Almost every single time we feature a tool to help sort your emails and manage your replies better, we take the time out to remind you of the importance of getting your act together and reaching inbox zero. We take it all back – you can continue to procrastinate for the rest of your life and still have zero messages in your inbox, thanks to Mailstrom. It’s a simple yet pure genius web service with the aim to help you achieve the much coveted inbox zero. Mailstrom isn’t a magic button that you push to make all your useless emails disappear; the deleting and archiving process is still manual, but the service organizes your emails in such a way that you can tell at a single glance which ones you should keep, and which ones are better discarded. After that, deleting and archiving can be performed en masse and within a few minutes or hours (depending on the amount of emails you have), your inbox should be clean. Mailstrom works with Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, and almost all other email services. It also lets you unsubscribe to newsletters.
To some, this might still sound something like manual labor or having to make an effort to clean your inbox, but using Mailstrom will change your mind. The service seems to be getting a lot of traffic and users, so you might end up on a waiting list. To begin, you must authorize the service to access your email account. You also get the option to connect more than one account.
Mailstrom will first analyze the contents of your inbox. The analysis might take some time (hence the wait), and the service will email you when it’s done. Once the analysis is complete, you can begin the tidying process.
Visit Mailstrom and you will see all emails in your inbox sorted very differently from what you’re used to. Mailstrom has organized the emails by sender, subject, lists (anything that you’re subscribed to), time, social (from social networks), shopping (emails regarding online purchases), and size. You get multiple sorting options for the messages and depending on how you judge important emails, you can use one or more of them to sort though all of them. We used a combination of Sender, Lists, Social, and Shopping options.
Assuming you sorted them by sender, click any of the senders that are listed and you will see all emails from them that are currently in your inbox. An email can be deleted, archived or left in your inbox. Just select the emails and archive or delete them, after deselecting the ones you want to keep. A little number badge against each sender shows you how many emails you have from them. Besides deleting and archiving, emails can also be moved to different folders/labels.
A progress bar allows you to see how much of the clutter you’ve cleaned up. The Active tasks section is for the emails you’ve received that day that might require your immediate attention.
A very important sorting option that you shouldn’t ignore is Lists. It lists every newsletter and mailing list that you’re subscribed to, and allows you to unsubscribe to them with ease. This is one of the tasks that you are likely to leave for ‘when you have time’. Mailstrom should help you get it done much faster.
The question is, why does this work? What is so unique about these filters that it’s easier for a user to judge an important email from a not so important one? Your inbox is full of emails but you can hardly name everyone who has ever emailed you. Some of the emails you received might have been ignored, some might have been read but never archived, and others might have been kept because you thought they’ll soon be needed (though they never were). Mailstrom lists every one of those senders, every source that sends you newsletters and automated messages, and emails from social networks so you don’t have to go digging through your inbox to find them – that’s the magic to it. As we said earlier, it is simple yet pure genius. Give it a try and you’ll likely find a considerably less bulky inbox at the end of an hour.