Mailbox Review: Helping You Reach Inbox Zero

How many emails do you have in your Inbox? 200? 500? More? If you’re like me at all, you probably have way more then you need and the thought of cleaning your Inbox out is daunting when you see how many you have to go through. However, I found an app that has definitely helped me clear out my 3000+ emails!

Mailbox by Orchestra is the new email app everyone is talking about. A lot of its popularity is due to the long and highly publicized waiting line to download the app supposedly due to making the rollout easy on Orchestra’s servers. If you download the free app now and signup, you’ll probably be met with a screen such as this:

Mailbox - waiting line

To this day, there are still over half a million people waiting in line.

Luckily, I signed up for the app way before it was released and was able to download my copy a few weeks ago. After using it for a while, here is my take on this new approach to email.

What Does Mailbox Do?

Mailbox has one goal – to help you obtain and keep a ZERO Inbox count.

It helps you do this by giving you 4 functional ways to swipe an email:

Archive

Mailbox - Put Email In Its Place-3

 

 

Using a half-swipe to the right will automatically archive an email for safe-keeping.

Delete

Mailbox - Put Email In Its Place-1-1

 

 

Want to send an email to the Trash? A full swipe to the right does this with ease.

Save for Later

Mailbox - Put Email In Its Place-2-1

 

 

Not sure what you want to do or don’t want to address this email right now? A half-swipe to the left opens a menu that sets a default time (or a custom time) when the email will reappear in your Inbox.

Mailbox - Save for Later 2

Add to Lists

Mailbox - Save for Later

Last but not least, Mailbox gives you the ability to assign an email to a list. The app comes with some default lists you can use or you can edit the list categories and even make your own.

Mailbox App - Lists

These 4 simple functions make it very easy to fly through a group of emails and whittle your Inbox down to nothing. I personally knocked out about 200 emails in less than 10 minutes.

Operation and Looks

The interface is very clean and easy to operate.

Mailbox App - Example

When you open an email, all your standard email functions (reply, reply all, forward, write new email, etc…) are available and easy to access. You can also easily access your Lists, email you’ve archived and saved for later if you choose to do so.

Mailbox was made to be simple and stands up to its design.

Handy Tip – If you tap on the time to open the details and tap the time or date, this will mark it as unread.

What are Mailbox’s limitations?

There are only 3 limitations that stand out and the first 2 luckily don’t even apply to me:

1. Mailbox only works with Gmail (but works with it well)
2. Mailbox is only available on the iOS platform

And here’s the big kicker, the huge deal breaker for me…

3. Mailbox doesn’t allow you to view your email in in your archive folders.

This was a big deal to me – I have a lot of email come through for my business and some of it I send, via Gmail rules, straight to my archive folders and skip the Inbox. Mailbox gives me NO way to view these folders! For those of you that don’t utilize your folders, this just might be the perfect email app for you. For me, it’s the only reason I don’t dump my native Gmail or Sparrow email apps.

Personally, I love this app. I still use it everyday to whittle my Inbox down and then I use another app if I need to look up email that is archived in my Gmail folders but I should only have to use one app.

Hopefully, now that Dropbox has just recently purchased Mailbox, they will fix this issue so that I can have my ultimate email app!

So, to recap…

PROS

  • Mailbox is very easy to use and makes achieving that “Inbox Zero” goal quite possible.
  • Can use 4 easy functions to handle your mail without even opening it
  • Clean intuitive interface
  • Push Notifications
  • Available for all iOS platforms
  •  

    CONS

  • Only available for iOS platforms, no Android or other platforms
  • No native iPad app…yet
  • No way to access your archive folders
  • Have to wait to get access
  •  
    Will you wait in line to try out this free app?

    Does the lack of accessing your archived folder’s email make this a deal breaker for you?

    Let us know!

    Comments

    1. Wade says

      Just migrate your current labels/archives under the [Mailbox] label header in Gmail, and it should be fine (i.e., [Mailbox]/Personal).

    2. says

      Zig,

      Your very first item under limitations is:

      Mailbox only works with Gmail (but works with it well)

      I couldn’t disagree more. One of the most powerful features of Gmail is the use of labels, and Mailbox doesn’t support Gmail labels in any way. A completely useless app for me.

      Erik

      • Profile photo of Zig Baird says

        Erik – I totally agree with you and here’s why.
        I’ve always called Gmail’s labels the “archive folders” – probably comes from years in the corporate world working with Exchange. Note that I listed archive folders as the biggest downfall whereas I meant labels.

        Whichever you want to call it, I agree with you. The way the app handles labels/archive folders is a huge deal breaker for me. Hard for me to understand why such a necessary feature was left out of this app.

        Mailbox, however, does do very good at what it was designed to do.