The proof is in the pudding…or in this case, the home-screen: I am still using Mailbox as my default gmail client on my phone after over a month. I wrote my initial thoughts on Mailbox after using the app for a few hours, I figured it would be good to get a thorough review down, especially considering they were just bought by Dropbox (which I’m very excited about because they aren’t getting shut down via acquisition like the last great email app, Sparrow). So, some thoughts on Mailbox. Going to skip all the “I am an inbox zero email user” stuff as I’m sure you know this by now!
I left my last review with a mention of “32,000 open conversations” in app. I was asked to archive all and felt squeamish as I didn’t know what that meant. DO NOT FRET, your email will be fine. All they are doing is moving your “inbox” folder to the “archive” folder. It will still be searchable as it is now. If you dismissed the box like I did, you can get the box to show up by clicking the “help me get to zero” at the bottom of your inbox. I do recommend having one last review in Gmail before installing Mailbox in case you have any urgent flags or unread emails. If you have flags just make a note of them and come back to it after you install Malibox, once you start you aren’t going to go back.
Swipe for all
Mailbox allows you to control your email like never before. Although simple, the app is very fast and very powerful, allowing you to categorize your emails quickly and to get to #inboxzero as fast as possible. Here’s a typical interaction with the app:
Let’s say I look at my inbox in the afternoon and see 12 emails. Based on the subject and sender I am going to read 4 of them now, so I read them and keep searching through my email. I know that 3 of them I don’t have time to read today, so I swipe to right and set one as remind me next week and two as remind me tomorrow and poof, they are out of my inbox. Now here’s my favorite part of the Mailbox app, for all of the rest of my emails, including 5 I have no interest reading, and the 4 I already read, I simply swipe the inbox as complete and BOOM, inbox zero!
Now, the app isn’t perfect and I do have a few suggestions.
Desktop App Please
The main frustration I have with Mailbox is that it is only mobile. A desktop app would be great for all the content that requires a full browser: dentist site that is flash only, documents that require a full computer, or a web form that isn’t laying out on mobile.
More Remind Me When Options
The “remind me when…” feature needs a lot of tweaking. It’s part of the core functionality that makes this so powerful, but reminding me to look at an email three hours from now does not help. Reminding me to look at it over the weekend does, which works great. How about swipe to remind me Monday or to unsubscribe from that subscription. Gmail’s “spam” button does that very well. Not only is that content marked as spam, but they take care of unsubscribing you from the list as well.
Since I’m going between Gmail and Mailbox so often, I wish Mailbox had a better ‘remind me when I’m in gmail’. Flags did this well for me before and I try to just leave emails in my inbox to check up on later, but then I can’t do the ‘inbox swipe’ mentioned above.
So, Is This a ToDo App?
The company first built Orchestra, a fantastic sharing to-do app, but felt that email was a big to-do list. So why can’t I create a to-do in Mailbox, or somehow create an entry that uses all the ‘remind me when’ alerts that are built into the app? I have emailed myself from my work account multiple times for this purpose.
Really, No Drafts?
Lastly, how does this app not have drafts? Very strange thing to miss out on.
All those things said, I still love the app and would love to have this for my Outlook exchange as well. Congrats on the acquisition and look forward to it only getting better!
One more idea…Unsubscribe from Threads
Here is another idea for Mailbox to try out: unsubscribe from thread. Don’t you hate it when you get into an email thread with 40 people regarding an event that you can’t go to? You still want to get emails from your friends in the future, just not these emails.