Managing Email with Postbox

PostboxSince we launched in 2009, we’ve written a lot about email here at ProfHacker. No doubt that’s a reflection of just how much email is involved in our day-to-day work. And whether you love or hate email, whether you use your inbox as a task manger or strive for Inbox Zero, the stuff’s got to be managed somehow.

Those who prefer a desktop client for managing their email might consider giving Postbox (available for Windows and Mac; alas, there’s no Linux version available or planned) a look. After hearing about it for quite a while, I recently decided to give it a try, and so far, I really like it. (I was actually a little surprised that it hasn’t received much mention here, though it did make Ryan’s list in the 2011 Holiday Gift Guide.)

Here’s what I’m really liking about it:

  • It has a nice interface, with some options for customization.
  • It plays well with GMail, including labels and keyboard shortcuts. (There are, however, some differences between Postbox and GMail’s web interface to be aware of. Also, if there’s a way to create a GMail label in Postbox, I haven’t found it yet.) Of course, it’s also possible to use Postbox with non-GMail accounts.
  • It integrates with several social media services.
  • It can open detected dates in Google Calendar quickly and easily.
  • It can send attachments via Dropbox, and (for Mac users) getting message content into Evernote is simple.
  • It’s extensible via a variety of add-ons. I’m currently using Lightning and Provider for Google Calendar, which allow me to display multiple Google Calendars within the application. I’m also using Send Later 3, which does just what its name suggests it does.

You may have noticed, if you click the link, that Send Later 3 is actually an add-on for Mozilla Thunderbird. Postbox is a relative. That doesn’t however, mean that all Thunderbird add-ons will work—so don’t expect it.

Also, unlike Thunderbird, Postbox is not free. It ordinarily sells for $29.95, though as of May 13, 2012, it’s on sale for $19.95. A lot of people, understandably, will find that a steep price to pay for an email client when there are free options available. Fortunately, Postbox provides a 30-day trial period (the trial version is fully functional), so interested users can take the time to be sure the application will really work well for them before making the investment.

Have you tried Postbox? Do you have some thoughts to share about it? Let us know in the comments.

[Creative Commons licensed Flickr photo by stephoto]

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