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SaneBox: A Sanity-saving Email Filter That Works!

2012 April 3
tags: Effective Email, Effectiveness, Email Filters, Inbox, Productivity, SaneBox, Time Management, Tuesday Tips
by Andrew   

effective emailAre you tired of having your email inbox full of email – some important, some worth keeping but not urgent, and some not worth having at all? Are you fed up with the limited filtering, sorting, and filing features native to most email clients? I was, and then Lifehack made a sweet deal with SaneBox. I’ve been using the trial of SaneBox in two email accounts for a little less than a week, and I already love it. Love it. Don’t wanna have email without it.

I had planned to use SaneBox for a month and then write a review, but I love it so much, I’m posting my review this week.

SaneBox does a lot, so much that it can seem daunting if you have to configure it. But, you don’t. And that’s the beauty of it. You can tweak until your little heart’s content if you like, but you don’t have to. And it works remarkably well “out of the box.”

What is it?

SaneBox resides entirely online and talks to your email server. All you need to tell it is your login credentials (which they helpfully protect vigorously). It then begins to read your email headers – and only the headers – to make determinations about how important your email ought to seem.


What does it do?

After making determinations about the importance and type of emails in your inbox, SaneBox then either leaves the mail in your inbox or it moves it to one of several folders:

  • @SaneBlackHole – emails you drag (or move) here are never heard from again…and neither are their senders
  • @SaneBulk – this is where SaneBox automatically puts emails it considers unimportant and for reference
  • @SaneLater – SaneBox puts most of your unimportant, nonbulk mail here. This is where it tends to put the mail you want to read, but not immediately.
  • @SaneNews – newsletters and such
  • @SaneTomorrow and @SaneNextWeek (and custom folders) – emails placed here leave your inbox, and are automatically put back tomorrow or on Monday (make sense?)…or at a custom interval you specify from within the SaneBox web interface.

The folders above and the sheer accuracy of SaneBox without any training is amazing (it doesn’t require it, but you can train it). It begins working immediately after you activate it online, and by the time you get back to your inbox, it has already created its folders and begun moving email to where it thinks it should be. The sheer lack of clutter in your inbox should make it easier to process those other folders, even if you aren’t utterly thrilled with where SaneBox put something. Don’t like it at all? Just deactivate the service and everything gets put back where you originally had it. But I don’t think I’m going to deactivate it…not by a long shot. It contributes incredibly well toward my goal of a one page inbox.


What else does it do?

There are some additional folders you can turn on for archiving mail, managing multiple levels of importance, and some very nice reminder features to make sure emails get followed up, but I’ll let you explore those on your own if you’re interested.

You can see the Lifehack article here, and obtain the free trial from a link within.

Editor’s Note (4/15/2013):  I’ve had a couple of hitches – minor ones – with SaneBox over the year or so that I’ve been using it.  Those minor issues were separated by months of flawless service, and in each case, the SaneBox support team responded to my help ticket in less than a day, often multiple times in less than a day.  Their service is outstanding.


Take care, and enjoy life,


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