I have email archives going back nearly twenty years. They were exported out of various clients over time, most notoriously Microsoft Outlook (not Express). In early 2009 I switched to Thunderbird and was certain I’d found the best client for handling the vast amount of correspondence I receive daily.
A big reason I stuck with Outlook, then Thunderbird, was Cloudmark (a user-based spam catcher), which, at the time, only worked on the two clients mentioned.
As my needs changed, I began to rely heavily on IMAP and its advanced features. Unfortunately, neither Outlook nor Thunderbird could adequately keep up with my demands. In short, both programs became unstable regularly, and, last fall, I resorted to using my own web mail. Of course, that carried its own set of problems.
Since I avoid the cloud, Gmail for business was out of the question.
Then the guys over at dotCOM host (awesome host, by the way), recommended I try Postbox 2. This stand-alone email client offers the best of just about everything. Originally created for the Mac, I was thrilled to try it for the PC.
I’m both a Mac and PC user, but the bulk of my work is done on the PC due to proprietary software.
Could I just use Mac Mail and my network to save and pick-up files for PC modifications? Sure, but why create extra steps for myself?
Enter: Postbox 2.
It has a simplified interface (thank goodness, because I don’t want my email client looking like a web site), and is as clean and robust as Mozilla, Eudora and Gmail combined. More, since I can run a licensed version on both Mac and PC, I get the best of both worlds, including the ability to work off multiple archives simultaneously.
Some of the features that made me fall in love with Postbox 2 include:
- Wicked fast search. I don’t know how they do it, but even searching through archives of thousands of messages returns results in a snap.
- Categorization. No more having to file everything in “to-do” folders as I work. Categorization simplifies the process of seeing everything I need at once.
- Advanced Searching. I can search for all sorts of attachments (documents, images, etc.) based on file names.
- The Inspector. This pane tells me information about the sender, including his/her picture (if assigned) and credentials. It also summarizes the links and attachments in the message. It’s a handy feature when I just need to revisit a specific web site, but don’t want to re-read the entire email.
- Quick Reply. I often receive messages that require research. Quick Reply makes it easy to send someone a note of acknowledgement. I also use it to reply to comments via the Disqus system.
- Quick Move. I hate the task of dragging email messages across folders. Now I can hit a key and use a menu to move/archive email.
- To-Dos in the Inbox. I love that I can create a To-Do (task) and it appears just like an email in the inbox. Out of sight, out of mind? No more, because I can also “sticky” them to the top of the list.
- Pending Flag. I use this feature to mark an email that requires a response before I can move forward. When a response comes in (a reply to the original message) the flag disappears automatically. I also rely on this feature to send reminder emails.
- Message Editing. When subjects don’t make sense, I can modify them (append notes), as well as annotate the message itself.
- Topic Assignments. One of the most productive features of Postbox 2 is the ability to organize messages based on topics. I can assign topics to any message quickly and sort, filter and archive accordingly. Used in conjunction with To-Do marking, I’m getting more work done in less time because I’m more organized with my correspondence.
- Twitter & Facebook. Postbox 2 is not a replacement for social apps, but the ability to post a quick update when inspiration hits (like after reading a cool message) is a plus.
- Quick Web Search. No more moving to a browser window to search a phrase or topic. From within a message I can select text and opt to search Google or one of many other sites, including Amazon.
While other email clients offer some similar features, Postbox 2 does it better, faster. Users of Mac Mail will find it’s an excellent alternative, and PC users will find the interface and speed delightful. Best of all? The price… No, Postbox 2 isn’t free. But at less than $30 (at the time of this writing) who can complain? The time you’ll save using it’s organizational and reminder tools means this email client will pay for itself in no time. For me? It took only a day…
And if the core features simply aren’t enough for you, Postbox 2 Add-Ons include Lightning (Mozilla), providers for Google Calendar and Microsoft Exchange Calendar, spam filtering, even OpenPGP encryption. Heck, you can even schedule emails to send at a certain time… like when your boss thinks you’re at your desk. Umm, well, okay, maybe not.
Do you use Postbox 2? Plan to try it out (free trial)? I’d love to hear what you think…