How to blast through your daily email with InboxVudu

InboxVudu from Parakweet parses the messages in your inbox to surface the important ones. Here's what happened after I tried it.

email stock image digital background

Have you ever noticed a direct relationship between the amount of email you get and your level of hatred for the service? I have, and that’s why I’m always trying to find different ways to tweak email and streamline it as much as possible through filters, labels/folders, and so on.

I’ve been trying out a service called InboxVudu that helps pare down your email to only the essential stuff. There are other service that do this such as Gmail Inbox, but I find Google’s solution messy and overwhelming.

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The Gmail permissions required by InboxVudu.

Right now, InboxVudu only works with Gmail, but the company is looking at Yahoo Mail, Outlook.com, and AOL Mail for the future.

I’m not yet convinced that I’ll make InboxVudu a part of my daily routine, but I think some readers will find it useful.

The only drawback for the security-minded is you have to be comfortable with yet another third party's having access to your email; InboxVudu needs to look at your messages to figure out what to prioritize for you. However, the company told me that it deletes all of your emails once they have been analyzed for prioritization. Employees also don't have access to a user's email, the company said.

 

Getting started

InboxVudu is most useful with its Chrome extension that allows for real-time updates of important email. You can also rely on the service’s daily email summary, but dealing with email once a day is less than ideal for most of us. For now, the extension is Chrome only, but the company says it is working on extensions for other browsers including Firefox, Opera, and Safari. Microsoft's Edge may also get an extension once that capability rolls out in Windows 10.

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InboxVudu for Chrome immediately after installation.

First, download the Chrome extension and install it on your PC. You’ll be prompted to connect your Gmail or Google Apps account with InboxVudu. After you go through the OAuth process, InboxVudu will have access to your inbox and can start working its magic.

Once that’s done, you’ll have to wait for about 10-15 minutes for InboxVudu to summarize and process your email for you.

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A sampling of InboxVudu for Chrome’s summaries.

When it’s ready you’ll start to see the InboxVudu icon in your browser pop-up with an unread email count. Click the icon to reveal a drop-down containing emails the service thinks you should deal with, as well as any follow-ups. 

Each email has a snippet from the message, including a sentence or two in boldface. Those bold bits are the parts InboxVudu thinks you should pay attention to. From the drop-down you can automatically mark mail as resolved or remove it from InboxVudu. There’s also a reply link at the bottom of each summary that kicks you back to Gmail, where you can deal with the mail directly.

That’s about all there is to InboxVudu. So far it has brought a lot of worthy messages to my attention that I probably wouldn’t have dealt with before. 

Beyond keeping me up-to-date on messages I’d probably ignore, InboxVudu also highlighted mail from important contacts. I’m not quite sure whether I’m ready to hand over my mail full-time to the service, but InboxVudu is well worth checking out and could save you time on your daily email chores.

Update: This article was updated on Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at 5:40 AM Pacific to include statements from InboxVudu.

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