Just seeing that word can bring a wave of stress upon us like nothing else.
It wastes time, clutters both professional and personal lives, and is impossible to organise. Well, almost. Within the last few years, several new email apps have popped up, with the hopes of helping you find some inner zen.
That zen is in the form of inbox zero, an email management theory aimed at keeping your inbox empty at all times. That's a lofty goal of course, but if it's something you're interested in, check out the apps below. We've rounded up the best Android and iOS email solutions worth trying.
Keep in mind not all of these apps tout inbox zero or have specific features tailored to email-clearing, but they're all well-designed, efficient, and make the chore of dealing with email a little more tolerable. But only a little.
Dispatch is considered one of the niftiest email apps for iPhone, mostly because it supports third-party apps. You can, for instance, archive important mails to Evernote or save links to read later with Pocket. The app also supports email aliases and Touch ID. A couple of the downsides include no support for POP/Exchange-based email or native push.
Boxer is an email app built around gestures, with the purpose of letting you swipe away emails until you reach inbox zero. It also features to-do lists, push notifications, and a dashboard for important items, among many other impressive things. It even supports all major email providers including Gmail and iCloud (except for POP3-based email).
Inbox by Gmail
Inbox features Bundles and will, for instance, group receipts together in an organised manner. It also highlights info from messages, such as flight itineraries, and adds web-based data into emails like the real-time status of your flight. It even features Reminders, Assists, and Snooze. Unfortunately, at the moment, you can only use it with Gmail.
Type Mail (Blue Mail)
Type Mail, like some of the other apps on this list, supports all major email providers and, more notably, POP3 accounts. It offers a unified accounts experience, threaded conversations, smat push notifications, and both landscape and portrait view. Believe it or not, landscape view in an email app is an oddity. So, if you use a phablet, check out Type Mail.
Hop isn't a traditional email client. It turns your emails into messages or conversations, sort of like you'd see in a messaging app. It supports Google, Yahoo, AOL, and iCloud accounts, and it features native push notifications, groups, and calling between Hop users. You can even attach files from Dropbox or Google Drive.
Triage - similar to Hop - isn't a traditional email client. There are no folders, for instance. It simply displays your emails as a stack of cards, and you swipe a mail card to either archive it or keep it. If you need to reply or forward a message, simply tap on the card to reveal more options. Triage supports Gmail, iCloud, and other IMAP-based email.
CloudMagic is a unified email app that supports Gmail, Exchange, Outlook, iCloud, Google Apps, and any IMAP account. It also integrates with third-party apps, such as Evernote and Trello, and it supports these services through something it calls "cards". It lets you just drop an email into another app, like Todoist. It's a great solution for power-email users.
Gmail is perfect for those of you tied to Google services. It lets you switch between up to 5 accounts, see profile pictures as part of threaded conversations, respond to Google Calendar invites directly from within the app, and organise via archiving, labeling, starring and more. The Android version also supports rival email providers like Yahoo and Outlook.
Outlook for Android and iOS is a next-generation app. It supports Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, Outlook.com, iCloud, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and IMAP accounts, covering all the popular email services. It features customisable quick-swipe options for archiving and scheduling emails, breaks your inbox into two sections ("Focused" and "Other), and lets you filter things like flagged or unread emails. It also integrates your calendars and files from services like Google Calendar, Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, etc.
If you like the inbox zero concept, as well as customisable, quick swiping inputs, consider Spark by Readdle. It offers short and long swipes (both left and right), and they're completely customisable. You can short swipe to the right to archive a message, for instance, or long swipe to the right to delete. Spark also offers badges, allowing you to view a count for your whole inbox, rather than just unread messages. Spark also has a dedicated Apple Watch app and supports 3D Touch on the iPhone 6S.
We're including Inboxcube because it thinks out of the, um, cube? It supports Gmail, Yahoo, iCloud, AOL, and other IMAP providers, and it offers features like push notifications, but what makes this app stands out is that it reimagines your inbox and puts your message’s attachments first. All your emails, attachments, articles, and links are visually displayed in attractive way.
The MyMail is well-designed and is known for its ability to automatically pulls in photos and logos for emails. So, on the iPhone, you’ll never see a circle with a white “E” for Elyse or whatever. MyMail also makes it easy to switch between accounts. We just wish it had swipe-to-archive. Oh, and the Android app doesn't ook as clutter-free. MyMail supports Gmail, Hotmail, Live, Outlook, Yahoo, MSN, iCloud, and AOL, and more.
Aqua Mail makes inboxes and folders simple to navigate, thanks to colour-coded labels and the ability to collapse all the folders inside one email account. The app also supports swipe gestures and offers easy-to-spot action buttons, simplifyng tasks like replying, forwarding, and deleting emails. We also like that it supports formatted text, so you can underline, bold, italics, and colour text. Aqua Mail supports Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, FastMail, iCloud, GMX, AOL, etc.
Mail Wise features a unified inbox with the ability to sort your messages by read, unread, starred, unstarred. It also has powerful swipe gestures, the ability to show your emails in a threaded view, so that your emails resemble something similar to text messaging. It's a brilliant feature. Support includes Exchange, Outlook, Office 365,Hotmail, Gmail, Google apps, Yahoo, AOL, etc.
This app tells you things like how it saved you “27 minutes” or “172 scrolls”, because it smartly groups emails by sender to reduce the size of your inbox. It also offers threads conversations to give a chat-like experience, and provides you with the ability to do "real-time contextual email search". But that's not all: you can also compose and reply to emails with voice messages.