I am constantly on the lookout for new apps that help me be more productive by saving time and automating repetitive tasks.
In this post, I present MailButler, an incredibly useful plugin for Apple Mail.
Feingeist Software, the developer behind MailButler, calls the app “Your personal assistant for Apple Mail”. It is a very well-designed plugin for Apple Mail on macOS (or OS X) that adds the following features the native mail app is missing:
- Snooze: By snoozing an email you will temporarily make it disappear out of your Inbox.
- Follow-up: Get a follow-up reminder when there is no response to a particular email.
- Tracking: Let you know if the recipient has opened your email.
- Scheduling: Schedule your emails to be sent at a specific date and time in the future
- Essential Features: Cloud Upload, Undo Send, Attachment Reminder, Direct Inbox and much more.
My favorite MailButler feature
The one feature of MailButler I value most is “Tracking”! I am in sales and knowing if a prospect has opened my email is valuable information. However, there is a catch. MailButler, like other software with similar tracking capabilities, relies on a tiny transparent image (a so-called tracking pixel), embedded in every email you send. When the recipient opens the email and downloads the tracking pixel, MailButler tracks the “open” action. If the recipient’s email client does not download remote images or the user doesn’t do it manually, the “open” action cannot be tracked.t
Interestingly enough, “download remote images” is the default in many email clients, including Apple Mail on iOS and macOS. I have that setting disabled on all my devices, because it is also used by spammers to verify if they got a real address.
But I have made the experience that most people I correspond with have this setting either enabled or choose to download the tracking pixel because they know I am not a spammer 🙂
Other features I use
Some of the other features of MailButler I use include Cloud Upload, Attachment Reminder, and Snooze.
How often have you sent an email saying something like “please find attached…” but forgot to include the attachment? It has happened to me a few times but fortunately, MailButler caught my mistake every time, reminding me that I had forgotten to attach anything to the email.
For larger attachments, I let MailButler upload the attached files to Dropbox and automatically embed a link, thus reducing the size of the email.
One caveat here: I have noticed 2 or 3 times when using this feature, my sent email would only include the first line of the body but the rest was missing. I am not sure if that was caused by a bug in MailButler, or, more likely, be an issue in the Beta version of macOS I am using. I know that Apple has made a lot of under-the-hood changes in Apple Mail in macOS 10.12 Sierra, and they may have continued making changes in 10.12.1 Beta.
I tried to reproduce the issue with 10.12.1 Beta 2 and the latest build of MailButler (6476) but couldn’t. So I assume the issue has been fixed.
I am a huge fan of the “Zero Inbox” concept and usually end my day with exactly that: zero emails in my inbox. However, quite frankly, I do not do this by snoozing emails with MailButler. Instead, I use OmniFocus to organize my projects, tasks, and emails. Some emails I cannot process immediately but I do not want to create a reminder either. For those cases, I use MailButler to snooze them.
Features I do not use
MailButler has a lot more valuable features that I do not use (yet), including Follow-up and Scheduling. Similar to Snooze, I use OmniFocus to handle any follow-up activities, and I have not had a need yet to schedule an email for a later date.
MailButler is free but limited to what Feingeist calls “Essential Features” and 30 “Professional Actions“. To unlock unlimited Professional Actions or MailButler’s Business Features, you have to pay a subscription fee. At EUR 6.50 per month (if paid yearly), the Pro subscription fee is very reasonable.
MailButler is among my most-used apps, and I can highly recommend it to anyone who uses a Mac for work. You can download MailButler directly from mailbutler.io.
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