How many emails are in your inbox right now? 10? 50? 5,000? Whether it’s a little or a lot, you’d probably be happy if it was even less.
Yes, tech’s come a long way—but, email is still something you have to face every single day. However, with the right tools, you can get your messages under control. And you know what that means? More time to get through your actual to-do list. Doesn’t that sound just lovely?
Check out these six (mostly) free ways to wrangle your emails and stop letting your inbox dictate your life.
1. Get it Together With Inbox
The name can be a little confusing, but this is a free email app made by Google based on what the company’s learned from millions of Gmail users. The main features of Inbox are automatically organizing similar emails into “bundles,” compiling easy-to-review “highlights,” creating reminders you can put at the top of your inbox, and creating a snooze option.
Inbox fans rave about how the app keeps messages automatically organized as well as how it seems to intuitively know what information you need and when (for example, showing you information from your airline on the day of a trip). If you’ve got an open mind and an overflowing email account, Inbox might be the answer for you.
2. Stay Focused With SaneBox
Are you going crazy because of all the emails you have? Good news: SaneBox could save you. It’s a service that works with your email app to prioritize and summarize messages by analyzing their headers, filtering unimportant ones to a special “SaneLater” folder, and sending you a summary of them each day.
In other words, SaneBox helps you focus on only the most critical messages—but still keeps the other ones for you to go through later.
Cost: Free 14-day trial with subscription plans starting at $7/month
3. Perfect Your Timing With Boomerang
If you’ve got a hectic or unpredictable schedule, Boomerang (currently for Gmail only) can be a real lifesaver. You can schedule emails to be sent at any time, set up recurring emails, and have emails re-appear in your inbox whenever you’d like. I know, it sounds like straight-up wizardry.
And, if your colleagues and contacts struggle with their email, you can use Boomerang to get a reminder about messages you haven’t gotten replies to or a receipt when your messages have been read.
Cost: Free 30-day trial and free limited basic plan, monthly subscription plans starting at $4.99/month
4. Steer Clear of Spam With MailDrop
Is spam the bane of your email existence? Try MailDrop. It’s a unique solution to the all too common problem of junk mail. Instead of trying to filter the messages coming in to your account, it gives you a temporary email address and lets you check it from the website.
That means you can give that address out without having to worry about your regular account flooding with spam. Bonus: It even filters out junk from your disposable account.
5. Cut Out Clutter With Unroll.Me
You just can’t resist subscribing to all the latest and greatest email newsletters, but you just don’t have enough time to read them all. And, anyhow, you’re probably not interested in most of them anymore—especially if you just signed up to get a discount.
Set yourself up with Unroll.Me to almost magically get your newsletters under control. It both clears out unwanted subscriptions with one click and combines the ones you keep into a daily digest for quick and easy reading. And, you can even get it delivered whenever you’d like.
6. Set Yourself Free With AwayFind
If you’re like me, you love that you can leave your desk and depend on your phone to alert you of any office emergencies. But, if you really are like me, you hate the constant beeping and buzzing created by every email that you get.
AwayFind prevents that dreaded “better check just in case” syndrome by letting you decide which emails are worth a notification. It then lets you choose between being informed via SMS, phone call, desktop alert, or the AwayFind app. It’s fast to set up and very customizable so you can quickly get away from it all without worrying about missing out.
Cost: Free 30-day trial with monthly subscription plans starting at $5/month
With these handy tools, you can get on top of your email without being chained to your computer or phone. So, check them out today and become the master of your messages!
Photo of man on computer courtesy of Shutterstock.
TopicsHack Your Career by Kelli Smith , Tools & Skills , Tech , Email , Syndication , Productivity , Communication
Kelli runs customer support and creates content for Skillcrush, a digital skills training and education platform with friendly instructors, an active student community, and laser focus on helping you achieve your career goals with technology. She has an MBA and successfully ran an international company and her own freelancing business before pursuing her passion for tech by taking advanced web development classes. Kelli loves listening to tech podcasts at 2x speed, looking for cute Corgi photos online and teaching and performing country line dancing—as a true Texan living in Finland would do. Say hi on Twitter.More from this Author