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Goodbye, Sparrow! 8 Alternatives to Sparrow for Email

Goodbye, Sparrow! 8 Alternatives to Sparrow for Email

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    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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    Last Updated on May 14, 2019

    8 Replacements for Google Notebook

    8 Replacements for Google Notebook

    Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

    1. Zoho Notebook
      If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
    2. Evernote
      The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
    3. Net Notes
      If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
    4. i-Lighter
      You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
    5. Clipmarks
      For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
    6. UberNote
      If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
    7. iLeonardo
      iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
    8. Zotero
      Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

    I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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    In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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