Like most people, you probably spend a sizeable chunk of your total internet time per day managing emails. Have you ever wondered if there’s an easier method than what you’re doing now?
Fortunately, there is, and it involves using a tool for efficient email management. Some are free, but others are premium options. We’ll look at three of each below and see which ones are worth using.
Note: All these tools work in your browser, and some also have mobile apps.
Sortd turns your Gmail messages into organized lists. It does this with a “smart layer” that resides in Gmail, which you can turn on or off as desired.
Make a list of tasks to do and another for emails associated with certain topics. Just use the straightforward drag-and-drop function. Whatever list format you fancy, Sortd can help you achieve it.
The free version gives you four lists, plus offers the ability to have up to 25 incomplete tasks on each one. It also provides a limited number of due date and reminder emails.
You can snooze some of your messages to reduce email stress, too. Then, if they arrive at an inconvenient time, you can return to them later.
The no-cost option for Sortd promises it’ll be free forever, so don’t worry about signing up now and getting an email about a surprise fee later.
When it comes to reminders or even birthday wishes, you might want to send a scheduled email. Boomerang integrates with Gmail to let you do that, and a lot more.
It features follow-up reminders that urge you to reach out to people who haven’t responded. Boomerang also offers read receipts, removing the agony of wondering if your recipient ignored your email.
Having trouble figuring out what to say in a particular situation? Responsible should help. It’s a machine learning-aided capability that uses data from millions of messages. Allow it to offer advice about tone, word choice, and more as you type.
There’s also an ultra-handy Inbox Pause feature. While using it, you can stop new emails from coming in until you’re ready for them. Then, it’s simple to tidy your inbox before you get to them.
Yanado is another tool that combines your Gmail inbox with a list-making option. Keep track of tasks in progress, stuff you’ve done, and responsibilities on hold.
The custom status should suit any email workflow. There’s also a way to make a list of your ideas, so they never fall through the cracks.
A built-in button on the Gmail interface lets you use Yanado to turn emails into tasks. Click it and pick a choice from the drop-down menu to add a task to a list.
Decide whether you prefer traditional lists or lists made from Kanban-style cards. It’s also possible to build sub-lists and tag your lists for faster identification later.
Yanado looks and feels like an integrated feature, too. You’ll get Yanado notifications directly in Gmail. Using it isn’t visually jarring, and there’s no learning curve to grasp it.
When you sign up for Yanado for free, the service allows you to create unlimited tasks and lists. The complimentary version has a Reminders feature, too. Yanado adds reminders to Google Calendar as events, so you work with an already-familiar system.
Download: Yanado for Android (Free, premium starting at $6/mo per user)
ActiveInbox is another service that blends to-do lists with email. This premium service offers reminders of existing tasks as you write an email.
Then, you can view them at a glance and ensure the message has all the pertinent details. ActiveInbox also has a “send later” option, along with follow-up notifications.
The company initially offered a free version of its service but discontinued it. A representative explained evidence showed people usually didn’t keep using the product for no charge.
There’s a Today list in your inbox, too, which helps you focus on the most time-sensitive tasks. You can sort responsibilities into manageable segments and group them by person or project.
Take advantage of the sub-lists to make big duties less daunting. Also, write notes about them to remember the crucial details. You can even put emails into project-based folders and keep track of them.
Like many of the other tools on this list, Right Inbox offers scheduled emails, reminders, and notes. However, the service sets itself apart with a cool recurring email feature. You can pick a frequency and time of day for messages.
That is useful when you need to remind people to submit invoices or digital timesheets before a pay period. Also, if you mentor colleagues, you might use that feature to send periodic check-ins.
Eliminating unnecessary steps is a fantastic way to become more productive when managing emails. The recurring email functionality lets you efficiently see how much time you could save with message templates.
There is a free version of Right Inbox, which allows for sending and scheduling email like a pro and getting reminders. However, it doesn’t offer recurring messages.
Also, the complimentary option is hardly worth mentioning for another reason: It only lets you send 10 emails per month. That’s a severe limitation.
However, the premium plans let you use Right Inbox as much as necessary in a given month. You can also decide to pay monthly or opt for an annual billing cycle.
Download: Right Inbox (Premium starting at $6/mo)
The email organizing tools covered here so far give you the power to do more with messages. SaneBox does that and goes a step further. It has intelligent algorithms that filter out unnecessary material and put it in a dedicated folder. Then, you can view it later if you desire.
Also, train the algorithms with drag-and-drop capabilities that move messages to the proper places. Put them in your priority inbox or the one with stuff that’s not urgent.
There’s another available folder for newsletters and mailing list content. Build custom training folders, too. Rely on them to teach algorithms to take other actions. You might move messages to the cloud, or automatically forward them to another address.
SaneBox also can override your email’s spam filter when necessary. It continuously monitors your collection of messages for junk. If there’s something that seems important instead, SaneBox puts it in another folder for your review.
What about messages from people you never want to hear from again? They go to the appropriately named SaneBlackHole folder. Keep tabs on the SaneNoReplies folder, too. As you might guess, it contains messages you’ve sent that people haven’t taken action on yet.
Sanebox has three premium pricing tiers. The cheapest one works with one email address. It allows for 10 SaneReminders per month, which give you a heads-up when people don’t reply. That version also permits 10 SaneAttachments monthly, which automatically send files included with emails to your preferred cloud service.
Also, most of the folder-specific services above are optional features. You get one of them with the least expensive version of SaneBox. The other pricing plans provide more optional features and fewer amount-based restrictions.
Download: SaneBox (Premium starting at $7/mo)
Is a Paid Email App Worth It?
When deciding whether to get a free plan or a premium service, consider these three factors:
Think about intended usage. If your Gmail inbox doubling as a to-do list sounds appealing, a complimentary plan is probably sufficient. The same is true if you merely want to focus on scheduled emails and receiving targeted notifications.
Think about the volume of emails you send. Maybe you need to send a huge number of emails repeatedly per month. In that case, Right Inbox’s recurring feature is probably worthwhile. It’s part of a plan that costs about as much as a large specialty coffee.
Think about the role of smart algorithms in your productivity. SaneBox offers a plethora of existing options and customizable features for a reasonable price. You could sign up for a monthly plan at first to test the waters. All SaneBox’s plans are available with no obligation so you can cancel at any time.
Keep in mind, too, that the free plans covered here also have premium options. If you start using a complimentary service that seems a bit short on features, upgrading is easy.
These tools transform your inbox from a time sink to a time saver by reducing stress with to-do lists and inbox overload. After using one, you might wonder why you stuck with standard email for so long.