Seeking Email Nirvana

I have been looking for a single solution email app for the past 2-3 years but with limited success. On an average, I receive 300 emails per day in my two company accounts and around 100 in my personal accounts.

Until now, I have been training Sanebox to parse these emails and send them into folders based on conditions like-whether I am in ‘cc’ or the ‘to’ field or whether the email is an invoice or a newsletter. Off late, Sanebox has been creating more issues than it is solving. For example, I was in a conversation with a broker in the US who regularly sends me deals. We were deep into a deal when his emails stopped showing up in my inbox. I thought he wasn’t interested in pursuing the matter further until I found out that he had replied, but his genuine email could not be deciphered from his newsletters and went into the wrong folder. This is not a one-off instance because Sanebox has made such mistakes (and vice-versa) many a time.

Another issue with Sanebox’s AI engine is that it won’t send me reminders of emails that have been lying unread or unarchived in folders that it sent them to unless I check those folders myself. The AI also doesn’t allow me to route certain emails to specific people without manual intervention (meetings to my EA, prospects to my team), nor does it automatically put emails from contacts that I am most in touch with, at the top of my contact list. Since Sanebox is a service to analyse incoming emails (and not even a good one at that), it does not provide any help with sending, tracking or scheduling (sending) emails which makes its price quite onerous.

I track emails that I send out to ensure that they have been read and the files or links within them clicked and based on that report I follow-up with the recipients.   

After a lot of research, I honed down on Yesware about a year ago and it is a good solution. But it frequently crashes my Outlook, does not work without an internet connection (i.e. I could not schedule emails when I was on a flight) and surprisingly lacks an option to schedule sending emails, without reopening my Outlook client. To solve that, I switched to Boomerang, which does have a solution to schedule emails but comes at the cost of a horrible tracking feature. So right now, I am contemplating using BananaTag which promises to solve the problem of scheduling emails that I wish to send but doesn’t work from a mobile device.

I would gladly switch to another service but haven’t found any that do half as decent a job as Sanebox on incoming emails or Yesware/ Boomerang/ BananaTag for outgoing emails. That is not saying much for any of them because I wouldn’t give any more than 2 stars (out of 5) for their problem-solving skills. However, I continue to keep Sanebox & company, just like my society keeps the unfit, old security guards because they provide a mirage of security when it’s clear that they are incapable of doing the job that they were employed for.  

So, this morning I thought about what I was looking for in an email client and the list was quite simple.

  1. It should have the ability to combine all my email accounts
  2. Intelligently analyse which ones are important based on my previous conversation history
  3. Suggest responses that match my style of writing
  4. Set automatic reminders for me to answer, archive or delete emails that have been lying in various folders since kingdom come
  5. Reach out to people that I have not spoken to in a long time.
  6. Track how recipients are interacting with my emails
  7. Remind me if an email remains unopened or unanswered (with suggestions)
  8. Schedule sending emails   

I believe this is a problem that is screaming to be solved because almost everyone I speak to, is dealing with some version of stress derived from email overload and if there isn’t a good resolution soon, people are going to start giving up.

Radicati Group estimates that every day over 281 billion emails are sent out (almost 50%of it spam) to 3.8 billion email accounts and this problem is only getting worse. Has anyone figured out a way out of this mess?  Let me know!

2/2019

Recommended Posts

2 Comments

  1. You are right that this is a universal problem for all white collar workers, especially those in the tech- or tech related field. Your 1-7 wish list is the holy grail, and any company which can do maybe two thirds of that will be the next unicorn.
    And we haven’t even touched upon the myriad number of messaging apps!
    personal rant: Google Wave was just way ahead of it’s time 😛

    • Someone suggested Spike as an email client after my post and after using it for a day I am quite impressed… I also heard that Superhuman is doing some really ridiculous stuff (I am on waitlist) but I can only report on that once I use it.
      That being said I do believe that there is a potential or a unicorn or three in this space and I would be the first test and invest!
      On the messaging apps.. let’s just leave that to a whole new blog! 😉


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.