Do you want a fast way to identify important emails and quickly sort into easy to use folders all the other stuff so you can free up your time to focus on what matters?
If the answer is yes (like it is with me), SaneBox might be the tool that you’ve been looking for.
It’s insanely simple.
Sound crazy? It’s not – that’s the strong point.
SaneBox setup takes minutes, doesn’t create a confusing array of folders and labels, and let’s you reach that promised “inbox zero” in less time than ever.
Ease Of Use: 9/10
Look, I’ve reached inbox zero on my own before. It wasn’t easy…
I ended up with tons of folders and rules setup in my Gmail settings in my attempt at email management.
When I was contacted by SaneBox, I was ready to give it a try to see if it could improve on my system. I wasn’t sure but figured someone had to have found a better way to deal with email sorting.
Now, let’s get one thing clear up front. I LIKE email. I subscribe to newsletters I enjoy, I look forward to hearing from certain brands, and find it useful…but it can be overwhelming nonetheless.
Within minutes of setting up SaneBox I had an “aha moment” as my inbox was cleaned up and I only had a few folders that I could check when I felt like it.
Sounds good, right?
What Is SaneBox?
It’s an incredibly simple to use AI for your inbox. It’s your inbox hero.
You recall above where I said that getting setup was easy? Well, I wasn’t joking, it’s deceptively simple.
Head to SaneBox.com, sign in with your email account, and get going. They have a trial available if you want to dip your toes in the water before jumping in and aren’t sure if you’re going to get a ton of value right away.
Once you’re signed up they have a simple walkthrough of steps to follow and then SaneBox goes through your inbox and let it do its thing. That can take a few minutes or longer depending on your account.
You get to choose some of the folders you want set up, but for me I wanted it simple right from the start.
I went with “@SaneLater”, “@SaneNews”, and “@SaneBlackHole”.
Now this is where the magic happens.
SaneLater is a folder with non urgent messages that you can go through – I recommend setting a time each day so that you spend less and less time in your email…and with a lot of this stuff out of your inbox you will be able to do just that!
SaneNews is more of the newsletters and updates – all in one place.
SaneBlackHole is where you can send messages from senders you don’t want to hear from again. You could use this with senders that you have tried to unsubscribe from but just won’t let you go…it’s rarer these days but it does happen. Otherwise I suggest you just unsubscribe from emails you don’t want.
These 3 areas are setup as folders in your email account and you simply click to view the contents like any other folder.
The Power Of SaneBox
The power of SaneBox comes from its algorithm. I have tried setting up folders for my email service (Gmail) to sort everything out, but I’ve never come even close to the accuracy of SaneBox.
It. Just. Works.
And you can train it in the event that an email goes somewhere you’d rather it not.
For example, maybe you really want that newsletter in your inbox every morning (I’m looking at you Morning Brew!). If it goes to SaneNews, just change the label (remove it) and SaneBox learns. You can also just drag emails into the correct folder. Good stuff!
Who Should Use Sanebox?
If you only get a handful of emails, this might not be for you.
That said…I don’t know anyone that doesn’t get a LOT of emails every day.
So, with that in mind, I think it’s worth at least checking out if you ever feel stressed or overwhelmed with email – which isn’t going anywhere and is a necessity for work and personal communication. Business owner? Consultant? Freelancer? Just about anyone that has an email address these days? Check!
I think that the true value lies with anyone that gets 100+ emails per day and wants a simple solution.
It takes minutes to set up and starts saving you time right away, so that’s the big win in my book.
What platforms does Sanebox support?
SaneBox works with any IMAP account (including Gmail, Outlook, iCloud, Yahoo! Mail, AOL Mail, and Exchange), on any device or client.
This means that it works on your desktop with Gmail, on the go with Android or iOS, for Outlook, Yahoo, really just about any email client. I love having it running and don’t have to do a thing while checking email on my Google Pixel.
What Was My “Aha” Moment?
Pretty quickly after getting my inbox shaped up by SaneBox, I realized the “big win” that was going to happen for me.
By taking all of the remaining non-urgent emails out of my inbox, I would be spending less time in my inbox…which means less distractions, less getting sucked into email rabbit holes, or ending up reading another article when I was supposed to be writing an article or doing something important.
Now I would have my emails in a couple of folders which I could easily go check out when I wasn’t supposed to be focused on something else.
To put it in a productivity analogy – if you want to create a good habit, set up your environment so that it’s the default option (among other things). If you take all the distracting emails out of your inbox, you won’t be distracted.
Do Not Disturb – Inbox Magic
I didn’t use the “Do Not Disturb” feature at first, but thankfully discovered it while looking for a solution to keep me even more productive with my inbox.
What I wanted was a way to basically “not see” any emails in my inbox between certain times…and that’s where the Do Not Disturb (DND) feature came in.
With the DND settings you can have all incoming emails skip your inbox and go to a DND folder – when the time is up, they auto-magically appear back in your inbox.
This is great for periods of focus (morning for me) when you need to head to your email but don’t want to see even the “important” emails until a certain time.
For now, I’ve got DND activated from 7pm to 10:30am.
The Additional Features (That I Haven’t Tested)
I could tell by the powerful simplicity at work that I hadn’t really “pushed” SaneBox very far.
But I was, and still am, very happy with it. That said, I feel like I should let you know about the other great features in this amazing inbox cleaner.
1. SaneCC : If I was working in a more traditional role this might be more important, but for me I tend to use more 1 to 1 emails. Could be super helpful in an office or large team environment.
2. SaneDIY : Make up your own training folders! Love this idea…
3. Snooze: Put emails here to “snooze” them for a period of time and then pop back into the folder they came from. Great idea, but I prefer to triage quickly and either deal with it or elevate it out of my inbox into ClickUp.
Based on these 3 features alone I know that there is lots more to find out about SaneBox, but I love the simplicity and will add to it slowly over time.
For those of you that like to get a summary, you’ll get the SaneDigest that lets you know how many emails you should review in your folders – optional but helpful.
AI For Your Email
That’s their tagline and I like it. It’s one of the few programs that I’ve used where I really feel like there’s something powerful at work here and not just a couple of rules band-aided together 🙂
The ability to deal effectively with incoming messages and keep my inbox clear of unread messages is great. It’s like my own personal spam filter genie that actually knows what I want to read.
See How SaneBox works
What Do Others Say About SaneBox?
I had a look around since I hadn’t talked to anyone else who was currently using SaneBox and came across some pretty glowing recommendations. Check this out:
That’s the mark of a great tool…and Sanebox hits that mark for me. – Mike Vardy, Productivityist
“…if you are a really heavy email user and you do find the amount of email you get to be distracting, I would recommend SaneBox” – Salvador Rodriguez, LA Times
Alternatives To SaneBox
If you recall, I mentioned that I had set up lots of folders and whatnot to try and deal with all of the email content I was getting on a daily basis. Heck, I even reached inbox zero on my own.
But it wasn’t simple and took some upkeep on my part.
With that said, I’ll leave that here as an alternative – if you’re serious about eliminating email then you could really unsubscribe from a ton of emails and limit yourself to one or two checks per day. It’s tough, but for some people might be what’s needed.
Another alternative that I’ve used in the past was Unroll.me. This service lets you “roll up” emails and move them out of your inbox and send you a daily digest (adjustable) email with what you missed. You can add email senders to this list from inside your client.
This worked well for some time, but I found myself wanting to see some of the emails that I had rolled up and didn’t want to have to hunt them down or take them out of Unroll.me and deal with all of them.
If you’re getting a smaller amount of email, Unroll.me might be a decent alternative.
I’ll reiterate what my big “aha moment” was – SaneBox was going to save me time. If it can save me even a few minutes per day, that adds up big time.
If all this service did was save you 10 minutes per day…that would be about 61 HOURS A YEAR. So, yeah, about a business week and a half.
If you value your time and want to stop killing yourself over that cluttered inbox, I highly suggest checking SaneBox out.
They’ve got the free trial available here and it’s available for a low subscription billing payment – you can pay monthly or yearly.
Did I mention it’s simple?