Handling Emails Like A Boss – Postbox Review and Giveaway!

Mike Vardy wrote a great review on Postbox, and I wanted to dig deeper into it. It wasn’t much of a change to switch to it, especially since it’s integrated fully into the mac. And bear with me until the end of this article, I’ve got something special for you! Welcome to Postbox review, hope you’ll enjoy it!

First surprise came when I installed the app. It asked me do I want to import settings from any other clients that I have on my Mac. It simply imported all of the settings. And you’re there, ready to begin. First of all, I didn’t feel estranged, it felt really similar to native Mail, so I had that familiar look and feel. Familiarity is really important when you are adapting new technologies, and they’ve hit the sweet spot with it.

Now the dock icon, actually looks better than the native mail app, hence it didn’t repeal me from keeping it and getting used to it. I can’t stand looking at the icons that don’t blend in my current setup. For example I avoid turning on the Chrome browser, because it stands out from the rest of my icon set.

What’s new coming up with Postbox?

  1. Tighter Gmail Integration – For all those Gmail junkies out there, who feel left out when they use 3rd party client, you will feel like at home in Postbox. I certainly found this addition non intrusive, and it improved my mail experience, as Google apps are my mail client.
  2. More Social Connections – Facebook, Gravatars, LinkedIn Photos. This is what helps me stay on top of communication with people. I might forget your name, but I won’t forget your face.
  3. Better integration with Apps and ServicesDropbox, Evernote, Growl and Calendar. Mac users rejoice!
  4. Productivity boosters – Favorites bar made my day, as it cleaned up my email and made it as minimalistic as possible. Gmail style reply and archive is included, which makes my job of cleaning up email to Inbox Zero, easy and seamless.

Other essential features

For Mac users, there are other essential features integrated, like Keyboard shortcuts, full screen mode and on top of it all, there is a small task manager. Since email is so full of small tasks that I wouldn’t like to end up in my Omnifocus, this seems like a perfect spot for small useful reminders on who should I remind next.

The main reasons why Postbox became my #1 email client

Ultimately Postbox didn’t win me with a single feature. There are a couple of important features that I was looking for, and Postbox simply delivered them all at the same time:

  1. I wanted beautiful email, and Postbox is drop dead minimalistic gorgeous. I thought that Apple took a lot of time in designing the app, but these guys just knew how to get more with less. So what’s the catch? With all these new added features, it’s really hard to keep minimalistic design, and still keep the features. Well, they proved me wrong.
  2. All the extra features. I didn’t wanna go the gmail route, because I wanted something that will safely backup my data locally, and I simply didn’t trust Google extension to handle my offline access. I wanted something that will allow me to “spotlight search” my mails if I wanted to. That came with this premiere class client, and many things more.
  3. Evernote integration – This feature is basically my “save to archive” button. I absolutely love it. And this is what I used frequently, basically on daily basis.
  4. Keyboard shortcuts – I was always lacking a simple keyboard shortcut in native email, and here it’s simple CMD + K. Apart from that one, that I use most often, there are numerous other shortcuts that I haven’t even discovered yet.

As you see I am pretty biased when I find something that I like, but there is a very good reason for liking it. I love helping out developers who made great products. And this time they’ve beaten Apple in email client game, and that is an achievement worthy of mentioning!

The Giveaway

Great guys from Postbox heard about my review, and they wanted to reward loyal Alpha Efficiency readers with a couple of free Postbox licenses. First license already went away to the lucky subscriber of the newsletter. (Quick tip, sign up for the newsletter for more awesome giveaways!)

Now there are two more licenses left! And here’s how to get them: Until the end of the week I will keep a close eye on everyone who commented on this post, and who shared this article via social media.

I will pick the best comment on the question: “What is your main issues with email workflow?” The best answer is going to get the license in his inbox.

The second license is going to go one lucky sharer of this article. If you share it make sure that you use @AlphaEfficiency in the Tweet, or mention Alpha Efficiency page on Facebook in order to ensure eligibility. Wishing you lots of luck, the competition is ending on Sunday 14th October in Midnight.

Comments

  1. a fostre says

    Hi Bojan,

    My emails are largely a problem because the people sending them all have different idea about how to manage things.

    I break emails down into delete, spam, conversation history, files and reference material

    I then tag them with either important, work, personal or philanthropy

    (This is all in thunderbird)

    Some people like to email files around (very irritating) but the main problem is sorting.

    The above methods are ok but really I hate using folders as things get missed. The next big problem is easily tracking conversations which I do have an add on for but its not great.

    Ironically I actually really like the way facebook organises this, search for a contact, see a list of conversations with that person. But then its really important to separate different emails into conversations and reference materials etc.

    Ultimatley the *most* important thing is search speed. When I go through my emails I either delete them, save them or action them (I use things, gtd style) and that works fine – its re-finding things and quickly catching up on what’s been said / tracking potential sales that’s irritating.

    There was a plugin for gmail that I loved but that worked really badly where I could set a reminder when I sent an email – if they hadn’t replied in a day / a week or whatever boomerang would ‘boomerang’ the email. Loved it. Trusted system – awesome.

    Hope that’s handy

    Alex

  2. Ivica says

    It`s great that Postbox supports gmail service right out of the box including the ability to utilize custom Gmail labels, archive messages and a dedicated view for messages labeled as important. Social network integration is a nifty feature with Postbox, and it allows you to download contact information from all your connections, making it easy to send email to all of them. You can even update your status messages on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook through the interface as well. Thank you for this review!

  3. says

    My issue is I dont do most of my email on my mac, I would say about 50%. Then about 25% on my ipad and 25% on my Android phone. So how is the integration with gmail as far as can I add something to a label in postbox and it will be added to my label in gmail?

  4. Liege says

    I was happy with Thunderbird for 2 years, until the inbox went full and I needed to star deleting old messsages and compacting at every startup. Annoying and time consuming… but I would styill stick to it, until one day a bunch of messages just vanished – I am talking about 5 months of emails from my inbox.

    I need a that handles massive amounts of messages with heavy attachments without demanding any extra work from me. I can’t find Postbox reviews from heavy users who’ve had it for a long time. Any help here?

    • says

      I imported couple of years worth of emails, through couple of gmail accounts that I have, while it didn’t download them all, it does search on the servers, and downloads the files for you on demand and indexes them.

      I am not sure what’s handling your server, but this is my case.

  5. Gjergji Kokushta says

    I’m a happy user of Postbox Express (the free version of Postbox) for more then 2 years when I switched from Thunderbird. My very problem with my email workflow was the search of older emails.. most of the times Thunderbird would crash… I spent some time working in parallel TB and PB and PB was offering a faster search result. The “To:” email address field auto-fill-list any contact is very efficient compared to MS Outlook 2010, which you need to send one email in order for the application to remember contact’s email address even if it is in the list. Today here I am still using PB Express! Getting the full version will fix most of my labeling issues and get faster and better email search.

    • says

      Good luck on the contest than! Really glad to have a long term user on board! I’ve been using it only for a month and it’s been tiny improvements, but now I don’t intend on looking back…

  6. says

    My problem with the native Mail app is the completely unuseable search and (in offline mode) the unavailability of recent emails in a given folder/label (even if I moved them there from my inbox). Since I have just recently decided to get more productive with my email, I have decided to stop labeling things and just archive everything, then use powerful Gmail search to find what I need.

    Not so much with the Mail app.

    I downloaded Sparrow but a week later they announced the end of development for that app, before I even had a chance to play with it.

    So, I switched back to using Gmail by creating a shortcut for it in my dock. It works ok, and search is awesome, but being on the road a lot, I do not have any offline access to email now.

    Also, any other application that can send emails (my RSS reader, Aperture, etc) cannot use the Gmail shortcut and revert back to the Mail app, which then starts to download all the email I have processed since the last time I had the app opened.

    So it is sort of a mess right now.

    But sounds like Postbox might just be the magic bullet. Thanks for the useful and timely review!