I received the kind of email you hope to never receive for an app you’ve come to rely on daily. The email app Trove is getting sunsetted.

I’ve been meaning to write about email management in general and what I thought Trove got so right. Now seems like a good time.

Email overload has long been a problem many companies have tried to tackle (or replace). Inbox by Gmail, Spark, and Apple Mail are the immediate ones that come to mind that I’ve used and have tried to reinvent the inbox (though I’ve tried many more. Didn’t Dropbox have an email app?). 

The only thing I care about is, “Do I want to read it or archive it?”

Spark and Inbox (and also tabbed view in regular Gmail) tried to tackle the problem by sorting emails into categories. Personal, Newsletters, Promotions, etc. The presumed idea being you’ll look at personal first and the rest later (or never?).

But human nature being what it is, that was never the case for me. Instead, I found myself with 3-5 inboxes to check instead of just one. Multiply that by the 3-4 email accounts I manage and my inbox problem is exponentially more annoying.

For me, and I presume most people, I don’t care what category the email falls into. Some newsletters I read daily. Some I never open.

The only thing I care about is, “Do I want to read it or archive it?”

And Trove nailed that. One unified inbox. Collapsed messages were tagged for archiving. Expanded messages would stay as is. With one swipe of my thumb, everything collapsed would get archived. I could clear out all the junk of the day in about 30 seconds.

The best part was Trove would learn. If I expanded a suspected archive email so it wouldn’t get swept in the archive, Trove would remember for next time to keep it in the inbox (usually).

Under the hood was some AI technology, which the company seems to be pivoting on and going in a direction away from email.

So Spark will now become my go-to app. I just hope they take a page from Trove and rethink their ‘Smart’ Inbox for quicker triage.

How do you handle email overload? Would love to see your favorite apps below.

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