If the stock Mail app on Mac doesn’t work for you, there are plenty of alternatives.
Emailing is probably the activity we do the most on our computers. Even if you don’t work on a computer during the day, you probably sit down in front of it to check your inbox at the end of the day. If the Mail app that comes with your Mac doesn’t provide the features you need, you’re in luck. There are dozens of great email apps in the Mac App Store. I’ve tested many of them and these are my favorites. Each one has a little something special that makes it unique.
I was a little late to the game with Polymail and only started using it recently on Mac (though I downloaded it on iOS when it first launched). It turns out, I love it on the Mac. It has a fantastic interface with cute little buttons everywhere so you don’t have to think about what to do next. It actually looks like it belongs on a mobile device, except that you click the buttons instead of tapping them.
There is a fourth section that appears whenever you select an email, which displays all of the past correspondences you’ve had with that particular contact or group of contacts. It’s great for quickly tracking down something you’ve talked about in the past.
You can set up new mail with a pre-made template, send calendar invites, get notifications when someone has read your email, and schedule an email to be sent at a later time.
You can also write or respond to emails with rich text formatting. So, if you want to change the font, add bold lettering, bullet point a section, or just slap an emoji in there, it’s all available right from the tool bar at the top of your new email. The only thing it’s missing is Touch Bar support, which would really make this app shine.
The app can be used for free, but you’ll need to sign up for a subscription if you want all of the awesome features that make Polymail stand out, like read notifications, send later, and messaging templates. You can add these features for as low as $9 per month. If you are a heavy email user and these features entice you, give the free trial a run to see if it’s worth your money.
If you want your computer email experience to look and feel more like a mobile experience, with big, easy-to-find action buttons, Polymail is the one for you.
- Free with a monthly subscription – Download now
Spark has this “Smart Inbox” feature that separates out what is Personal, Notifications, Newsletters, Pinned, and Seen. That is, any email that is from someone in your contacts or otherwise looks like a personal email will be filtered to the top of the inbox list. Below that, in a separate section, emails that look like alerts from companies you deal with, like your gas company or Amazon, that include some kind of alert or notification. Below that, you’ll see a section called “Newsletters” which is exactly that. Below that are emails you’ve flagged or tagged as important in some way. Lastly, emails you’ve seen, but haven’t moved to another folder.
Spark also allows you to snooze an email and come back to take care of it at a later time. This is invaluable when you regularly get emails that you need to respond to, but don’t have time for until the end of the day. I use it all of the time.
It also has gesture-based actions for getting to inbox zero. You can swipe to the right or left to delete, archive, pin, or, mark an email as unread.
And it has Touch Bar support, which I love.
Spark is best for people that like to have their inbox organized before they go through and move emails to new folders, address them, or delete them entirely. If that sounds appealing to you, try Spark.
- Free – Download now
Airmail treats your emails like a to-do list. You can triage your inbox by scheduling when you are going to take care of an email. If you can’t get to it right now, snooze it for later. If it’s an email that requires an action, send it to your to-do folder. If it’s something important that you’ll want quick access to, mark it as a memo. And, when you’ve finished dealing with your email, send it to the “Done” folder to get that sweet satisfaction of having completed something on your task list.
If you get more done by treating everything like a to-do list, get Spark and your inbox will be empty in no time.
- $9.99 – Download now
I was a little bit turned off by the descriptions I’d read about CloudMagic. It’s geared toward heavy email users. It has a lot of features, but a very simple look. The makers of CloudMagic recently released Newton Mail, which is very similar to CloudMagic.
After using it for a while, I’ve really come to love the minimalist aesthetic of Newton. Your inbox appears as one scrolling list. Everything else is hidden. Your folders are behind a menu that pops out when you need it. When you view the contents of an email, there is very little surrounding it, other than a few action buttons at the top.
It turns out, that’s a great way to read and address emails. You are completely focused on the task at hand and aren’t as tempted to just toss an email into a folder to look at at a later time.
It’s kind of the opposite of the inbox-zero theory. Newton facilitates a desire to take care of emails as they come in.
If you’re looking at your inbox list, you can identify and delete, move, archive, or snooze emails individually, or as a group. I love that you can mass delete emails you don’t need to read at all.
The snooze feature lets you pick a day to get back to your email, so you don’t have to take care of it right away if you don’t want to.
You can also unsend an email. Have you ever hit the Send button, only to realize seconds later that you didn’t mean to reply all? With Newton, you can take back that email you just sent before it gets into the hands of someone it shouldn’t.
Newton is available as a subscription-based email client for about $4 per month, payable yearly for $50.
Newton is for the power email user. It has dozens of details that go deeper than I’ll ever need, but I love how it keeps me focused so I can take care of my inbox. If email is your life, check out Newton’s 14-day free trial and find out if it’s right for you.
- Free with subscription – Download now
We’re fans of Mail Pilot around here. It has a comfortable design aesthetic and makes email actions easy. It focuses on email as tasks and takes the GTD (getting things done) approach to help you get through your emails.
Currently, Mail Pilot is not available for sale. From what I gather (though I haven’t heard back from the developers yet), it looks like they are preparing for an upcoming launch of the third big update.
You can sign up at their website to be notified when Mail Pilot 3 is available. When it does become available, it will probably be priced at about $20 (though it might be discounted at launch).
What Mac mail client do you use to get through all of your emails? Name it in the comments and let me know why it works so well for you.