Email is a scourge upon mankind, an obvious attempt by the gods above to destroy us because, ‘Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad,’ whereby mad means make us go crazy. Yes, email is that bad.
The problems with email in general and Apple’s Mac Mail app in particular are many and varied. Everyone uses email and nobody actually likes it, thanks to 80-percent of it being spam, thanks to the carbon copy option and thanks to human beings who just don’t get it. Addiction kills. Through the years I’ve tried half a dozen Mac email apps, finally settling on the Mac’s built-in Mail app, but continually rethinking email itself. Here’s what I found.
Off The Grid
Maybe it’s part and parcel of our human genetic makeup to keep trying, but to be brutally honest about it, email has become such a pain and solutions to improve the situation so rare (I haven’t found one yet) that going completely off the email grid might be the best solution.
The latest attempt to break free from Mail to improve my email quandary is a Mac, iPhone, and iPad email app called Newton. It’s quite good, simpler to use than Mail, easier to set up on multiple devices than an email app I’ve ever used, and focuses more on churning through email than managing all the bells and whistles you find in Apple’s Mail.
If every cloud has a silver lining, then every sunny day has a rain cloud. Newton is not free and I’m OK with that because, save for a couple of huge and glaring flaws, the app has just the right blend of email functionality and it works everywhere you want to be; Mac, iPhone, iPad, even Android (come on, no one truly wants to be on Windows, right?).
Newton has a Snooze feature for incoming messages. I like that. It’s like a to-do later option. There’s also Read Receipts which means you can find out when your email messages to someone else were opened. The Sender Profile function might be your think but it smacks of being somewhat of a stalker’s feature.
Also prominent on my happy list is the Send Later and Undo Send function. That’s right. Messages can be setup to be sent at a later time. You don’t want everyone to know you’re up late at night answering email, right? And the Undo Send is handy because it holds onto a message for awhile so when you realize you actually hit Send To All there’s one more chance to save your face.
See? Nice features.
The killers? The price and the lack of a spam or junk mail filter. As to the latter, I use SpamSieve on the Mac, but there’s no such for Mail on iPhone or iPad, and nothing in Newton. The interface is simple, but spam is a plague that must be defeated. As to the price, this is new territory. Newton is free to try and you will like how it works and the feature set which is far more comfortable than Mail. But the price tag is subscription.
$50 a year (minus a penny). Every year. Forever. See? Going off the email grid has some merit, right?