Best "smart inbox" feature on a mail app?

I get a metric buttload of email, and it’s hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. I’ve been on a journey lately to find the best email app that also has a decent iOS version and Watch app, and I’ve tried SO MANY.

Of all the ones I tried, Spike very nearly won me over with their UI, but the way they split their smart inbox up led me to not see an email I really needed to have seen, and I can’t have that.

All roads have kept leading me back to Spark, which admittedly has a pretty decent smart inbox, but it just feels… okay to me overall. I can’t believe there isn’t anything better out there.

I’ve tried Newton, Spike, Outlook, Airmail, and a bunch of others, but I’m really looking for the smartest algorithm to figure out what emails I need to see, with an easy way to toggle on a basic universal inbox view.

What’s been winning you over lately?

The best for me has always been SaneBox. Smart inboxes in apps are usually « meh » (Newton) to stupidly designed (Spark, Airmail). For a heavy load of email, you need the best tool, and for me it’s Sanebox (despite having had problems with lost emails in the past - a problem that has not reoccurred in a long while now).

I agree with @anon85228692, I doubt you will ever find an app to do what you need. From what I’ve read SaneBox is an excellent solution. I’m a long time Gmail & G Suite user and have customized its filters to process my incoming mail.

IMO, you need a server side solution.


Ah! So if I’m understanding correctly, my workflow would become:

[Fastmail <> Sanebox] → Any email client, and then my default inbox automatically becomes my Smart Inbox, with the “Other” filter being represented by the SaneLater folder (or whatever I set).

Excellent idea, thank you. I’ll look into SaneBox!

That’s exactly it. SaneBox has a bunch of additional features I don’t really need (reminders) since Spark takes care of this and I have mostly shifted all my email tasks and reminders to OmniFocus anyway, but their automatic filtering is killer and worth subscribing alone. The added bonus is, you can shift email clients around and that never goes away since it works directly on your IMAP server.

(Now I just wish SaneBox would implement a Send Later feature to further free us of the specific features of email clients… I’ve been bugging them with this, but I don’t think they’re interested. :frowning: )

As other suggested, SaneBox is a nice solution. When it comes only to Mac, nothing comes close to MailMate. If you can spare 15$/month for a mail app, Missive is a great and powerfull solution for Mac and iOS/iPadOS

I agree with @anon85228692 that Sandbox is great. Had it for a couple of years now after @MacSparky had as a sponsor.
The other point made about a server side solution is critical. That means it works across all devices. Run both business and personal. I think their mid tier level covers two emails.
There is a lot of functionality I do not use but for smart sorting it is great.
Also, love the Black Hole.

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