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Manage Email With a Simple Swipe

Manage Email With a Simple Swipe

"If e-mail was the original online game-changer, it hasn't changed much since," says Gentry Underwood, co-founder and CEO of Mailbox, an app for iOS. "It was remarkable at the time, but it wasn't designed for a world where we're carrying e-mail around in our pockets," he says.

Mailbox, recently acquired by cloud-based file-hosting service Dropbox, enables users to quickly and easily manage their inboxes on the go. Using simple swipes, readers can archive a message, delete it, move it to a folder or--this is the cool part--schedule it to reappear an hour, a day or a week later.

Get the message: Gentry Underwood of Mailbox.
Get the message: Gentry Underwood of Mailbox.
Photography by Thayer Allyson Gowdy

A short swipe to the right archives an e-mail. A longer swipe deletes it. A short swipe to the left reassigns a message to appear when there is time to deal with it. Ideally, what are left over are the messages that matter most--or, even better, an empty inbox.

Granted, those already vigilant about clearing out their mail won't see anything new here, but those who are overwhelmed by a nightmare of unanswered messages each day should appreciate the app's simple, touch-based approach to prioritizing their inboxes.

While currently free of charge from the iTunes App Store, Mailbox works only with the iPhone and Gmail; the company plans to roll out versions to support other e-mail services and operating systems, such as Outlook and Android devices, in the near future. Then, everyone will be able appreciate Underwood's maxim: "Happiness is an empty inbox."

Jonathan Blum is a freelance writer and the principal of Blumsday LLC, a Web-based content company specializing in technology news.

Like this article? Get this issue right now on iPad, Nook or Kindle Fire.

This article was originally published in the June 2013 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Organized Chaos.

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