Let’s face it. Email is a sad way to die. Most of us have multiple email accounts, and we try our best to sync them up between devices– Mac, iPad, iPhone, and even Watch. Still, email remains an ongoing pain.
Is there a solution to the scourge of email that overtakes us all throughout the day, every day? Yes. Abstinence. That means no email. Well, no email for extended periods during the day. How does that jibe with work? It. Does. Not.
Just The Alerts
The way I handle personal email is not the way I handle work email. At home or during the day at work, I can ignore most incoming email messages. That means I can check personal email in the morning, maybe at lunch, then again later in the evening.
Work email is different and requires a measure of attention throughout the day. What I would like is some kind of notification system that tells me about such email so I can quickly determine whether to respond immediately or put it off until later. There are two easy and inexpensive ways to get just what you need.
Both apps are different and somewhat unique, but both serve to address a growing email problem. Howard is cross platform and does one basic thing. Email notifications for all your IMAP accounts.
See? There’s not much to Howard and that’s the point. All you need is a notification in the Mac’s Notification Center that email has arrived and who the message is from but nothing else. You choose to view or respond as needed. One. Trick. Pony.
Howard works with most email services so it’s a good enterprise app; Outlook, Hotmail, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, and just about any other IMAP email system you can find and use. Howard is basic at the most basic but useful especially for webmail email services. Not bad for donationware.
What if you want just a little more; additional features like a quick response? That’s what you get with Herald, a free utility which acts much like a mashup of notifications meets Mail-mini.
What you’ll see in a Herald pop up alert is the standard From, To, and Subject, plus a portion of the message. There’s also a little toolbar at the bottom of the notification. That gives you quick options to Delete, save for later, check as read, and respond as needed.
While Herald is free and simple to set up and use, it’s also feature packed with customization options.
Not bad for free, huh?
Herald lets you view the entire message if you choose, or just a portion, and the pop up notification window means you don’t have to leave the keyboard or jump over to the Mac Mail app because all you need for a quick response is right there. Appearance is customizable, and so are message groupings, and which email mailbox gets displayed.
Herald is not Mail, of course, but it’s also not Howard, which is more basic. Either way, though, you can help remove some of the clutter and time consumption from email on your Mac.