Apple has a done a few things this week that have caused me to backup and digest the impact. OS X Mavericks is free. iLife for iOS and OS X is free. iWork for iOS and OS X is free. These bold moves show that Apple isn’t afraid to tackle Microsoft’s hegemony with Office, and make Google’s web apps look paltry and stale.
In the meantime, I came across three ways to enhance your email experience. Remember, email isn’t just the killer app for the internet. It’s the app that kills. Here are three ways to make email better.
The first starts with Interactive Notifications in OS X Mavericks. That means notifications in the Notification Center for incoming email and text messages don’t require you to stop what you’re doing, switch over to Mail or iMessage to respond. Reply is built-in to the notification.
Even better than the Interactive Notifications is Herald, a free Mail app plugin which makes it even easier to reply to incoming email, and with more tools, and more capability.
Imagine a pop up notification that looks like this.
Herald makes it easy to view From, To, Subject, a portion of the email message, and, if you look closely at the pop up, you’ll see tools at the bottom. Delete, Search, Reply, Mark as Read, etc. In other words, do your email as it arrives without bothering to switch to Mail first.
Herald is a plugin so it resides in Mail’s Preferences. You get plenty of options to control the look and feel and details about incoming messages.
Herald is easily configured to use only specific email mailboxes. The pop up window is scrollable so you can view the entire message. Set Herald to dismiss a notification without action after a specific time period. It’s like having a mini Mail app that does just what you need done, but without all the visual clutter.
The best part is that Herald works well with OS X Mavericks, and it’s priced right. Free.
Alright, both Notification Center and Herald give you an easier way to manage incoming email, but SendLater does something not even available in Mail. Scheduled messages. That’s right. You can schedule an email to be automatically sent out at some point in the future. An hour from now, tomorrow, or, while you should be at work but are not at work.
SendLater adds a Send Later button to Mail’s Toolbar (right next to Send). Click it and you get a pop down menu with scheduling options.
Once you schedule to send an email message, SendLater holds on to it in the outbox and then sends it at the scheduled time. SendLater has a nominal price tag but easily worth the extra coin if you need to schedule email to be sent on a specific date and time.