaneLater folder.
In my case, a @Sanelater folder was created automatically and the robot, using its infinite wisdom marked some mails to that folder. By far, the algorithm performed precisely and I found most of the important conversations still in my inbox. If you find an important mail that should actually be in the inbox and not the @SaneLater folder, just move it back to the inbox and the app will remember your choice from now on. And, don’t worry, none of your email gets deleted in the process – they are just moved to a separate folder.
Handling the Web App
The SaneBox web dashboard is an important place to fine-tune the app. You can add multiple email addresses to manage from under the Subscription section. Some of the features are limited to Gmail users only, but the app is largely functional for other services too. For instance, Gmail users can choose to add few more folders like @SaneTop, which displays only the mails from addresses you consider most important.
Receive a lot of newsletters and want to keep a tab on them? Turn on the @SaneNews folder and all those newsletter subscriptions will be locked into this folder. The graphical representation showcasing the number of emails arrived and the number of important mails among them might help you understand the communications you receive.
To improve the accuracy of the app, the developers suggest adding social network accounts into the mix. Once linked, the app does not contact your friends or save their contacts. Another way to increase the accuracy is to train the contacts. Scroll down all the listed contacts and use the dropdown to manually instruct the app to move future mails from a particular to the appropriate folder.
In addition to regular email digests letting you know how many emails ended up in the Sanelater folder, you can pull regular SaneBox activity reports from the Email preferences page. Besides, an email alerting you of unread important mails can be set from here as well.
The badge at the bottom of the page indicating the total number of minutes the app has helped its users save is a brilliant idea. Peers and competitors of SaneBox that help people tackle email overload are usually free. But, SaneBox has a sensible pricepoint and offers both monthly, annual and more for a nominal fee.
I couldn’t help myself stop comparing the app with Gmail Priority Inbox, but I found SaneBox to be less intrusive. Reports and email digests might come in really handy for email power users. Forgoing additional plugins to get the app running is a masterstroke from the dev team and should help them gain traction quickly. I highly recommend SaneBox for people overwhelmed by a constant flow of emails; it’s at least worth giving a try to see if you can save enough time daily to justify its cost.
Share Your Thoughts!
Do you use an app to overcome the tediousness of emailing? Think SaneBox has got what it takes to be the cure for email overload?