Email continues to be a necessary evil for us all—we can’t live without it, but we can’t quite live with it, either. And, rarely does our most important work involve clearing out our inboxes.
Since we can’t get rid of it entirely (even if we want to some days), we might as well find ways to make the process as efficient and painless as possible.
You won’t find a shortage of tools out there to help you solve your inbox woes—but how do you choose the best ones? At Product Hunt, we’ve seen the launch of dozens of email-related apps. Here are some of our community’s favorites:
Simplify your email on your Mac
The Polymail team took every cool feature from a bunch of other popular apps and wrapped them all up into one beautiful package. This tool for Mac is clean and intuitive, with no unnecessary bells and whistles. With each email, you’ll find a detailed contact profile—and you’ll know exactly who read your messages, and when. You can schedule emails to be sent at the perfect time in the future, as well as schedule incoming ones to pop back into your inbox when you’ll be ready to process or respond to them. Finally, unsubscribe from any list with a single click. Bye, spam!
See who’s opening your emails
Yesware is a particularly useful tool for anyone in sales. After you send an email, use this tool to track open and reply rates, link clicks, attachment opens, and presentation pageviews. For any kind of “campaign” you run, you can customize touchpoints that allow you to automate and keep track of potential clients as you guide them through the sales funnel. Whether you want to send follow-up emails, make calls, or launch a drip campaign, you can do it easily with this product.
3. If No Reply
Automate your follow-up emails
If you have a hard time remembering to follow up with people, you’ll love If No Reply. Add the plug-in to your Gmail inbox, and whenever you send an email, you can also schedule follow-up ones in advance that will automatically send if you don’t get a response. You can preview and customize every automated message so that you know it’ll look perfect. You can also use templates if you find yourself sending the same ones over and over again. This is a fantastic add-on if you want to stay on top of all your conversations.
Write better messages (and faster)
Writing emails can sometimes take forever—especially if you’re agonizing over the length, grammar, word choices, and tone. If you want to write better messages (and faster), Boomerang Respondable is worth trying. For every email you write, this app will help you improve the likelihood of getting a response by grading you on a handful of key factors, such as subject length, word count, reading level, politeness, positivity, and subjectivity. This is a fascinating tool that’s likely to make you a more savvy writer—and get you the responses you’re looking for.
Know the sender’s company by adding logos
Gmail Sender Icons is a simple plug-in you can use to quickly identify email senders in your inbox. For each message you receive, you’ll see the official logo (favicon) and company domain of the sender. This will help you identify the most important emails in your inbox quickly, as well as avoid spam. You can also choose to display only icons or domains, or neither.
Block email open tracking
If you happen to not want people to know when you opened or read an email they sent, check out PixelBlock. It’s a straightforward plug-in that takes less than a minute to download, and blocks any tracking attempts. PixelBlock will display a “red eye” at the top of the message whenever it blocks a tracking attempt, and you can even see who’s attempting to track you.
Find, save, and copy pre-written messages
Canned Emails is a super simple site that contains a set of pre-written emails you can use. You can find templates for asking a question, granting a refund, requesting advice, rescheduling an appointment, unsubscribing politely (or not so politely), and even—seriously—breaking up with someone. This site is sure to offer a bit of utility, or at the very least, a laugh.
8. Better BCC’d
Make replying to intros super simple
The Better BCC’d plug-in works like a little piece of magic. All you have to do is “Reply All” to an intro email and make sure you include “BCC’d” in the body. This tool will automatically BCC the introducer, and add the person you’re being introduced to in the “To” field. This is a quick way to save a little bit of time, especially if you’re frequently managing email introductions.
Track your email, calendar, and to-do list together
Handle is a super interesting app that essentially combines your email, calendar, and to-do list all in one place. Since our inboxes tend to become more like to-do lists over time, this is potentially a game-changing tool. For every message you receive, you’ll have the option to schedule it as a to-do, add it to your calendar, or ping you a reminder to process it at a later date. If you’ve ever had difficulty prioritizing your inbox (haven’t we all?), or left emails unanswered for days, weeks, or even months, Handle might just be the solution you need.
10. Rename Email
Easily change the subject line of any email
Rename Email will drastically improve your ability to search for exactly the messages you need, when you need them. Download the plug-in, and then feel free to change the subject line of any email you receive so you can find it more easily later on. This simple tool will keep you organized and help you break up long conversation threads. Once you start using this, you’ll wonder how you ever used to find anything in your inbox.
Switch between Gmail accounts like a boss
There are so many different email apps out there, but Shift is one of the best. It was built for people who rely on multiple Gmail accounts and applications (such as Google Drive and Google Calendar). If you’re tired of toggling between your various accounts, this is the solution you’ve been waiting for. Now you can easily switch between multiple accounts and applications within the Google ecosystem.
12. Sortd for Gmail
Transform your email into organized lists
Sortd is an entirely new way of processing your inbox. If you’ve ever let an important email get lost at the bottom of a pile of other not-so-important ones (so basically, everyone), this may just solve all your issues. When you’re in the Sortd view, you can create and organize your email into different lists in whatever way works best for you.
Ah, how we love a useful email app—and we hope you found something on this list that makes it easier to manage your messages. If you’re looking for more apps to make the “inbox zero” dream more likely, check out our full collection on Product Hunt.
This article was originally published on Medium. It has been republished here with permission.
Photo of person on phone courtesy of Sam Edwards/Getty Images.