Quick Look: Postbox 2

If you need a smarter alternative to Apple’s (s aapl) Mail, Postbox 2.0 may be just the thing. It’s a Mozilla-based email client that prides itself on saving you time. It also has support for plug-ins, native archiving, to-do tags and tabs. All these features are aimed at creating a more organized inbox.

The just-released Postbox 2.0 introduces a handful of new features that include Quick Moves, a Focus Pane, Quick Replies and better Conversation Views.

The threaded Conversation View is pretty well done with quick reply buttons readily available to respond to any particular email within the chain. I also really like the Inspector Pane that gives you some shortcuts, including all the links contained within the email thread.

The Focus Pane is all about organization. Quickly navigate to emails that match a date or topic, or are unread. If you want to deal with an email later, drag it to the “Later” topic and come back to it or click on “Today” to see emails only from today. The idea is that if organize your mail better, you’ll save time and be free of distractions.

Speaking of distractions, you can post directly to Twitter, Facebook or FriendFeed from the menu bar also.


Conversation View is very well done, with quick navigation, and the Inspector Pane could be very useful for link-happy users. Organizing mail into topics is accomplished quickly by dragging and dropping. The Focus Pane drills down to what’s really important. Keyboard shortcuts are a time saver for those who like to keep it old school.


It’s $40, and the free Apple Mail works well enough for most. Organizing mail into topics requires commitment, and not all users care that much. There’s also no Exchange support. This is disappointing, considering Apple Mail has it built-in and business users can be notoriously organized when it comes to email.


Postbox 2.0 supports POP and IMAP protocols, but has no Exchange support. There’s a 30-day trial, and it’s $40 if you want to keep it after that. If Apple’s Mail isn’t quite delivering and you need more organization, Postbox is probably the solution for you.

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