Gini Dietrich

SaneBox is the Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

By: Gini Dietrich | February 23, 2016 | 

SaneBoxBy Gini Dietrich


I have found the most amazing tool and you are not only going to want to marry it, you’ll want to kiss me for introducing you to it.

First of all, email is the bane of my existence. It is impossible to keep up with, no matter how hard I try.

If I keep it at Inbox Zero—which, to me, means answering what can be answered, deleting what doesn’t need to be there, and moving everything else to a to-do list—I easily spend 12-15 hours a week.

On email alone.

That is just not acceptable, yet if I don’t spend that kind of time, it piles up and I miss deadlines.

Dawn Buford and I have gone round and round about what to do about it and we’ve tried everything every expert has recommended.

Nothing works.

I’m also convinced that the unsubscribe button creates baby rabbits: You unsubscribe to one thing and 20 more you didn’t subscribe to appear in it’s place.

And so it all piles up and then, one Friday afternoon, you dig into it and look up nine hours later.

What is SaneBox?

That’s why, when I found SaneBox a couple of weeks ago, I figured it was worth a try.

At this point, it certainly can’t hurt.

I mean, I somehow got subscribed to a list as “Dannette” so I can always tell when my email address has been purchased.

SaneBox claims to:

learn what email is important to you and filters out what isn’t — saving you hours.

It has one-click unsubscribe, which means you just move the email from your inbox to a folder called “black hole” and you never hear from the sender again.

It has response tracking, which keeps a folder of emails you’ve sent that haven’t received a reply. And then it alerts you after a few days to resend the email.

And it allows you to snooze non-important emails. You drag it over to a different folder and it will put it back in your inbox when it’s convenient for you.

The best part about it is it works with any email server, not just Gmail.

I figured it was worth a shot so I took their free trial.

How Does it Work?

After about a day of analyzing my entire inbox, it created five new folders in my inbox: Sane BlackHole, SaneLater, SaneNextWeek, SaneNoReply, and SaneTomorrow.

As of this writing, there are 118 emails in my SaneLater inbox, which will allow me to later go in and organize them. I will likely pull most of them over to the BlackHole folder and never hear from them again (and no more baby rabbits!).

But the best part is, even after a day of meetings yesterday without access to email, I have only 21 messages in my inbox that need tending to.

Imagine if I had 139 in there because all of those SaneLater emails were in my inbox. It’s not hard to imagine because that’s where it was a month ago…and it likely is the same for you.

That begins to become overwhelming and makes me want to cry.

But no more!

Sure, there are emails in the SaneLater folder that will need to come to my inbox, but not all 118 of them.

Not only do I know those aren’t super urgent, but I can “train” them later, like when I’m on the El or on a plane before the door closes.

The only things hitting my inbox are emails from clients, from our online students, from Spin Sucks subscribers, and from partners and vendors.

It is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

How Do the Digests Work?

The other thing I love about it is it sends you a digest and says, “We went ahead and put these emails in these folders, but if you disagree, you can move them.”

And, with the click of a button, they’re either sent to the BlackHole or moved elsewhere.

You also can undo anything that you mistakenly sent to the BlackHole. So don’t panic if you suddenly remembered why you had subscribed to something and now you can’t get it.

It’s the click of two buttons and it comes back.

It also sends you a weekly digest with your stats: How many emails it trained (2,919), how many hit your inbox (274), how many hours you saved (11.6), how many emails you sent (228), and the lowest number you had in your inbox at once (3).

How Much Does it Cost?

You can try it for free for two weeks and then it’s anywhere between $59 and $299 a year.

I bought the mid-range one (lunch) for $99 a year. That’s only $8.25 a month.

For those of you who bill your time for a living, it’s a no-brainer.

In my first week, it told me it saved me 11.6 hours. That’s time I can now spend working on things that make us money.

Even if I bill only half of that now available time, I make the company an extra $2,320 per week.

So you can see the return-on-investment is pretty significant.

I highly, highly recommend you check it out.

If you don’t love it as much as I do, no harm, no foul. It didn’t cost you anything and likely saved you a few hours and a few annoying emails.

Let me know what you think!

P.S. The free trial links I used are affiliate…we both get $5 off if you love it and buy it.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • Laura Petrolino

    All I have to say is YES. It’s life-changing. I feel like throwing a little parade in honor of Sanebox. There would be floats and confetti, and a marching band too.

    • I feel for your future husband. There will be a parade at the wedding. It will be strange.

      • Laura Petrolino

        Of course there will be a parade. I mean without one the band and flower-lined floats would just be totally odd. Not to mention the dancing zebra act. Plus what else would kick off the air show and fireworks? Geez, Gini!?!

  • Very interesting… I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for taking the time to do a write-up!

  • Thanks for the tip Gini – I can really use an app like this!

  • Loading up the trial right now…

  • Dawn Buford

    Speaking as the bridesmaid who used to try and…cough…’manage’ Gini’s inbox, I am also in love with this tool. It not only saves Gini time, but saves me time. Time I spent puzzling over what to delete and what not to delete from her inbox. It also saves space on our company email server because I am no longer hoarding all her deleted emails in case something was mistakenly deleted. And neither of us is playing host to 10,000 junk emails in our deleted items folder. Like I told her when she first showed me the tool, ‘It can’t hurt to try it.’, especially since it’s a free trial. Download it now. You will be so glad you did.

  • I’m intrigued!

  • I’m in. Was looking for something to replace Mailbox. Looks like this is it.

    • I like this a lot, a lot better than Mailbox. I hope you do, too!

  • Kelly Dietrich

    “The only things hitting my inbox are emails from clients, from our online students, from Spin Sucks subscribers, and from partners and vendors.”

    Damn, I didn’t make the cut…again.

  • Is it odd that I’m both excited and scared to try this? Ha!

    • Did you try it?!?

      • Kevin Juliano

        I did. I really like the principles of it. However, I kept having issues with my email client (Apple Mail) failing. But I’m going to start using some of the concepts (tomorrow, next week folders) to get to Inbox Zero every day.

        • Weird! I use Apple Mail and have had zero problems with it.

  • I think this is what Outlook’s Clutter is trying to do, albeit not as robust as SaneBox. It provides me with a daily report of the # of emails sorted and what they were. And I totally agree about email rabbits, Gini!

    • Right?! You unsubscribe to one and 10 more show up. It’s infuriating!

      And yes, I think it’s similar to Clutter. The difference is it works with any email server.

  • Ingrid

    Thanks so much for this wrote up Gin. And yes, it’s me …Griddy :)! I hadn’t heard of it before but will definitely have a look at the free trial for a start. And yes… I swear I was nodding in accordance when reading the “bunny” bit. It’s like they want you to unsubscribe so that they can send you even more crap. Oh, and I better make the cut even if Mr.D didn’t lol.

  • Wontsuj

    I had given trying to find a mail manager worthy of the name. If this is only worthy of a big sign and a few cheerleaders it will be better than anything I have tried. Going to download it right now.

  • Thank you for sharing Dannette… oh sorry, was that Gini? I have the same problem, I get like 27,000 emails a month, I can send you my monthly Google report to prove that! I filter a lot but still get several hundred a day in my inbox. I cannot rest until my inbox is at zero, so I also spend hours a day just cleaning up. It seems I use a similar system to Sane Box, but I do it manually, so it takes time. To have something that does it automatically sounds great. I will head over and give Sane Box a try.

  • I have to tell you this, right now Sane Box is analyzing 125,292 emails. I think it will take some time! I took a snip of the number to paste her, but I don’t think I can do that.