Stop letting your inbox drive you insane!

I have written about productivity in this column before (here and here) and many of you have asked me about the tools I use that make me more productive. About three months ago, I started using a service called SaneBox to help me manage my email and it saves me approximately 3 to 4 hours per week. (What would you do with an extra three hours each week?)

There are so many things I love about this service and it is currently my favorite time-saving app. In addition to sharing with you how I use it, I was able to catch up with Founder, Stuart Roseman and VP of Growth, Dmitri Leonov to better understand how others are benefiting from it as well.

After signing up for SaneBox, which is incredibly easy and requires no software to download, you are assigned a SaneLater folder. Imagine coming home every day to your actual mail to find that the important stuff (bills, party invitations, etc.) has been separated from everything else. This is what SaneLater does with your email. By scanning your past behavior, it determines what is important and relevant, and what is not. As Leonov puts it, “We automatically help you group important emails (in your inbox) and filter out unimportant ones into a separate folder for bulk processing.”

Since signing up for SaneBox, I now wake up in the morning and have six emails in my inbox that are all important and 10 to 15 in my SaneLater folder for me to come back to later. These emails typically include newsletters, updates, etc., that I may in fact want to read, but they are not worthy of interrupting my day. For example, if you sign up for this service, my blog will likely go into your SaneLater folder. (See, I like this service so much I am willing to have my emails go into a folder other than your inbox!) Even though you probably love reading my articles, they really shouldn’t be interrupting your day.

Notice, though, that I did not say junk mail, which they have a separate solution for as well. Compared to unsubscribing, SaneBlackHole, which Roseman says is their most popular feature, is a much safer and effective way to never let junk mail bother you again. You can just drag an email into this folder and all future emails from this sender will automatically be deleted without you ever seeing them. If you hate getting emails from me (or anyone else) you can drag them into this folder and you won’t hurt my feeling because I will have no idea you did this. Smile

My favorite SaneBox feature is called SaneRemindMe. I send a lot of emails that require a response and, unfortunately, I do not always get one. With SaneRemindMe, I can Bcc SaneBox with a certain time for getting a reminder when sending an email that requires a response (i.e. one day, one week, etc. If I do not hear from them by this time, SaneBox will put the email at the top of my inbox. The emails are stored in a separate folder the entire time if I need to access them before the reminder date and if I do get a response, they are moved to my sent items (and I do not get a reminder). This feature has saved me a tremendous amount of time, as I no longer have to manually keep track of responses I am waiting on.

In fact, SaneBox is great about providing me with updates regarding how much time I am saving. I receive weekly emails from them providing me with feedback like “You saved 1.4 hours this week! Thank goodness you didn’t have to search the 301 emails to get to your 128 important emails.” and “You are a Rock Star — you had a 7 star week! (Days when your INBOX had less than 50 emails).”

SaneBox includes many other features that I will let you discover on your own and, as Roseman puts it, “They all speak to our core value which is to allow users to control their email instead of having it control them.”

While SaneBox is a fairly new company, I believe they are here to stay. They have been profiled by Time and TechCrunch, among others. They are currently in discussions with many Fortune 500 companies about providing this service to all of their employees. While it will be great for so many people to have access to this timesaver, it also will put the pressure on all of us to make sure our emails are relevant.

Believe it or not, this service only costs $4 per month! And if you use this link, you will save $5 on the purchase (full disclosure- I will receive a $5 credit as well).

In the meantime, I appreciate you taking the time to read my blog and will continue to write as if you have the option to send my emails into the abyss, never to be seen again.

How do you currently manage your inbox? I would love to know!



  1. by Ann Marie Gardner on August 29, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Another great post; already Pinterested to my “Products I Love” board. Thank you for the information!

  2. by Derek Coburn on August 31, 2012 at 9:04 am

    Thanks Ann!


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