I’ve mentioned a couple of times recently that I use the Mailbox App for (some of my) email tasks. People have mixed views about it, and I confess, I wasn’t so sure about it at first. But I made one little tweak to it that’s made it one of my favourite tools.
Mailbox aims to help you achieve the sublime “Inbox Zero” by giving you a really quick way to archive, delete, “postpone” for later, or file in one of a few special folders. And the principle seems really good.
When I first started using it impressions were that it was really fast, beautifully executed, and integrated really nicely with Google Mail, which I use (apologies to those that don’t – Mailbox isn’t for you just yet).
However, it had a fatal flaw: I use folders and labels a LOT to organise email, and it wouldn’t let me do that. In theory, with GMail, you can just archive a mail and use search to find it later, but I prefer labelling things so I can search more efficiently. And yes, I’m probably a little obsessive about my labelling too.
The “Special” folders, called “Lists”, that it creates for things like “To read” and “To buy”, aren’t what I would normally use at all and were quite limiting. But I wanted to persevere as I saw the benefits.
The little change that I made was this: I created a list of my own called “To file”. Anything that was dealt with and just needed labels applied could be put in the “To file” list, and I could log on to GMail or use the GMail app to bulk-file all my attended-to emails later in the day, keeping my inbox clear.
Well, you’ll see from the screenshot that I’m far from Inbox Zero. But trust me, Mailbox is helping me get that number down and I’m loving it.