Fixing Email

Added on by Daniel Kuney.

Remember when letters came once a day? Technically they still do. But the letters most of us receive these days are emails, and they come all day long, sometimes many times in a minute, filling up our inboxes and stressing us out.

I've tested just about every new app that promises to save us from email overload and have found three innovative features that can actually help.  Unfortunately, there is not yet one app that has all of them integrated into one cohesive solution. Below is a rundown of these three killer features and where to currently find them. 

SNOOZE TO LATER: This is the "feature of the moment" across a handful of new apps and for good reason. A lot of the email we receive isn't actionable right away or contains information needed at a future date. Snoozing allows users to temporarily remove an email from their inbox and then set it to reappear when it's actually needed. Mailbox, Outlook for iOS and Inbox by Gmail have all made snoozing a core function of their apps.

SEND LATER: Every time we hit send on an email we are contributing to the unending cycle of email overload. Scheduling emails to send at a later time helps us pile through our inbox while slowing down the pace of the conversation or making sure someone else receives our email at a time that works best for them. Boomerang has been the leader in this space for some time, but it only works with gmail, using the Chrome browser and can be pricey if you use a custom domain with gmail. 

PAUSE: Pausing email allows users to continue to respond to and reference their current emails, but without the distraction of new email streaming in by the minute. This is hands down the number one tool that saves me a great deal of stress day in and day out. And sadly it's barely on the radar of any of my favorite apps. The makers of Boomerang make a handy Chrome plugin for gmail called Inbox Pause, but so far this is the only solution I've found. 

While I love that developers are taking snooze seriously I'm hoping they'll realize it's just one piece of the puzzle to taming email.  To really take on the whole challenge of fixing email I'd like to see them embrace send later and pausing functions as well.