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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Break Room

Using This Free App Is Like Having a Personal Assistant Run Your Inbox

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If you’re like me, you deal with your inbox on an as-needed basis. That is, you delete newsletters instead of taking the time to unsubscribe altogether.

Or, you’re guilty of not always getting to those threads that require longer responses, opting instead to respond to people who require less thought. Maybe you’ve even lost a couple of important messages over the years.

Who can blame you (or me)? Staying on top of your email is an unending chore, and there’s no great way to deal with it in the long haul without, say, paying for a personal assistant to do the dirty work for you.

Until now that is.

Astro is an email application that makes your inbox so much easier to manage. And before you stress that you won’t be able to use it, know that it’s available on Mac, iOS, Android, Slack, and Amazon Alexa. Oh! It also offers a whole bundle of features and integrates well between multiple platforms.

For example, it deploys a dual inbox system that filters everything into either Priority or Other, learning over time how best to categorize incoming mail. It also allows for unsubscribing, snoozing messages, and delayed sending, among other cool tricks. As long as your email address is from Office 365 or Gmail, you’re good to go.

Want to hear about some of my favorite features? Let me answer that for you—you do, because they’re probably going to be your favorite features, too.


This chatbot centralizes many of Astro’s functions, including acquainting you to the interface upon set-up. It provides quick explanations of basic features, personal reminders, and learns how you treat emails in your inbox over time.

Inbox Zap

Astrobot also comes with some fun tricks like Inbox Zap. You can zap subscriptions, old emails, or contacts, allowing you to unsubscribe from emails, archive messages, or identify important people you talk to.

VIP Contacts

When you identify important people to Astrobot, it makes sure their messages not only land in your Priority Inbox, but also stand out. That way, you’ll never miss anything from your boss, and you’ll always have a visible reminder to respond to urgent replies. It also notices when you interact frequently with someone, and automatically asks if you’d like to add them to your VIP list. As an added bonus, you can also silence all notifications except for VIP communication.


You can customize four different swiping functions (short right, long right, short left, and long left) to quickly handle emails with functions such as archive, mark read, delete, star/unstar, and so on. You can even ‘Snooze’ messages, so you can take time to think through longer responses without any risk of forgetting to send them entirely.

Email Tracking

When you send an email, you can opt to know if your message has been opened. Likewise, you can also set a time by which you want a reply—and Astro will send you a notification if you haven’t received one by then so you remember to follow up.

Undo Send

If you pressed “Send” by accident, you can always click “Undo” at the bottom of the application and revise your message.

Universal Search

When your inbox and Slack are both connected, you can pull results from both clients with one search. This comes especially in handy when you remember receiving a message but can’t exactly remember where.

Above all, I’m most impressed with Astro’s response time. I have Gmail’s desktop and iPhone notifications enabled for incoming email messages, and Astro notifies me first without fail, sometime even minutes in advance.

Long story short, if a robot’s willing to take a first-pass at my emails to make my life easier—free of charge—I’m on board.