App Spotlight: Postbox

Brooks Clarke. Editor-in-Chief

Alright, I’ll admit that mail clients aren’t the most exciting thing in the world. But consider how often you check your digital inbox throughout the day. For casual users, Gmail’s browser client will suffice, but for those who desire a more comprehensive setup or intuitive interface, Postbox is an absolute must.
Released on November 1, 2011, Postbox 3 is $30 for Windows and OS X. It works on a “per person basis,” meaning you can install Postbox on as many machines as you want, regardless of the operating system – provided you purchased it on the official website and not the OS X App Store. There’s a free 30-day trial available for those hesitant to drop 30 bones on an email client, as well as a stripped down free version called Postbox Express. Thought it offers a decent taste of what the full program has to offer, Express is little more than a Thunderbird palette swap.
For $30, Postbox-proper offers a wide array of tools to help view, sort and send emails, as well as full integration with Gmail, Dropbox and Evernote (Note: Evernote integration is OS X exclusive). Like most desktop clients, Postbox features POP (Post Office Protocol) and IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) support, with a number of customizations, such as signatures, local storage and a global inbox for all your accounts. You have the option of assigning topics to messages like “Important” or “Personal” among others, as well as the ability to archive messages.
One of Postbox’s best features is its interface. Other desktop clients, like Microsoft’s Outlook, seem obsessed with presenting an overabundance of information, but Postbox makes such efficient use of its space, and with such simplistic elegance, that it feels more like an Apple product than OS X’s built-in mail client.
Unfortunately, the very nature of desktop email clients limits Postbox’s appeal to social or work-minded users. As good a program as it may be, those with a single email account will have no need for the functionality that Postbox provides. And though $30 may seem like a steep barrier of entry for something as seemingly insignificant as email app, Postbox is so effective in its execution that the alleviated frustration of balancing multiple accounts is more than worth the price.