SaneBox Productivity Gold Promotion

Longtime MacSparky sponsor SaneBox has joined forces with several productivity tools to offer a nifty productivity promotion. They have collected several of their favorite productivity tools (most are web-based) and negotiated discounts for users. This is not a bundle. You do not have to buy them all. Instead, it is a collection of interesting tools they like. They have negotiated discounts on all of them, so if you are interested you can get them for a discount. 

Several of the tools and services were familiar to me, such as 1Password, Todoist, and TextExpander, but there were also several that I had never heard of such as Habit Nest and Focus@Will. These offers are worth the click to see if they have something that will scratch your particular itch.

SaneBox with Reminders (Sponsor)


This week MacSparky is sponsored by SaneBox, the email service that acts like your personal email assistant. There’s a lot that SaneBox can do for you, but this week I’d like to focus on SaneReminders. They’re awesome.

So what are SaneReminders? Let me answer that question by describing a problem. Often I will send an email to someone that requires a response. That creates an issue for me. How do I track whether or not I ever receive a response? I could create a separate OmniFocus task for every such email, but that’s way more fiddling than I want to do in OmniFocus. Wouldn’t it be great if the computer could keep track for me? That is exactly what SaneReminders does.

When I send an email that requires a response, I blind copy the email to SaneBox. The format is a period of time followed by For example, if I’m sending an email that I want to follow up on if I don’t receive a reply in one week, I would blind copy it to “”. That’s all I have to do. SaneBox then keeps track of whether or not I receive a reply to that specific email. If I don’t, in a week, SaneBox sends me a reminder.

I use this all the time.

Because of this feature, I seem to have wizard-like powers to the people I correspond with. I don’t let things fall through the cracks. I love this feature, and it’s just one of the many things you get if you add SaneBox to your email management routine.

To learn more, go to and make sure you use the link in this post so you’ll get a nice discount. Thank you, SaneBox, for sponsoring MacSparky.

Get Control of Your Email with SaneBox (Sponsor)

This week MacSparky is sponsored by SaneBox, the email service that can make you the boss of your email. How are you doing with your inbox these days? Are you the boss of it, or is it the boss of you? For a lot of folks, email is a constant pain, and it doesn’t need to be. With SaneBox, you add a powerful set of email tools that can work in just about any email client. SaneBox allows you to:

  • Wake up everyday to find that the SaneBox robots have automatically sorted your incoming email for you so you can address the important and ignore the irrelevant. 
  • Defer email for hours, days, or weeks so it is out of your life until a more appropriate time.
  • Set secret reminders so if someone doesn’t reply to an important email, SaneBox gives you a nudge to follow up.
  • Automatically save attachments to the cloud (like Dropbox).
  • Use their SaneForward service to automatically send appropriate emails to services such as Evernote, Expensify, and Kayak.
  • Move unwanted email to the SaneBlackHole and never see anything from that person again.

The list goes on. Why not straighten out your email today? I’ve been a paying subscriber for years and can’t imagine getting by without it. If you sign up with this link, you even get a discount off your subscription.

Sort Your Mail Automatically with SaneBox (sponsor)

This week MacSparky is sponsored by SaneBox, the email service that allows you to be the boss of your email inbox.

SaneBox is an email service with a lot of features. This week I’d like to focus on SaneBox’s ability to automatically sort your email for you. Every day we all get a lot of email. Some of it may come from family or coworkers and be super important. Other email may come from some online store that you bought a shirt from 10 years ago and be a lot less important. With all of your email going into your inbox, you’ve got to spend time every day sorting the wheat from the chaff.

SaneBox can do that for you. Specifically, SaneBox will look at your inbox and sort your less important email into other folders. For instance, SaneBox sorts all of my email from people that I buy things from into a specific folder. Likewise, SaneBox has a separate folder, called “Later” that holds email from senders I usually let sit for a few days. Once SaneBox is done sorting out my inbox for me, I only see the email that is most important to me. I can deal with those and then come back to the remaining sorted folders later when I have time.

The day after I signed up for SaneBox my morning inbox went from 150 emails to seven emails and I immediately knew I had a winner. I’ve been a paying customer for years and couldn’t get by without it.

If you have been struggling with email, you should check out SaneBox. It’s a great service that will save you a lot of time. Use this link to get a discount and let them know you heard about it here at MacSparky.

Deferred Email

I’ve talked and written before about deferring email. If you’ve never heard of it before, deferring email is the process of making your email disappear for a certain amount of time (usually days) or until a certain date in the future. Some applications do this by putting it in a hidden or obscure folder. SaneBox does it at the server level so it works in any application. Either way, on the designated day or after the set defer period, the email comes back to you.

I made fun of deferring email when I first heard of it. It seemed dishonest and gimmicky. However when I tried it out, I quickly became a believer. There’s a lot of email that can stand be putting off for a little bit of time but isn’t worth the extra work and baggage that come with adding it to your OmniFocus or other task manager database. In that case, deferring email really works.

When you’ve got a good email deferment system in place, you get used to seeing an empty inbox so when something shows up, you take it seriously. Simply leaving emails in your inbox (or for that matter any other email box box) results in you getting used to having a bunch of unanswered email and, in my case, malaise and despair. I’m much happier putting an email off for two days and getting it out of my sight than having to see it there every time I open my mail client. Maybe this is just psychology, but it works.

I wrote a little bit about deferred email in this week’s ad spot for SaneBox. Several people have written in asking me exactly how I set up my SaneBox defer folders. Here they are:

There is no rocket science involved here. Since going out on my own, Saturdays and Mondays are no longer as significant as they once were. I’m always working. As a result, I set up the defer folders not on specific days of the week but instead length of delay.

3 Hours

I use this one for something that comes in that I need to look at today but can’t look at right now. I use this more than you’d think.

1 Day

This one is my pressure valve. When I can’t get to it today but it is something I’ll need to deal with soon, it goes here.

2 Days

This one comes in handy when I’m waiting for something to happen. Quite often someone will ask me a question in an email and its not quite yet time for me to respond. I’m either waiting for another piece of information from someone else or haven’t had time to do whatever is needed to respond. Two days seems like the sweet spot to defer those emails. When it shows back up in a few days I usually have the answer or light a fire to get the answer.

5 Days

This is the one I use the least. In order for an email to fall into this box it needs to be both of low importance and low urgency. Things that I’m putting off five days usually get their own OmniFocus task but once in a while something falls into that area where it’s not worth an OmniFocus task and I still want to keep it in play. 

Like I said earlier, there are apps that can accommodate these deferred emails or you can use a service like SaneBox. If the volume of email is giving you trouble, I’d recommend giving deferred email a try. I use it on my legal, MacSparky, and personal accounts and, at this point, can’t imagine going back. Also, if you’d like to learn more about email, I know of a pretty good book.

Sanebox Advanced Filtering

If you’re a Sanebox subscriber (or thinking about becoming a Sanebox subscriber), you’ll want to check out their new Advanced Filtering options. Sanebox still doesn’t read the contents of your email but you can do a lot with a subject line. With advanced filtering, you can tell correspondents to include a phrase in the subject line that puts their email right to the head of the line. You can also filter based on subject lines. For example, if you have an Internet business and want to auto-file your emails from PayPal to a particular folder, you could set up a filter looking for the PayPal header in the subject line and Sanebox will take care of the rest. I continue to rely on Sanebox for my email management and I like it now more than ever.