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Mailbox Review: The Best Email Client Ever

Mailbox Review: The Best Email Client Ever

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    For years, my email was always a place that was bittersweet. While I enjoyed the email messages that I received, I dreaded the lack of organization that the inbox contained. As an iOS user, there wasn’t really an option that brought an optimal emailing experience. One thing I can tell you is that this has certainly changed with Mailbox for iOS. Not only has my experience changed, Mailbox has revolutionized the way that I personally look at the importance of email. Mailbox is currently accepting reservations, so let’s cut to the chase and talk about the app’s strengths, weaknesses, and potential.

    How is Mailbox different?

    The developers behind Mailbox saw how people were using email as a task manager. Think about it, if you receive an email from your editor or boss about an upcoming meeting or a new assignment. Chances are, you’ll take that task and add it into whatever tool is needed to complete that task. Mailbox prevents you from having to do that last step. When we go a bit deeper into this review, you’ll understand what I mean by this and how Mailbox has way more to offer as well. To learn more about the story behind Mailbox and why they are organizing your email workflow differently, click here.

    The Three Tabs – Later, Now, Completed

    Mailbox_ThreeTabs_1

      When you look at the interface of Mailbox, you instantly see that there are three tabs at the top. The first tab is the “Later” page where you can scoot emails off for another time or date. Similar to a task app, we can essentially remind ourselves through the email to either reply back, read later, or do what the email is asking us to do.

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      Mailbox_ThreeTabs_2

        The second tab is the meat of Mailbox. This is where you’ll find the emails you have to take a look at now. Think of the “Mailbox” page as the stack of papers on your desk that needs to be sorted soon. All new messages come here, and all emails that you added to “Later” and that have reached their due date are moved back here for you to deal with.

        Mailbox_ThreeTabs_3

          The third and last tab is where you’ll find your completed emails. These are the emails that have been replied to, or in other words, emails you can forget about. Aside from the three tabs, you also have a button that reveals more options and a compose button on the left and right side, respectively. How do emails get to their tabs? That’s the magic of Mailbox.

          How it Works

          You interact with and place messages in their tab by swiping them. The options that sliding presents you depends on which tab you are in, so let’s go through what options you can do.

          First off, you can create Lists in Mailbox that allows you to have better organization of your email. I personally only have a “Read at Home” List, reserved for emails I want to focus more on in the comforts of – yes you guessed correctly – my own home. You can also swipe a message to read at another time. This is known as “Snooze”and sends the email to be dealt with later.

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          Mailbox_NavigatingAround_SnoozeOptions

            Snoozing Options

            • Later in the Today
            • This Evening
            • Tomorrow
            • This Weekend
            • Next Week
            • In a Month
            • Someday
            • Or….Pick a Date

            The third swipe option is to add an email to your “Mailbox” (remember, the “stack on your desk” we equated this tab to). Finally, you can check off emails and send them off to the completed tab, or mark them with an “X” to send them to the trash.

            When are these options available?

            Mailbox_NavigatingAround_OptionsLater

              In the “Later” tab…

              • You can swipe partially to the left to adjust snoozing times, or fully to the left to add it to a List. Swiping partially to the right places the message back into your “Mailbox”, fully swiping to the right adds the message to the completed tab.

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              Mailbox_NavigatingAround_MailboxTab

                In your “Mailbox” tab…

                • You can swipe partially to the left to snooze a message or fully to the left to add it to one of your Lists. Swiping partially to the right allows you to add a message to the completed folder, fully swiping adds the message to the trash.

                Mailbox_NavigatingMailbox_MailboxSlide

                  In the completed tab…

                  • Finally, you can swipe a message partially to the left to bring it back to the “Mailbox” pile. Swiping fully to the left allows you to snooze the message. Swipe to the right to add the message to the trash.

                  Lists and Snoozing Options can be found in the settings of Mailbox. You can also reorder messages by tapping and holding a message, then sliding it to the place you’d like. Scrolling to the very bottom of a small list of messages outside of the completed tab and sliding the bottom bar either direction can also mass manipulate the messages there.

                  Goal – Reaching Inbox Zero

                  Mailbox_ReachingZero

                    If you don’t know by now, the ultimate goal of Mailbox is for you to have an empty “Mailbox” each day. This isn’t only by ensuring that you answer back to all emails, but that they are truly taken care of. This is why Mailbox has the “Later” tab, allowing you to feel accomplished without feeling stretched thin to complete everything in one day (more about this later in the article). Once you reach zero, Mailbox presents you with a featured photo of the day from Instagram as a small treat to your success.

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                    A New Philosophy – Email as a To-Do List

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                      I have been using Mailbox for a little over a week now and I must say that it has changed the way I view emailing. Before, I obsessively checked my email throughout the day. I felt that if I got an email, tackled what needed to get done, I could in some way make my day more productive.

                      Mailbox showed me this wasn’t the case. When looking at email as a to-do list, we learn that we don’t have to take tasks as they are given to us. We can make a list and tackle them in an orderly fashion. This allowed me to not stress over email and to take it a step at a time.

                      Philosophy_Mailbox_2

                        I found Mailbox to be a great application during my usage so far. You may not like having to wait for their reservation, however the line seems to be moving well for many individuals. It is important to remember that a waiting list is needed to keep Mailbox up and running, protecting the servers from strain.

                        Philosophy_Mailbox_3

                           

                          There are a couple of things we don’t like. Mailbox is Gmail only, prevented me from fully switching over for good. I make use of Yahoo Mail (7 years strong) and iCloud for my personal emailing, and Gmail for work emailing (and a bit of personal emailing too). Ultimately, Mailbox is free and this is a great reason to give the app a try.

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                          Last Updated on October 16, 2019

                          11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

                          11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

                          Automations are key to improving efficiency. Set the system up right from the beginning and you’ll reduce the amount of no-shows and cancellations.

                          Whatever your business is, with automations, meeting scheduler apps do more than just streamline appointment setting. They prime your workflow for maximum results.

                          Meeting scheduler apps are awesome if you use them right. Use them wrong and you can look like an arrogant elitist.

                          In this article, I will share with you 11 great meeting scheduler apps you can start using today to boost your productivity.

                          1. ScheduleOnce

                            ScheduleOnce is an industry leader and robust solution. Whether you work alone or have a large team, ScheduleOnce can support you.

                            ScheduleOnce allows you to create multiple users and multiple calendars. I use one calendar for booking podcast guests with automations set up to prep my guests for our interview. I use another calendar for strategy sessions and coaching calls.

                            ScheduleOnce also has embeddable widgets so you can keep the scheduler inside your own website.

                            Starting at $7 a month and a 14 day free trial, ScheduleOnce can fit a variety of needs in business.

                            Available on Web

                            2. Calendly

                              Calendly stands out for its clean, easy to use interface. If you like clean design, Calendly might be your choice. It too has robust automations and integrations for individuals and teams alike.

                              You can try Calendly free for 14 days. Their basic plan is free while their most robust plan is only $12 a month.

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                              Available on Web | Google Chrome Extension

                              3. Assistant.to

                                For those who use gmail, Assistant.to is a super simple solution.

                                From inside an email, you click on the Assistant.to icon and pick times your free. Assistant.to embeds the times directly into the email so the recipient can quickly pick a time that works for them.

                                While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of apps like Calendly or ScheduleOnce, Assistant.to is completely free.

                                Available on Web

                                4. Acuityscheduling

                                  Acuity is a robust meeting scheduler very similar to ScheduleOnce. It integrates with CRMs, Email Marketing platforms, Analytics tools and accounting software.

                                  It comes with a 14 day free trial. They have a free solo account but if you want the benefit of the integrations, you’ll start as low as $15 a month and can cost up to $50 a month.

                                  Available on Web | iOS | Android

                                  5. Pick

                                    Built for simplicity, Pick is direct and easy to use. You can create your own url extension like pick.co/yournamehere and it integrates with Google calendar and Office 365.

                                    At $3 a month, this is a great tool for quick scheduling.

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                                    Available on Web

                                    6. X.ai

                                      For those who are early adopters of AI, this may be the solution for you. X.ai created two AI assistants they call Amy and Andrew Ingram. After setting up your account you simply CC them on your emails with the person you’re wanting to schedule and the AI assistants will email your guests from there until your appointment is set.

                                      This type of scheduler feels more personal because of the dialogue. There are stories on their site of people thinking Amy and Andrew are real people. X.ai integrates with Google, Office 365 and Outlook.

                                      Starting at $29 a month for an Individual account and $39 a month per user for a Team account, Amy and Andrew are ready to schedule meetings for you. Want to try it out first? They do have a free trial.

                                      Available on Web

                                      7. YouCanBook.me

                                        is another competitive solution for scheduling meetings online. You can manage the calendars of your entire team, configure booking forms, and integrate with your calendar.

                                        They have a free account branded with their company name or you can have some control over your branding and appearance at $10 a month for all their features. Either way, this company is worth a look.

                                        Available on Web

                                        8. Doodle

                                          Doodle is unique in the space of meeting schedulers because it helps groups of people find a time to meet that works for everyone.

                                          It integrates with your calendar and allows you to send a poll to all invited. Once people vote on the poll you can see which time works best for everyone.

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                                          You can also run polls for food preferences if you’re scheduling a lunch meeting or a section of town if people are coming from all over.

                                          While there is a free account, you’ll unlock it’s potential starting at $39 per year.

                                          Available on Web | iOS | Android

                                          9. WhenAvailable

                                            WhenAvailable is another scheduler that works for groups of people. You can use it to schedule a pickup game of basketball, decide on your next book club or book your family reunion.

                                            Their free account allows up to 20 guests, unlimited events and one contact group. For $15 a year you unlock all the goodies including reminders and chat messages.

                                            Available on Web

                                            10. Rally

                                              Like Doodle and WhenAvailable, Rallly is helpful for scheduling meetings and events with multiple people involved. You create a poll and everyone votes. It’s quick and easy.

                                              Unlike Doodle, it doesn’t have as many features, but it’s entirely free.

                                              Available on Web

                                              11. NeedtoMeet

                                                Finishing strong, NeedtoMeet is our last app that allows you to schedule meetings or events for multiple people. It has mobile apps, custom urls, easy polling, notifications and commenting.

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                                                NeedtoMeet also allows 1:1 Meetings for things like performance reviews for your whole team. You send out the your calendar slots to your team and they can only pick 1 slot, minimizing the amount of emails and scheduling you have to coordinate.

                                                While they have a free account, you can unlock all features for only $19 a year.

                                                Available on Web

                                                Bonus: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Using Meeting Schedulers

                                                In the excitement of streamlining your scheduling process, it can be easy to forget the feelings of those you’re inviting to meet. I know. I’ve done this.

                                                To say “Hey, schedule time on my calendar” feels colder than “Hey, here’s my calendar. To avoid all the back and forth, pick a time that works best for you.”

                                                Always make sure to frame your invite with your scheduler app with the benefit to them and why we’re doing it this way rather than the old fashioned, personal way.

                                                A little finesse goes a long way. Without it, you risk seeming transactional and cold.

                                                Some meeting scheduler widgets you can embed in your site can take a couple seconds to load. If you go this route, make sure there’s text just above the widget that lets your guest know the calendar will appear below and to wait for it to load.

                                                If you use an online meeting tool like Zoom, it’s also important to explicitly let them know the meeting will take place on Zoom and include the Zoom link in the email reminder. Many make the mistake of not clarifying where the meeting will actually take place which can create last minute chaos at the time of the meeting.

                                                Should you require special settings, like ethernet, external mics or lighting, let your guests know that on your thank you page and reminder emails so they are prepared for the meeting and you end up with the best meeting possible.

                                                With clear communication in your automation, your meeting scheduler tools can almost perform like a virtual assistant for a fraction of the cost, or free, depending on the app you choose.

                                                The Bottom Line

                                                Meeting scheduler apps are diverse in features and unique in design. Before committing to one and realizing it’s not a fit, I recommend exploring which 3 might best fit you and then doing a trial with each of them at the same time so that you can see how they feel as you use them side by side.

                                                Scheduling meetings the old fashioned way can be tedious. Conversely, finding a scheduling app that works seamlessly in the background is heavenly.

                                                Like cell phones, meeting scheduler apps are moving from a nice-to-have luxury to must-have necessity in the lives of productive people. As you explore your options, stay true to your brand and the tools that have worked well for you to this point and simply find a meeting scheduler app that plays well with what you have created.

                                                Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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