Web Teks uses the Google Apps suite for our email and office automation: Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs and Sheets and Drive. I have used Gmail for my personal email since 2004, and I had used browser-based email like Yahoo and SquirrelMail for years before that. I love Gmail, and I enjoy the flexibility provided by the Google Apps.
Three weeks ago, I opened a new browser tab and searched for “best email client for windows.” I skimmed through several websites before I decided to try Inky. This is not a product review, so I won’t tell you that it was amazingly friendly to install and configure, that I fell in love within an hour, and that they cannot release their Android app soon enough. Instead, I want to tell you what I’ve learned about myself and my relationship with email over the last few weeks.
- I enjoy cute things. The Dock with its quick shortcuts uses cute icons to represent your Unified Inbox, Filtered Inbox, Personal, Social, Packages, and other collections. Why does this matter? Every time I open Inky, I smile. I feel good when I read my email, and that shows.
- I don’t need to keep everything. With Gmail, the philosophy is that you have so much storage space, with such a fast search engine, that you never delete email, just archive it. Inky supports Gmail’s archive function nicely, but I have given myself permission to delete emails again. Why do I need a meeting invitation, when it doesn’t have an agenda or other information? Why do I need to keep that $5 reward certificate from Best Buy… two years after it expired? I don’t. It’s silly. I’ve started deleting email again, and it feels pretty good.
- The cloud is really cool. You probably already know this. Google Apps? QED. Inky doesn’t live in the cloud. It is real software that you install on your computer or phone. However, Inky saves key information in the cloud: your preferences, the configuration settings of your email accounts, your signature. When you move from your work computer to your home computer, Inky looks exactly the same. When you move from your Windows laptop to your iPad, Inky acts just the same. It is amazing to work with client software that performs just as quickly and effectively as browser-based email.
- I am more productive. By moving my email client out of my browser, I no longer have obvious visual indicators of new messages. I don’t click over to my Gmail tab “just in case.” I am not distracted, thinking about emails I am expecting or hoping for, or emails I really need to send. Instead, I focus on my task for a longer time before I distract myself. When I bring up Inky, I take the time to read and act on ten or twelve emails before I minimize it, and them I am immersed in my task again.
- It’s important to try new things. Our brains need us to feed them with new information and new connections to the knowledge we already have. If I had tried two or three email clients but returned to Gmail, then still I would have exercised my brain and helped it learn from these new experiences. Trying a new thing doesn’t have to be life-changing. It doesn’t have to be our resolution to “finally get organized” or “get myself into shape” to benefit us. Sometimes, all we have to do is play with a cute email program that makes us smile.