While at one point it looked like email was on its way out and about to be replaced by messaging and other digital communication, it’s survived. It can be a great way to communicate, but you need to know how to make it work for you. One service I found to make email work for me is SaneBox. This review explores SaneBox to show how it works for me and how it may work to make email manageable for you as well.
This is a sponsored article and was made possible by SaneBox. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence, even when a post is sponsored.
Introduction to SaneBox
Inbox Zero is certainly something we all strive for, and many apps and services promise it, but it’s still a continuous struggle. I went through several apps and a few services trying to find the one that hit the jackpot. I settled on the Inbox app by Gmail. It had a wonderful way of organizing it all for me. I never needed it more than when Make Tech Easier started the sponsored review program in 2016. I needed it to organize my work email from my personal email, as I like a unified inbox.
But soon, I needed a little more organization. I needed not just a folder of Make Tech Easier email. I needed a place for the emails for the sponsored reviews we were working on, another for review requests that we turn down, and another for the giveaways that we at one time did. I also needed a separate space for the new requests.
This is when I found SaneBox. While Inbox organized my email between travel, personal, junk, etc., SaneBox allows me to organize my email the way I want to. I can essentially tell it where I want emails to go and how I want them handled, and it will take care of it from there. It’s all I’ve ever wanted from an email service. And it does all this with my email addresses. I don’t have to change the domain and can use SaneBox with every email app or website (and I’ve tried many).
Basic SaneBox Process
Getting started with SaneBox is as easy as signing into your email account(s).
- Sign in to your email account. If you have more than one, you will be allowed to set others up as well.
- SaneBox will go through your email and sort it for you, similar to how many email apps these days do it. But SaneBox takes it a few steps further. It keeps important emails in your inbox and unimportant email in SaneLater and allows you to organize it even further.
- Wait for a few minutes or possibly even a few hours, depending on how many emails you have. I only delete junk mail, so it took a while for me, and this was several years ago that I started using SaneBox.
- If you disagree with where a particular email was placed, you can move it, and SaneBox will remember that for the next time.
- There are other folders that SaneBox adds, such as SaneNews, for all the newsletters you receive, SaneReminders, for email you want SaneBox to remind you about, SaneTomorrow, for email you want to deal with the next day, SaneTonight for what you want to deal with when you get off work, and SaneCC for the email you don’t need to respond to but still need to stay informed. There’s even a SaneBlackHole folder where you can put the email you never want to see again.
- You can create your own folders as well. I created SaneSponsoredReviews and SaneMiscMail, as well as another folder for a now-defunct function. I keep new requests going to the inbox. That way, I know they are someone I haven’t worked with yet. In one of my personal email accounts, I set up SaneTravel, SanePromotional, SaneReceipts, and SaneShipped.
SaneBox will send you a daily digest of email that isn’t sent to your inbox. You can ignore it or see it all in one place. You can also set up “Executive Assistant” access to allow another trusted person to review and process your digest.
Do Not Disturb
When you use Do Not Disturb, all new email is temporarily moved to this folder, and you can add a message to the senders so that they know you are out and unable to see the email.
If you have a particular time or day you would like to address your email again, you can tell SaneBox to forward it to you at the time of day or the day you want to receive it. This is helpful for travel, school events, meetings, so many things. You can also have SaneBox notify you if someone never replied to your email.
Search for connections you may have by entering a domain name and connecting with all of the “warm connections.” If there’s someone you’d like to be introduced to, you can ask through a formal request to be introduced.
Have SaneBox automatically saves all your attachments to your cloud storage service: Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, OneDrive, or Evernote. Each email account can have a separate cloud storage service, and you can choose which SaneBox folders will upload attachments. Note that this won’t work for past attachments – it only works going forward from when the feature has been turned on.
SaneBox’s newest feature is Storage Optimizer. It will trash large groups of emails you no longer wish to keep. The option will scan your email account, then allow you to choose a date range. It will present you with a look at individual emails or senders.
I chose emails older than 2016, so that I wouldn’t disturb my Sponsored Review emails this time around. I picked through and deleted the people I haven’t heard from in years, except for the emails from my mom. She’s gone now, so I don’t plan to ever erase those. And I keep her last email in my inbox.
Yes, SaneBox can be pricey, but it doesn’t have to be. You only pay for the services and amount of control that you want. I wanted a lot of control for three emails, so I’ve always been a “Dinner” member. Yes, $300/yearly is a lot of money – but having sanity in my email is worth it.
Looking through the options, you can see why “Lunch” is the most popular. $99/yearly is doable for most people.
Yes, SaneBox can keep your email… “sane.” It can keep your inbox cleaned out of unimportant emails to make sure you see and have time for the most important email. Plus, it has all the other features as well, such as scheduled forwarding, attachment storage, storage optimizer, etc. Working on this review, I have seen features that I wasn’t taking advantage of but should.
Truly, the only downside is the price, but you only have to pay for what you will need/use. In addition to that, there is a free 14-day trial with no credit card required and a deal of $25 off for every new signup.
It’s up to you to decide how you will use SaneBox and how to make it work for you.
Image credit: SaneBox. Screenshots by Laura Tucker
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