Email. Ugh. 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 past few years, several new email apps have popped up, with the hopes of helping you find some inner zen.
That zen comes 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 are all about inbox zero, but they do have features tailored to email-clearing, and they're all well-designed, efficient, and make the chore of dealing with email a little more tolerable. But only a little.
Best inbox-zero email apps
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. A couple of the downsides include no support for POP/Exchange-based email or native push.
Boxer is an email, calendar, and contacts 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).
TypeApp 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, smart push notifications, and both landscape and portrait view.
Spike 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. It also offers a dark mode.
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.
Newton Mail 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. However, it does require a subscription of $49.99 per year.
Gmail is perfect for those of you tied to Google services. It lets you switch between accounts or see them all at once, 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.
The MyMail app 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 "M" for Maggie 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 look 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.
Email Exchange + by MailWise
Email Exchange + by MailWise 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.
ProtonMail is perfect for users who want a totally safe and secure email application. Developed by students at CERN, ProtonMail offers end-to-end encryption so it's impossible for any one but you and the other person you're emailing with to access your emails. You can even set a timer so that the emails you're sending will self-destruct at a certain point after you send them.
The downside to that security is that the application requires a new ProtonMail specific email address, but if you're worried about security and don't mind setting up forwarding on your existing accounts ProtonMail is the best option for you.
Blue Mail is a universal email application that works with Gmail, Outlook, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL, iCloud and Office 365 as well as offering support for IMAP and POP3 + Exchange auto configuration. It allows users to connect an unlimited number of accounts making it perfect for those who are juggling personal, school, and work emails in different accounts.
It also is loaded with nifty features, like a dark mode option, a people toggle switch that allows you to easily remove emails from your inbox, and the ability to easily find any email from a contact by simply clicking on their avatar.