Why I (Now) Use Polymail for Work

Half a year ago, I wrote a post in which I recommended the Mailbox App made by the Dropbox team. Unfortunately, Mailbox was discontinued earlier this year. So I started yet another search for a mail client that had the same strengths as Mailbox: an option to snooze, a focus on “inbox zero”, and great shortcuts to support the first two strengths.

I looked at a whole lot of clients. Airmail, Postbox, Nylas N1, Inky, and Unibox were the ones that stood out. I ended up testing each one of those. While they all have great features and in most cases have at least one or two strengths that make them stand out, none of them had the three strengths – or, at least, weren’t on the same level – as Mailbox. So I continued my search.

… And found Polymail. This email client is still only in alpha version and already it is everything Mailbox ever was, and more.

What Mailbox Was

It has exactly the same strengths as Mailbox:

  • It’s super easy to snooze emails, a feature I use several times a day. I don’t always want to deal with emails straight away. That can be because I have other priorities at the time, or because I’m waiting for more information, or because I want to make sure to follow up later. snooze.png
  • inboxzero.pngThere is a focus on inbox zero. Almost every single day I get to inbox zero (I get at least 40 emails per day). Most of the emails I get, don’t require anything of me besides reading, and Polymail allows me to go through those at a very fast pace. And just like Mailbox, I get a success image when I get to an empty inbox.
  • Polymail has the same amazing shortcuts. When you want to go through your email fast, you don’t want to have to use your trackpad or your mouse. You also don’t want to have to put your fingers in a weird twist. For example, while Polymail allows you to archive emails through hitting “enter”, the native Mail app has this as “shortcut”: ‘cmd + ctrl + a’. I would like to avoid ending up like this: crooked.jpgFor those who are used to Gmail shortcuts, there is good news too, because Polymail allows you to choose between the default option and the Gmail ones.

And More

Polymail has more to offer than Mailbox. Here are some of those added features:

  • Unsubscribe. Yes, you read that correctly: there is an unsubscribe button in the menu. Marketing emails will come, and it’s often a pain finding the unsubscribe link: you have to skim through an email you didn’t want to read in the first place, and then look extra hard to find the small link. Polymail does it for you: it finds the link and by clicking the button, takes you to the right page.
  • Unsend. Sending an email and only after hitting send (or ‘cmd + enter’) realising that you sent it to the wrong person or that you made a huge spelling mistake, it happens to everyone. Polymail allows you to revert the sending process for a few seconds after sending the email.
  • Markdown start. One of my biggest peeves with Mailbox was that there was very minimal styling available. Polymail is fully in development, and they seem to listen to suggestions. Markdown is not yet fully supported, but they’ve allowed * to become an unordered list. That has to be my no. 1 styling use in emails. markdown.gif

The last item on that list shows nicely what the developers are doing: they are listening to their users. People who have early access are invited to join a Slack team and a Trello board to discuss the progress and to report bugs/suggest features. While there are still a few things I’d like to see changed, those are minimal in comparison to what Polymail already can do.

trellopolymail.png

Missing?

At the moment, there are only two things that Mailbox did better, and they are quite small:

  • I love that Mailbox had a different image every day for getting to inbox zero. The one of Polymail doesn’t change. As stupid as that may seem, but wanting to see the new picture of the day was a tiny extra motivation to get my inbox empty every single day.
  • Polymail looks good, but the design of Mailbox was cleaner. Mailbox not only had the best functionality (before Polymail that is), but it also had the best design.

Conclusion

Polymail is amazing. If you’re looking for a client that lets you fly through your emails and get to inbox zero on a daily basis with an easy option to snooze, Polymail is your best bet.