I’ve always been terrible at keeping my email inbox in check. That little number next to my Gmail inbox has been upwards of 10,000 unread messages at times. Almost all of those were mailing lists of one sort or another that I intentionally signed up for at one time, but don’t really care about anymore.

I’ve always been terrible at keeping my email inbox in check. That little number next to my Gmail inbox has been upwards of 10,000 unread messages at times. Almost all of those were mailing lists of one sort or another that I intentionally signed up for at one time, but don’t really care about anymore.


That’s all changed over the course of the last couple of weeks thanks to the free iOS app Mailbox. Mailbox works with Gmail, Google Apps and iCloud and, but only on the iPhone and iPad for now. Plans are in the works to support more devices and email clients in the future.


I first saw the app in Apple’s featured app of the week slot on the iTunes store. It’s simplistic design first appealed me, but it was its supreme effectiveness in managing my inbox that got me hooked. Ever since then my inbox hasn’t had more than 30 emails in it at any given time since I’ve installed it.


The Mailbox app works best when the only emails in your inbox are the ones you need to pay attention to. When I first installed the app there was a button offering to help me get to zero. Tapping that button walked me through the process of archiving all of my emails that I didn’t need now, but still wanted access to through the search function.


Now when I get emails on my phone I have a few options on how to deal with them. A short swipe to the right will archive the email sending it to All Mail in Gmail or Archive in iCloud. A long swipe right will delete the message sending it to the trash.


Here’s where the supreme functionality kicks in for me though. A short swipe to the left will snooze the email where it will be sent to me again at a time of my choosing. The default options are Later the same day, This Evening, Tomorrow Morning, This Weekend, Next Week, In a Month, or I can pick a date and time. I’m a fan of the in the morning feature because this is usually when I have more time to read things that interest me, but aren’t things that need my immediate attention. One can also tell the app what and when qualifies as morning and evening from within the settings in the app.


A long swipe to the left allows me to add the email to a list. Lists are the equivalent of folders in other email clients. The default options are To Buy, To Read and To Watch. I can also create new lists from within the app. These lists also show up on the web under a Mailbox folder created for the user during setup.


You can perform all of these actions after opening the email and reading it by tapping the X to delete it or check mark to archive it. There’s icons for the other functions, as well as the whole user experience, is very intuitive.


If you have the appropriate hardware and service provider and decide to check out the Mailbox app here’s a few extra tips and tricks I’ve discovered along the way. You can batch swipe your inbox if the total numbers of emails in the inbox is small by swiping the bar at the bottom. You can reorder messages in lists and your inbox by tapping and holding the email. If you have a Dropbox account, you can connect the two accounts and send files directly from Dropbox within the Mailbox app. If you use multiple aliases within your email client, you can set Mailbox up to send from different accounts in the settings.


Mailbox has replaced the Gmail app in my dock, which had previously replaced Apple’s default mail app. Its ease of use and highly polished look have taken one aspect of my disorganized life and made it better.