Getting Email Done – further thoughts on the GTD email process

In a previous post I discussed the problems I felt existed with email clients and their ability (or lack thereof) to account for the Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology. Since then, I’ve tried a few alternatives and thought it worth picking up from where I left off.


As you can see from my previous post, I was very much looking forward to getting my hands on Mail Pilot. And I must admit it was a breath of fresh air – an email client that treated emails as actionable items, fitted the GTD process and supported ‘Inbox Zero’. As a very early adopter, I had to suffer the various limitations and teething problems but I could see through these and knew that the application would come good in the end.

At that time Mail Pilot was only available on Macs. And in early 2013 a new, mobile, kid came to town in the shape of Mailbox. Mailbox captured the hearts and imaginations of a great many people. Such was the demand to try the IOS app that the waiting list grew and grew. Naturally I had to try it and, again, it presented an amazing user experience, making great use of IOS gestures.

So now I had two (mostly) incompatible mail clients. Something had to give and, I’m afraid, it was Mail Pilot that went leaving me still with no system supporting desktop and mobile.

I stuck with Mailbox (I really liked the usability) and was delighted when they (now owned by Dropbox – another company and service I would hate to be without) announced Mailbox beta for Mac. Naturally I grabbed a copy as soon as I could and basked in the glory of having a consistent email experience that supported GTD and Inbox Zero.

However, all was not as rosey as it seemed. The early beta version of Mailbox for OSX didn’t play well and, for me at least, crashed too often to rely on. And with new IOS versions of Mail Pilot and the promise of a V2 of the Mail Pilot OS X app in the pipeline, I’ve switched back to Mail Pilot.  Although the mobile experience isn’t as good (in my mind) as Mailbox’s, both mobile and desktop apps work reliably and consistently and I can get on with getting things done.

Have you tried Mail Pilot or Mailbox? Have any insights about how best to integrate email into a more general GTD system? Please feel free to leave a comment!