Some of the most useful services that have been made possible through the Internet are completely free. Take email, for example. Gmail offers such a powerful, ubiquitous, safe and easy to use system – we recommend to churches that they set up their own organisation’s email account with Google.
That’s not to say that it can’t be made better. Google themselves are experimenting with all kinds of ways to improve their email service. I wrote about the ones I find most useful in 8 Google Labs tricks to make you more productive with Gmail.
And then there are the free, third party apps that do clever things like show you rich contact details, remove the annoying ads or give your greater control over the flow of emails in your inbox. For details, see 3 free apps to conquer your Gmail inbox.
The best part for budget-watching churches is that all of this does not cost a bean. But every now and then a commercial email app comes along that is so useful, the benefits easily outweigh the small cost.
SaneBox has a part to play in increasing productivity and getting to the holy grail of inbox zero. But before we get to the app, we need to take the email bull by the horns.
The problem with email, especially when you are in a role with responsibility in a church, is that there is too much of it. But not every email is urgent – and not every email is important.
I tackle the problem in three steps.
This is where SaneBox comes in. Instead of you having to go through every single email and decide whether to bin it, act on it or save it, SaneBox automatically sorts your email for you. It puts all unimportant mail into one place for you to review when you have the time.
SaneBox keeps your important emails in your inbox while sending unimportant ones to a folder called ‘SaneLater’. It is easy to use – and works with any email client or service.
You can tell SaneBox to always place emails from certain people in your inbox rather than in the dumping ground. It has advanced features too if you need them, but the main application is sorting out your email so that you don’t get distracted by the ones that are not important.
And that one little service has changed my email workflow and helped me get to inbox zero. Well worth the small monthly cost.