During the past month or so, I’ve read countless blog posts about the wonders of the new Mailbox app. I’ve read about the app’s million-person waiting list — and the app’sacquisition by Dropbox. I’ve had a friend tell me how the app has change the away he process email.
And so, after weeks of waiting for the app, and then a week of using the app … I deleted it from my iPhone.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with the app, but I just prefer the Gmail app on my iPhone. During the past several months, I’ve been looking at ways to streamline my workflow — especially tackling my email overload. As I posted here, one of the best ways I’ve done this is by scheduling my email-checking into “batch times” throughout the day. This email batching has done wonders for my overall time management and actually allows me to process my emails more efficiently and serve my clients better.
In addition to the batching, however, I’ve set up some very simple steps for processing emails as they come in (kudos to this Jesse Chapman blog post for introducing me to this very simple process.)
Basically, when emails come in, I deal with them right away, according to one of three actions: 1) Take Action; 2) Follow-Up ; 3) Hold.
1) If I can deal with an email by responding to it or taking action within 60-90 seconds, I do it right away and clear the decks.
2) If the email is something I’ll have to deal with later (but will take more than a few minutes to tackle), I put it in the “Follow Up” inbox I’ve set up in Gmail.
3) If the email contains some information for which i may need to wait on follow up for someone else (or may need at an upcoming meeting), I put in my “Hold” inbox.
Then, there are “informational” emails, newsletters, etc. that I’ll send to Evernote for filing.
The beauty of the Gmail iPhone app is that it mimics the Gmail interface on my laptop. Same inboxes, same folders, same labels.
The Mailbox app has it’s own processing system that may work fine for some — but not for me.
I think dealing with email overload is more about your actions than your apps. Gmail is simple enough that it can be shaped to fit your personal process.
That’s why I deleted the Mailbox app and why I’ve gone back to the Gmail app.
What about you? Have you tried the Mailbox app? Do you have any personal email processes that you recommend? We’d love you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
(P.S. When checking email on my laptop, I just love The Email Game. It’s a wonderful tool that forces me to stick to my email process, get through it quickly and have some fun.)