In my recent quest to improve my studio and streamline workflow I was looking for a management system that would send out automatic and scheduled emails. Well the system I finally decided on dosent do this yet (more on this in future post) so I had to turn to my email client. I am on a Mac (of course) and was disheartened to discover that Mail for Mac on its own had no way to schedule an email! Yes you could do it in a round about way using Automator to create a reminder on iCal that would send ‘A’ email. Problem is that it is done outside of Mail and is an arduous way to go about it. Not to mention it leaves little apps on your computer that I could never find, as well as cluttering up your calendar.
First Discovery: Thunderbird
While doing some searching I found Thuderbird, which is made by the people of Firefox. Its free and they have a plugin called “Send Later”. Its a nifty plugin that when you hit send on any email you compose a drop down appears allowing you to schedule the email to be sent at a later date, either delaying it up to 2 hours or a specific date and time in the future. You can also make it a recurring email (like sending yourself a reminder to buy that anniversary gift every year).
I use this now for two purposes. One to schedule emails to clients as session reminders. The other if I am answering emails late at night I set them up for the next day at 9am, that way clients dont think that they can just call me anytime of the day.
Another great plugin is Wise stamp, this plug in allows you to create some pretty cool email signatures. Free version only allows one signature but for $3 a month you can have several and more templates to choose from.
Ok thats great, problem is that for one Mozilla just announced that they will no longer be putting their efforts into Thunderbird. Also I just didnt like the look and feel of it, seemed amateurish, and had some bugs (crashed a few times)
Postbox my Savior
Next in my searches I found Postbox-inc.com. (non affiliate link) First off it is based on thunderbird so it accepts some of their plugins (main concern was Send Later) but thats where the similarity stops for me. Out of the box (or more like download) it is a much cleaner interface and resembles Mail quite a bit. When you first run it it actually detects other mail clients you have and asks from which to you wish to import settings (thunderbird never did this) and shortly after its done and you are ready to go!
It has other cool features that Mail and Thunderbird do not have. Like integration with social media services Twitter, Facebook, Linked In and gravatar. It will go out and find your contacts avatars to display with emails (just so you can see who you are chatting with. It dosent write these into your mac address book but keeps it within the program so when it reads your address book it matches. I hear that the OSX will soon do that with Facebook. Another great social feature is when you turn on the inspector pane and then click an email, the inspector pane shows all the info on the sender. A photo, address and info (if they are in your address book I assume) and links to their social profiles! Pretty Cool! If you really need to you can also post to your facebook or twitter from Postbox as well.
It also integrates with your drop box account. Need to send a big file? well instead of going to your dropbox and copying the link you can drag the file to the email, above the attachement bucket, and it converts it to the share link. At this time it only works for files, they are working on folders, but still its a nice feature.
Looking for an attachment to send? Just open the side bar in the email you are composing. You can search from right here then attach it to your email. You can also view your address book from here to quickly select contacts.
Are you a Things for Mac user (I am, love it) or OmniFocus user? Well you can highlight some text in an email and with a shortcut key or from the menu, automatically create a new To-Do with a link back to the email message. Evernote user? Thats there to. You can easily convert your email message to an Evernote note
Another thing I love is when you need to find an attachment but cant remember who sent it to you? well with these 4 little buttons you can find anything quickly, well I should say 3 cause the irst one is your normal mail list view The check mark shows you all the emails you flagged, the paper clip shows you all the attachements in your inbox, while the last one shows you all the images that are in your inbox. Pretty nifty (yes I use the word nifty!)
Mail on Steroids
Yes this app does everything Mac Mail does plus so much more, and with a couple plugins there is not much it cant do. I’m still exploring it during my trial period. Oh didn’t tell you yet but no its not free like Thunderbird. BUT its only $10, thats right I know you would expect to pay so much more for something like this. No unfortunately I’m not an affiliate so I earn no money if you buy it. I am going to apply for it but I am so excited of this mail client I just wanted to share it with other that haven’t heard of it yet. Maybe Ill create a video later to go through all the cool feature but you can download a 30day trial to give it a spin and see how you like it. Yes they do have a windoze version but I cant say how it works.
Check it out now at postbox-inc.com