In search of Inbox Zero

How Airmail 3 helps to declutter and clear emails.

Airmail 4

Lightning Fast Mail Client


Inbox Zero may seem like a mystical utopia, especially if you have thousands of unread emails barring your way there. But if its borders remain elusive, its lore is sound: to channel emails from the inbox into more relevant places for further action. Here’s how Airmail 3 can help.

Sort email with services

Airmail’s strength lies in how well it plays with other apps; you can send an email to Things 3, for example, and turn a message into a task. The new task will include an email link and clicking it will open the message in Airmail. This lets you archive the original email, knowing you’ve sorted it somewhere relevant.

Besides Things 3, Airmail also works with popular apps like Calendar, Reminders, OmniFocus and Fantastical. A full list of compatible apps is listed in Airmail 3 > Preferences > Services. Enable apps you’ve installed by selecting their checkbox.

Airmail lets you send emails to apps like Things 3, where they can then be turned into tasks.

Once you’ve enabled an app, you can share an email with it in various ways. The quickest is to select a message and press Z. This brings up a menu where you can choose an app to send the email to.

Another way is to right-click on a message, choose “Send to” and pick an app. You can also click on the Options menu at the top of the message’s window and do the same.

If you always send emails to a certain app, you can customise an Action button for that app (the Actions tab is found on top of the message pane). Go to Airmail 3 > Preferences > Actions, and click the pull-down menu on a Menu Button to select the app.

Archive with agility

To quickly archive an email, select the message and press Delete. By default, Delete only archives a message in Airmail. Pressing Command-Delete will send a message to the Bin, where it can then be deleted forever.

If you have Gmail Shortcuts enabled under Airmail 3 > Preferences > Actions, you can also press E to archive a message.

Send and archive

Airmail’s Send and Archive feature can archive a message after you’ve replied to it, helping you to further clear your inbox.

To activate Send and Archive, go to Airmail 3 > Preferences > Composing and select the Use Send and Archive checkbox. Now when you type a reply, you’ll see Send and Archive as an option.

Snooze for later

Sometimes you get emails you can only act on later. To temporarily remove them from the inbox, use the app’s Snooze feature.

Select a message, press D and from the menu pick when you want the email to reappear in the inbox. You can also right-click on a message and choose Snooze from the menu.

Don’t feel like dealing with an email right now? Snooze it and Airmail will save it for later.

To customise timings for Snooze, go to Airmail 3 > Preferences > Snoozes. To find emails that are snoozing, click on the Snooze folder in the leftmost pane.

Use rules to filter emails

You can sort messages to reach Inbox Zero, but you can also reduce the number of emails that reach your inbox in the first place. Here’s where Airmail’s Rules feature comes into play.

Find Rules in Window > Rules, or press Control-Command-R. This is where you can create rules to filter emails, like one that automatically archives newsletters so they skip your inbox.

To create a rule like that, click the Add (+) button on the left pane and choose Add Rule. Create a name, then customise its ruleset. To filter for newsletters, for example, set that if any incoming email has content that contains the word “newsletter”, then it should be archived.

You can use filters to remove inessential emails or flag important ones.

Select the Enable checkbox to activate this rule, then save it. Because the rule only archives and doesn’t delete the newsletters, you can always find them in the To Read or All Mail folders. Goodbye newsletters, hello Inbox Zero.

    Airmail 4

    Lightning Fast Mail Client