6 Email Apps to Help You Manage Your Inbox

Email can save you time, but it also can distract you from what you really should be doing.

Office workers spend 13 hours a week — or 650 hours a year — reading, sending, and managing email, according to one estimate. Another study [PDF] found that it takes people more than a minute to get back to what they were working on after they’re interrupted by an incoming message. And a third report [PDF] shows that professionals who don’t have access to email for a week are more focused and feel less stressed at work.

So, how can you better manage your ongoing flow of email?

Here are six apps to consider using with your existing email service (such as Gmail or Microsoft Outlook) to boost your productivity.

1. AwayFind (CRM software, Exchange, Gmail, Outlook, many others; $4.99 and up per month) — Launched by Jared Goralnick, a former productivity expert, AwayFind encourages people to step away from their inboxes. The software learns which emails are important and alerts users via a text message or a phone call when one arrives. The premise, Goralnick says, is that you can get more done if you stay focused on the task at hand instead of constantly responding to messages. “For every one hundred messages, maybe one or two need to be dealt with right away,” he says.

2. Rapportive (Gmail; free) — Now owned by LinkedIn, Rapportive helps you see connections you may have with people you’re emailing by tapping into social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. It aims to help you develop a better rapport with those you are messaging, so that you can send more personal and effective emails and better build your business and sales network.

3. SaneBox (AOL, Apple Mail, Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo Mail, and others; $2.04 and up per month) — SaneBox, which counts motivational speaker Tony Robbins among its users, uses a proprietary algorithm to filter email so that only the important messages land in your inbox. Other correspondence is sent to a separate folder, to be reviewed when you have a break. The startup estimates that nearly 60 percent of email is not critical.

4. ToutApp (CRM software, Gmail, Outlook; free for limited service, $30 per month for professional edition) — ToutApp (pictured) aims to help its users save time writing and sending messages. With it, you can set up email templates, schedule messages to be delivered at certain times, and track whether a recipient has received and opened a given missive.

5. Unroll.me (Gmail and Yahoo Mail; free) — If you find yourself receiving too many mass emails and newsletters, Unroll.me will aggregate them and send them to you in one daily digest. It will also help you unsubscribe from unwanted messages.

6. ClearContext (Outlook and Exchange; $89.95 and up) — A piece of software that you download and install, ClearContext highlights the most important messages so you see them first and files less critical ones into suggested folders. It also allows you to turn emails into tasks and appointments, as well as organize mail by project.

Still not feeling particularly productive with email? Check out these best practices for dealing with email overload.

About Ellen Lee

Ellen Lee is a business and technology freelance writer in San Francisco. Reach out to her at ellenleeonline@gmail.com.
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It is very much necesary to manage the inbox.. Specially with this increasing spam on each day, is making life to difficult.. Sometimes what gmail does is, it also puts some of the important messages in the spam box, and locating out something from spam box is like finding a needle from a garbage.. And all these increaing the necessity of an email apps, to manage our inbox.. precisely the mail box..






This sounds good. Now, one does not have to hover all the time over the Inbox.



I use FollowUp.cc to snooze my email (e.g. forward an email you want to snooze to 1day@followup.cc and then delete the email and it will boomerang back to you the next morning). It's a great way to get rid of emails cluttering your inbox that you can't act on until a later date.