I Got My Inbox to Zero: Mailbox App for iOS/Mac

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For years, I had heard that term, but never thought I’d ever get to that point. But now, it’s happened because of the Mailbox app that Dropbox makes for both the iPhone/iPad, Android and Mac.

About a month or so ago, I downloaded Mailbox to both my iPhone and Macbook Pro after using Airmail’s Beta software. Airmail for Mac had me sold on its organization and filing skills, but I had never really tested its capabilities when it came to archiving and deleting messages. For years, I had simply gone through emails, and basically left them in their place. Once they were “read,” I didn’t do anything with them.

But then, I noticed in Airmail that they had archiving and deleting capabilities via swiping on the Mac. One day I did it, and I was like, “so that’s how it works,” and started doing that on Airmail. But then, I noticed that for a long time now, Airmail has not had an iPhone/iPad version, and despite using it for a couple of months, I kept noticing in their Support feeds that people kept on asking when the iOS version was going to come out. To this day, there has been no response from the Airmail team as to when that is to happen, so when I was using Airmail over time, that was the one “thorn” that kept presenting itself each time I’d use it….

Now, for just about all of us who use a Mac (or any other mail app for that matter), I had always been in the habit of 1) receiving emails, 2) reading them, and then 3) moving on to the next thing. If there was an email that really needed my response, I would either write them back at that time, or if I couldn’t respond to them, I’d label the email with a “flag” (as is the case in Mail), or place it in a folder (as is the case with Airmail). But then, I still would have to make sure that I responded to them later, because neither of the above apps gave me an option to “table” the email until a later time.

And so, enter Mailbox. As I said before, when I first saw it, I wasn’t impressed. It looked so simple and clean, so much so that I didn’t think anything of it. I had no idea at the time of its capabilities, because I had first tried it on my Mac. But then, I came across a great article on Verge (see link below) that said that they used Mailbox to “burn through their Inbox….”

“Burn through their Inbox?” What in the world are they talking about?…. Well, after reading it, I found out about WHY Mailbox is so simple in the first place!…. In a nutshell, the purpose of Mailbox is to get you to what is called “Inbox Zero,” meaning by the end of the day (or even during the day for that matter), you are consistently keeping up with your emails to the point that you have no more emails in your Inbox. How is this done?….

Well, it starts with you first getting the Mailbox app on both your phone/iPad/Android device, and your Mac (highly recommended to take full advantage of its capabilities). Then, after you login to your Gmail or iCloud accounts (as those are the only accounts accepted right now; sad but true), you see your emails get “pulled” into the system. When I first brought in all my emails from both my personal and work Gmail accounts, I had about 3,800 emails!

But then, here’s what made Mailbox different: Instead of marking all my emails (except for a few) as “already read” (as is the case with Airmail and Mail), Mailbox looked at all of my emails as “conversations,” and I ended up seeing the number “3,800” show up on my iPhone! In other words, although I had read all the previous emails, Mailbox was now “coaxing” me into “doing something” about all 3,800+ conversations….

So, because I had read the article, and then also looked at a couple of YouTube videos of what people were doing with Mailbox, I then said, “Ah, so THAT’s how it works!”

The next thing I know, I was doing what the editors of Verge were doing: Burning through my Inbox!…. You see, when you receive an email in Mailbox, there are several very simple options available to you (which are available through swiping or (on the Mac) via keyboard shortcuts. They are: 1) Delete, 2) Archive, 3) Snooze, or 4) List. Through swiping, you have access to all 4 options; when you swipe right, you have the Archive and Delete options available; when you swipe left, you have the Snooze and List options available.

Because the “Lists” option was available to me, the thought came to mind to create a series of Lists. All of them were according to what I was currently keeping up with (such as “Ministry,” “Personal,” and even client names that I was currently in correspondence).

Then, I tried the swiping technique with one email, and from that point forward, I was hooked! I would even select multiple emails at a time, and swipe them to move into one of the options above! I can’t tell you how many times I kept saying to myself, “This is SO good” as I was swiping away!….

Before the night was over, I went through all 3,800 emails, and got down to the elusive “Inbox Zero!” However, before I got there, I noticed I had emails from as far back as 2013, and Mailbox was having trouble bringing them in, so I literally had to go to Gmail itself to clear those out. Once I did that, the number went all the way down to 0….

For years, I had never fully gotten control of my emails until now! As a result of this very simple and innovative technique, I now am more organized with client and personal emails than ever before! Best of all, whatever changes you make on one device will synchronize very, very quickly to the other devices (through Dropbox; literally within a blink of an eye!)! You can even “table” an email to next week, a few hours from now, tomorrow, and more, which allows me the ability to “focus” on the emails at the times I need to focus on them….

I definitely hope that the good folks at Dropbox will integrate support for all other email accounts such as IMAP, POP3, and others so that people can really take advantage of what it can do. But in the meantime, “Inbox Zero” really is here, and you can get there too!….

More to come….

Source: “I Burned Through My Inbox With Mailbox for Mac”
http://www.theverge.com/2014/8/19/6031985/mailbox-for-mac-app-beta-review

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