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Goodbye, Sparrow! 8 Alternatives to Sparrow for Email

Goodbye, Sparrow! 8 Alternatives to Sparrow for Email

Sparrow logo

    So, you were looking for a great alternative to Apple’s Mail.app on OS X and iOS and stumbled upon Sparrow. It was fast, handled mail in a comfortable and familiar Gmail fashion, and was full featured. It was all good until you heard that there will be no more new features coming to it because of Google buying out the company. And, if the past is any indication (it is), Sparrow will eventually be discontinued. So, rather than sink with the ship, try one of these 8 Sparrow alternatives to ensure that your email client is covered into the future.

    Mail.app (iOS and OS X)

    It seems counterintuitive to recommend Sparrow to get away from Mail.app and then Mail.app to get away from Sparrow, but Mail.app has proven to be quite the workhorse. With all of the updates that came with Lion last year, Mail.app is definitely a great Mail client to use.

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    Also, because of Mail.app’s integration with OS X and iOS, it’s one of the only ways that you can do fun things like email to OmniFocus inbox or setup some serious rules and filters.

    iCloud Mail is getting better too, but it’s a very minimal version of the desktop client and can only be used with an iCloud email account; so, that’s not very useful for people that use other email accounts and need more robust features that the desktop client offers

    Postbox (Windows and OS X)

    Postbox has been around for a number of years now and the creators consider it to be the best desktop Gmail client for Mac and Windows. Now with Sparrow “gone”, I’d probably have to agree. Postbox is a full featured email client that supports IMAP and POP accounts as well as Exchange (for all of us corporate types out there). Another added nicety is that Postbox supports OmniFocus and Evernote integration. Good stuff.

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    Postbox’s UI feels great in OS X and gives the user a vast set of features like Gmail integration, multiple account support, social network photos for your contacts, a threaded message view and more. Oh, and Postbox is only $9.95.

    Mailplane

    If you are solely a Gmail user and love the Gmail experience, then Mailplane may be the app for you. Mailplane is basically a UI wrapper around the Gmail client for OS X. Mailplane adds a lot of niceties to the web experience of Gmail like being able to get Growl notifications or even link documents on your Mac to an email. You can also have unlimited Gmail accounts in Mailplane.

    Mailplane is a tad expensive ($24.95), especially considering the more feature rich Postbox is less than half that, but if you are a Gmail UI nerd, then Mailplane may work for you.

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    Emailganizer

    When Sparrow for iPhone came out it instantly replaced Mail.app (as much as you can replace Mail.app) on my iPhone, but before that I was using Emailganizer. The only two things I can’t stand about Emailganizer is its shoddy name and its shoddy design and UI. Other than that, Emailganizer is a super powerful app that has some great features like recognition of “context folders” (@action, @waiting, etc.), support for basically any email provider or account type you can think of, add emails as tasks to Exchange, Toodledo, OmniFocus, Things, etc., attach emails to the iOS Calendar, and more.

    Emailganizer is a robust email client for your iPhone. Too bad there isn’t an iPad version yet!

    Outlook for Mac

    No matter what anyone says, Outlook is a pretty great email application and if you are in a medium to large company it’s pretty much standard issue email software. With the newer versions of Outlook you get threaded message views, built in calendar and tasks, extremely intelligent filters and auto responders, searching and filtering on any item and field you could imagine as well as support for any type of email account.

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    It isn’t cheap ($119), but Outlook for Mac is a great email tool that can definitely replace Sparrow on your Mac.

    Notify

    While we can’t say that Notify is a full bore email client, it does a great job of notifying you of and allowing you to preview emails and with its pro features allows you to delete, file them, or respond to them as well. Notify is more of a small app that notifies you of important emails that so you can handle them immediately, which is better than being notified of every email and being interrupted while you are working.

    MailMate

    MailMate for Mac is a full featured IMAP email client. It supports multiple accounts and is highly “keyboard centric”, meaning that the entire app can be driven with keyboard shortcuts. There are also some great unique features like Markdown support in the email compose box as well as “Smart Mailboxes” that allow you to create smart filters and base other smart mailboxes on previous smart mailboxes. The search in MailMate is top notch as well; it’s fast and accurate.

    MailMate is $29.99 but you can pick up a free trial to see if it’s a good alternative for you.

    Mail Pilot

    If you can stay with Sparrow just a little longer (like till the end of Summer?), then you can give Mail Pilot a spin. Mail Pilot got a lot of great press for being the company to “reimagine email”. But, more than marketing fluff, it looks like Mail Pilot might actually do it. Basically, Mail Pilot turns your email into a todo list and lets you mark items as done or even gives you some advanced controls to review them later. Mail Pilot will support all major email services, give you a single login, and even a cool smart “Autopilot” feature that lets you mark specific emails for review at a certain time (like all newsletters for a certain day of the week).

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    CM Smith

    A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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    Trending in Technology

    1 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast 2 15 Organization Apps to Boost Your Personal Productivity 3 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2019 4 7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Keep You on Track in 2019 5 How to Type Faster: 12 Typing Tips and Techniques

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    Last Updated on September 11, 2019

    8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

    8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

    Computers and cell phones have become an integrated tool in our professional and personal lives that the original methods of using pen and paper may not be so common anymore.

    Although our old-school methods of note taking may not have entirely left us, technology is advancing with no intention of slowing down; iPads are moving into service industries, video calls are taking the place of in-person interviews, and store receipts are making its way into our email inbox – all of which requires the skill of typing.

    Learning a new skill doesn’t have to be boring and never had to be. Thankfully, there are effective games and apps that can help you learn to type fast with swift precision and accuracy.

    Why Typing Fast Matters?

    Learning how to type fast is a game changer. In fact, you can save 21 days per year by typing fast!

    Although shaving several minutes from curating a long email or texting paragraphs in a text message may not seem to be of great significance, the minutes soon do eventually add up and the long list of tasks then evolve into frustration. By the end of the day, time is being wasted, and the work pile is stacked high over your head.

    Why not alleviate some of those frustrations through practice and dedicating your spare time to build muscle memory?

    Learning a simple skillset like speed typing can drastically improve other essential areas in life including time-management and prioritization. Not only does it help you efficiently complete tasks at work and in your personal life, but it also boosts your productivity.

    8 Most Effective Typing Games and Apps

    Everyone learns at different speeds and uses various methods. While some work better under pressure and tight deadlines, others thrive when given ample amounts of time to learn and soak in the knowledge that is being provided. Despite the number of resources that are available in the hollow corners of the internet, it’s all about finding one source that helps you learn at your fullest potential.

    Whether you’re a keyboard ninja or not, here are some effective typing games and apps that allow you to test your speed, accuracy, and maybe shoot some spaceships along the way.

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    For Beginners

    1. Speed Typing Online

      What’s more fun than to type to the story of Alice in Wonderland or the lyrics to “Hey Jude”? Speed Typing Online is an online typing game that allows you to dive into the creative and familiar world of famous books, fables, songs, and even hone your skills in data entry.

      The bright blue frame holds the text, which then turns green after punching in the accurate keystrokes. After the end of the personal timer, a statistics page appears to show you your typed words per minute, accuracy, correct and incorrect entries, and error rate.

      2. Typing Trainer

        Typing Trainer

        is another online platform suited for beginner typists looking for step-by-step lessons. Learning the keys on a keyboard can confusing especially for those who aren’t as familiar or getting adjusted to typing on a computer keyboard.

        Typing Trainer has a collection of step-by-step tutorials that covers everything from sentence drills, introduction to new keys as the lessons progress, and skills test. The Typing Trainer specifically highlights unique features in each lesson including a warm-up section where the user begin to build muscle memory and learn to type without looking at the keyboard.

        The website is also programed to identify difficulties the user is facing when typing specific words or sentences.

        3. TapTyping – Typing Trainer

          There is the feeling of physically typing on a keyboard and then there’s the feeling of typing on a touch screen mobile device.

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          Since the use of cell phones has become closely integrated into our everyday lives, learning to type on a mobile is much of a skillset as it is to type on a computer. The mobile typing app, TapTyping – Typing Trainer, allows users to practice while on-the-go making it perfect for commuters who want to practice typing during their down time.

          The app allows you to challenge other typists around the world with TapTyping’s global leaderboard and test your skills by taking advanced lessons. There’s always room for improvement and with the app, you’ll be able to find your mistakes by watching a heat map of your finger strokes.

          For professional writers and programmers

          4. The Most Dangerous Writing App

            Suitable for writers facing a creative block or on a tight-deadline, the Most Dangerous Writing App is a website that forces your fingers to type as quickly as your ideas.

            If you stop longer than 5 seconds, everything you had written will slowly disappear from the screen.

            Sessions are timed from 3 minutes to 20 minutes, or can go from 75 to 1667 words. This online app is perfect to brain dump ideas, write a chapter of a manuscript you’ve been stuck on, or help with procrastination.

            If you’re up to the challenge, try the hardcore mode – an alternative option where a single letter appears on the screen at a time. This level prevents you from seeing the entire word, sentences, or even correct any spelling or grammatical mistakes until the timer is complete.

            If you’re wondering, copying and pasting is not an option until each the end of each session.

            5. The Typing Cat

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              Looking to upgrade your typing skills? Also working as a personal tutor, the Typing Cat has a list of regular typing courses with the option to try other lessons with more complexity such as HTML. Learning to type code is a another valulable skillset worth adding.

              Even with disregarded interest in the coding world, using the code course enhances your typing skills and allows your fingers to familiarize itself with uncommon word combinations and placement of punctuations on a keyboard.

              The coding course can be difficult even for typing whizzes, but it’s all a part of muscle memory. According Psychology Today,[1] only a handful of people actually learn how to type by looking at an actual keyboard, while a majority of the population locate specific keys intuitively through muscle memory.

              Available courses include EcmaScript 6, HTML 5, and CSS 3.

              Fun typing games

              6. ZType — Space Invaders Meet Webster

                Remember playing the iconic 70’s game that allowed you to shoot tiny purple and green aliens from one end of the screen to the other with a two-bullet laser? It’s hard to believe that Space Invaders just turned 40 , but you can still get the same adrenaline rush with ZType, a typing game with the same shooting concept.

                Ztype works in waves – stages that must be cleared but instead of aliens, you must type out the words before the missiles destroy your ship at the bottom of the screen. Every so often, longer and mor complex words would appear and if the words are not typed in the allotted time, a series of letters will disperse like missles.

                The game is quick on the fingers and will still have your heart pumping until the very end.

                7. Epistory – Typing Chronicles

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                  Although this game does cost money to purchase, it is worth the investment if you’re looking for a refreshing and alternative mode to learning how to type fast.

                  Epistory – Typing Chronicles is a role-playing action and adventure game of a young girl riding a fox in a magical and fictional realm; together they combat enemies in the shapes and forms of words.

                  Once you’re starterted, you almost forget you’re playing a typing game. The paper craft art aesthetics of the game has you captivated by the vibrant colors and character’s storyline, while having you build your typing skills.

                  8. Daily Quote Typing

                    Need some inspiration? Say no more.

                    Daily Quote Typing is one of many gammes available on Wordgames.com – a website that offers a variety of typing games ranging from different levels based on your experience.

                    With Daily Quote Typing, users are able to type out inspirational quotes by famous leaders, inventors, and innovators such as Mark Twain and Albert Einstein.

                    Bottom Line

                    At the end of the day, discipline and patience is what teaches to type faster. It comes down to making that commitment to improving not only your typing abilities, but in a lifelong skill that benefits other areas in life.

                    By practicing daily and using effective games and apps, it’s only a matter of time before keystrokes will become second nature and your brain will adapt to learning other skills faster.

                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                    Reference

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