App Shout-Out: Mailbox (iOS)

I’ve been holding off on writing about this one for a while — it came out a few weeks ago and is an email app that does things quite a bit differently. Don’t be confused, though: Mailbox is all about streamlining. It’s an app designed to ease the stress many of us feel about having a too-full inbox. Whether seeing there are nine unread emails or 90, this is an app that will make you freak out way less about your email.

How? Well, it has a super-awesome feature and interface that lets you manage your email by swiping. Swiping and flicking. Flicking to the right lets you archive or delete messages you don’t want to deal with, and sliding to the left gives you the option to temporarily banish the message. “Temporarily” because you can determine how long you want that email off your back before it resurfaces with a reminder. It will make your inbox count decrease, even if it comes back, but at some point it will return for you to deal with.

It’s perfect because, well, we all deal with our email this way. If you’re like me, you mark those messages you need to respond to but don’t have time to as still unread, which, in turn, stresses you out because you’re constantly being reminded of it. But one by one, if they pop up like prairie dogs later on, they’re somehow more manageable. Doesn't matter if you have multiple accounts -- it can handle whatever you got. 

There is one big caveat with Mailbox. Although it is a free app, there is a sizable waiting list to get your account activated. That’s the reason why I was holding off on writing about it: I wanted to wait until I could actually try it. It took about two weeks for me to get up and running, but the more people talk about it, the longer it will, of course, take to wait to get it. I wasn’t crazy about waiting to get up and running, but, welp, that’s what Mailbox is all about. It makes the messages wait for you, so you can, in turn, wait for the app to be ready for you. It’s only fair.

David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a comedy-writing instructor for Second City. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.

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