Awesome App Review – Mailbox

Here at Conversatio Morum, we want to utilize technology to retool organizations (specifically churches) for greater effectiveness. It’s been a little while since we’ve done an app review and I found one that is truly worthy of reviewing. I’m generally a technology agnostic, so when I get as excited as I am about an app there’s a reason. In fact, this app is so useful that I’ve changed\am changing the way I use email.

I’ve historically been a fan of outlook.com\live.com over GMail. Not because GMail isn’t good. Simply because I was grandfathered into the 25GB per account on SkyDrive feature and I had 3 accounts. What this meant for me, this means that I have 75GB of free cloud storage space. So with that I just used outlook.com for everything else also. Email, contacts, calendar, etc. I’d also like to add that this product’s interface has continually improved over the years and the cloud apps are great.

OK, OK, enough about outlook.com, that’s not what I’m here to talk about. See, in the past few months I’ve begun to transfer all my email over to GMail (this app only works with GMail at the moment). Not because I like GMail much, no. More because of a particular app called Mailbox. It’s incredible. It’s the most productive email tool I’ve ever used.[Tweet That] It’s simple, quick to understand, has a great user interface, and has changed my life in terms of email. I’d also like to add that it was so popular that when they launched they immediately had a waiting list due to the demand, then they were bought for $100 million (yes, that’s correct) by Dropbox within 30 days. They’re currently only an iOS app, but have plans to develop a desktop version. Maybe an Android version, though I haven’t heard that yet. So what’s so great about Mailbox? Well, I’m glad you asked. Before I jump into the review, I need to tell you the two things that really sold me on it.

  1. The app supports send as functionality. This is great if you’re like me and have several emails from other domains that you want to sync to one specific email so you don’t have 30 email portals to visit. This means that with mailbox, I can send from the email addresses I’m also receiving from outside of GMail.
  2. I decided to test this one morning, so I moved one account off of outlook.com over to GMail. Immediately I had 65 new emails show up in my inbox. In the 15 minutes it took(I wasn’t driving) to ride to church, I’d gone from 65 emails down to inbox 0 again. That, my friends, is incredible.

So, without further ado, here is Mailbox:

  1. Part of what makes Mailbox so effective is that you have very few options regarding what to do with your email. All the options you have are actionable.[Tweet That] It’s an app straight out of David Allen’s Getting Things Done or Scott Belsky’s Make Ideas Happen. The only options you have are: Read, Compose, Reply, Reply All, Forward, Add To List (lists are actionable), Archive, Delete, Defer For Later, and the way you choose these options is by swiping to the right or left (the way it should work on an iPhone). Also, once you get to inbox 0 you’ll get a pretty picture at the end. How awesome is that?
    Mailbox (1)
  2. Now Onto the interface. Let’s start with Deffering
    1. This tool let’s you remove an item from your inbox, only so it’ll popup back in your inbox later as if it just arrived. To do this you start by swiping to the left a bit.Mailbox (8)
    2. Once you see the yellow with a L on it, you can release the email and it’ll popup a screen asking when you’d like to defer the email until. Your options are show below. Someday is actually 3 months out. I’ve actually used the Pick Date option to defer an email for an entire year. Assuming I’m alive and kicking, I’ll deal with the email on 7/28/14.Mailbox (7)
  3. Now if you swipe a bit further to the left, you’ll get a list optionMailbox (6)a little furtherMailbox (16)there ya go!
    1. Once you release the list you’ll have an option of which list to add the emailMailbox (10)Notice that all lists are actionable.
    2. Also you can create new lists. At the top right there’s a box with lines, simply slide it over to get to a control area.Mailbox (19)
    3. Select lists. From here you can add new lists or remove old ones.Mailbox (21)
    4. Once something is in a list, you can also move it back to your mailbox if you’d like by sliding to the right
  4. If you’re in your Inbox and you swipe to the right, you’ll get the option to archive
    1. Once you see green with a check box you can release it and the email will go to your archiveMailbox (2)
    2. You also have the option to move things back to your inbox from the archive folder in the event that you need to. Simply go to your control area and select ArchiveMailbox (19)
    3. Now move things in your Archive back to your mailbox by swiping to the leftMailbox (5)
  5. If you swipe further to the left you’ll have a delete optionMailbox (3)
    1. Now release and the email will be deleted. You can still go back and recover the message in your trash folder from the control area
    2. You’ll also have the ability to empty the trash from there.
  6. As I mentioned before, you do have the option once selecting an email to reply, reply all, and forwardMailbox (25)
  7. Also there’s the option to set up Send As functionality from other email accounts that sync with your GMail. For me I have my church email sync to GMail. I set this up in GMail’s settings. So my church emails show up on my iPhone’s GMail account and in GMail’s web interface I already have the option to send as from joshua@antiochbelton.org. However, I still haven’t had the option to do so from my iPhone, until now.
    1. First, setup your outside account to sync with your GMail
    2. Second, you go back to your control areaMailbox (19)
    3. Next you go to settings, select the account where you want the alias, select GMail aliases, the add your aliasMailbox (22)
    4. Once that’s finished, when you select compose, you can also select the arrow out beside composeMailbox (24)
    5. Once you select the arrow out beside compose you can select your From box and it’ll give you the chance to change your send as addressMailbox (23)

There you have it. That’s Mailbox. If you’re still skeptical, yet you have an iPhone and GMail, you should definitely try it ant tell me what you think. If you have tried it, or do use it, tell me what you think also. Has it changed your life as much as it’s changed mine?

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