As much as you might dislike it, email is a persistent feature of our lives. Unfortunately, macOS’s Mail app frequently makes the problem worse, leaving us to fend for ourselves with third-party solutions. Here’s four great macOS email clients that should help make managing your email slightly less awful.
Airmail – $10
If you’ve read more than one list of great macOS email client, you’ve probably heard about Airmail. It’s a great-looking, easy-to-use email application with a broad range of useful features. It covers all the basics, of course, and it’s powerful enough to use at the office. But the additional features are what makes the app so well-loved.
You can integrate with every major cloud service to easily handle large attachments and “snooze” messages to get them out of your inbox until later. You can create a list of VIP contacts, setting different notifications for their emails and making past threads easy to access. The “undo send” feature has saved my behind a number of times, and the Markdown-based text editor comes in handy too. Finally, Airmail’s companion iOS app mimics the features of the desktop client, making integration between your devices seamless. And the list of features goes on.
I will confess, Airmail is my personal email client. It doesn’t lack any features I need, and the native support for Gmail shortcuts is huge, since few apps are able to offer than integration effectively. It is not the most flexible of the email applications, and it’s not even the best looking, but it has a range of features that should cover needs of most users.
Polymail – Free/$9 per month
Polymail is probably the best-looking of macOS email clients I’ve seen. As a result, it’s a joy to use. The free version is optimized for people with a single email address that they use all the time, and it seems to work best for personal email.
There’s a lot of handy features here too. Message templates are a huge help if you do a lot of pitching or tech support, and individualized read receipts let you track (and get notified when) someone opens your emails. The included read and send later features make it easier to manage a big email load, and the pro version contains even more useful upgrades.
Nylas N1 – Free/$7 per month
Nylas N1 is unique among the many email clients I’ve used. It started life as a free, open-source project to create an extensible, easily-tweakable macOS email client. The project was so successful that the folks behind Nylas created two different versions of the application: a free, compile-it-yourself “developer” edition, and a consumer-level “pro” edition.
There is so much to love about Nylas, especially if you’re handy with code. You create a custom extension for the app in a few hours, and the existing features are already powerful. But to get the real meat of the app, you’d need to pay for the pro edition. It contains some awesome features like tracking for link clicks and email opens, built-in mail merge for easily contacting a mailing list, read/send later functionality, and a contact sidebar that features previous messages, social profiles, job titles and more.
The one thing really holding the application back is the lack of a rich text editor. Nylas made a choice to go with a minimalist text editor, which is great a lot of the time, but eliminates the ability to apply different fonts or colors. If this is important to you, you’ll need to seek out another application. The lack of an iOS app is a little disappointing too, but it’s still a great desktop macOS email client.
Postbox – $32
If you’re an email power-user, Postbox is what you need. This is the Swiss army knife of macOS email clients, and it can handle just about anything you can throw at it. It will take you a few minutes to learn everything it’s capable of, but once you do, the sky is the limit. And it’s perfect for a corporate or enterprise environment where being on top of your email is crucial to your success in your job.
One extremely useful feature in Postbox 5 is placeholder-based templates. You can create templates for commonly-sent emails that contain placeholders, allowing you to plug-in recipient-specific content later.. This means you don’t have to copy and paste your pitch email and remember (hopefully) to replace NAME with the name of the recipient. Postbox also integrates with a ton of third-party tools like Slack and Evernote to connect your email with the rest of your work life, and it can handle literally any IMAP or POP account.
Postbox is a little pricey for an email app, but if you spend hours a day handling email, it’s worth every penny.
Have your own favorite email app that we missed? Let us know in the comments!
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