The zero inbox. A state of near orgasmic quality to those who deal with 1000's of emails per day but sadly only a dream unless a bank holiday has presented itself and you decide to utilise that extra time to smash through the backlog. The problem here is that valuable free time is being sacrificed to churn through ream after ream of digital letters.

Many email programs have tried to revolutionise the process of administering emails including Airmail, which I have used as my go to email application since investing in a new Mac laptop. There always seems to be one problem that gets in the way of achieving zero inbox and that is the key process. Google Mail has its star system to try and appease this however, one can just add emails to it without every progressing.

The process is what Mail Pilot and Mindsense really want to change. Instead of your inbox being a bombardment, they want to bring about a more task orientated approach that has started off a smart idea but has evolved through research.


Task Orientated Email

Everyone has a to-do list these days. It might be on your iPad or it might be on your Etch a Sketch; a list is never far away. So that's how Mail Pilot organises itself for you. It takes every email, and turns it into a todo on your grand list known as email. Each message then has either a 'complete' or a 'incomplete' status, so basically, the aim is to go through and complete every single one.

That's the base level of Mail Pilot right there and the clean, concise UI only helps with this simple thinking. Tasks on the left, task detail on the right. This UI alone might be a precursor to what Google are thinking when it comes to changing the UI of their own email service.

The basic statuses can be expanded to then include further categories or modifiers as I like to call them. Modify a post to be looked at later by adding it to the Set Aside pile or schedule an email to be looked at in an hour by modifying it with a reminder. These two modifiers alone speed up the process of whittling down those 1000 emails to a more manageable 20.


Space bar is your friend

Mail Pilot really excels with its keyboard shortcuts; working through you emails and marking them complete only involves a quick tap on the spacebar. The same goes for any of the modifiers or for moving emails to folders. It is standard now for email applications to have keyboard shortcuts, however Mail Pilot appears to go one better than the standard by making it feel so much more intuitive and naturally part of your workflow.

All the expected features are here in Mail Pilot that one would expect in a typical mail program. Search, folders, the ability to to draft etc but it's how these features are integrated into the application that makes it feel so streamlined and carefully curated. The overall design and simplicity reminds me of iA Writer, which revolutionised the art of writing for Mac.


Experiment with your workflow

Stop having your email tab open all day. Make sure you just open it for an hour before lunch and an hour after. If you think this is never going to happen then give Mail Pilot a shot as the experimentation is good; maybe you will find a new lease of life due to it.