The death of email is a common trope of technology reporting for time immemorial. With options like Google Chat, Slack, Dropbox, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, it seems like email could easily be replaced. But like the English driving on the left side of the road or people hating on portrait videos, old habits die hard. Email is here to stay.
But that doesn’t mean it has to be a daily struggle, with messages from strangers piling up on top of important job offers and emails from your mom. The Chrome plugin InboxVudu started surfacing those important emails earlier this year, and now they have an iOS app to help you keep up with email on the go.
By leveraging access to your Gmail or Google Apps account, InboxVudu finds emails that need your attention and provides a quick summary of what you need to do.
This comes in very handy with the iOS app. Instead of showing you a subject line that may be tricking you into opening an email you don’t really need to look at right away, InboxVudu shows you the information that needs your attention.
For example, if you boss sends the cryptic “let’s talk” subject line, you might be freaking out. But if she’s just asking about what she should watch next on Netflix, you may be panicking over nothing. InboxVudu would just show you her question instead of the subject line, saving you from a momentary heart attack. It even has Apple Watch compatibility so you get to the heart of the emails right on your wrist.
The Chrome extension is also helpful, revealing emails that need your attention with just a click in the toolbar. It has a “Follow Ups” section, where it gathers up emails you’ve sent that you may need to follow up on. If you send an email to a friend asking him where you want to meet for lunch and he doesn’t get back to you, you can be reminded that you need to follow up.
InboxVudu also summarizes emails that need your attention if they slip away from you during the course of the day. Did you forget your co-worker asked you to double-check something or that you were supposed to schedule a doctor’s appointment for your kid? InboxVudu finds all the emails you were supposed to respond to but didn’t and summarizes them in a daily email. The daily summary also includes emails you sent that need a follow up.
You can teach InboxVudu what you think is actually important as well. Do you get emails from marketers a lot? You can mute that address so it won’t show up in your digest. Did you respond to your boss in person? Mark that email as resolved.
Not a Chrome or iOS user? You can still sign up for the daily email digest, but only if you’re on Gmail or using Google Apps. The company is working on expanding to other email services, with Microsoft Outlook, AOL and Yahoo! listed as “Coming Soon.”