SaneBox Face Lift Continues

To all our beloved SaneBox users, please log in and check out our new settings page .

(and for those non-SaneBox lunatics out there… run and sign up for SaneBox right now… jeez)

I thought fielding this new page presented an opportunity to talk about what we hope to accomplish with our new face lift.  Probably all of this is common sense to most of you…

But, for me this was a revelation that came about from hiring Dmitri, our new VP of Growth, who has over seen this whole process with Pablo and his band of Argentine geniuses atGotVertigo.

We hope to …

1. Become more approachable – email filtering is simply not sexy and can sound somewhat daunting so we need to find a way to show the world how fun and easy it can be.

2. Explain with text and pictures – some people understand from reading and some from looking – we get that and are trying to do a better job of explaining our features and data in a more rounded way.

3. Separate advanced features from normal stuff.

4. Stop burying the lead – more important stuff is now bigger and closer to the top of the page.

5. Explain that this is all about saving time. it’s not about filtering or deferring or new tools for your email – it is about saving you time so you can do something else.

Still left to do:

1. movies, movies, movies – yup pictures that move.

2. Face lift for our emails to you.

3. More work on our help desk.

We love comments and criticism, so if you have a great change you are dying for us to make please send it to


Soon You Won’t Have to Visit Your SaneLater Folder to See Your Unimportant Emails

We here at SaneBox think you should spend as little time as possible on your email. You have better things to do with your time!

So we take the unimportant stuff out of your INBOX so it won’t distract you.

And we send you an email digest of the unimportant stuff so you can quickly search for nuggets of gold.

Now you can move those nuggets to your INBOX from the digest!!!

If you are like me and you want to stay in your INBOX whenever possible this new feature is a huge boon. With one click in your email digest (Arrow #2 in the picture), you flag and move any unimportant email and our email monkeys will move that email to your INBOX and flag it  to make it easy to find.

You can still “train” a particular kind of email (Arrow #1 in the picture) to your INBOX from the digest with a single click.  And when you do that **all** emails of that kind will be deemed INBOX-worthy.

Now you have to find something productive to do with all this time we are saving you. Remember your family?  your job? an old friend?


Announcing… User-Defined Sane Email Folders

Hi Guys,

We have always tried to make SaneBox as GTD-like as possible. GTD means do what is most important right now. Keep your focus and be productive. SaneBox does this by creating an INBOX with exactly what you need to deal with NOW. But, GTD also points out that there are projects that need to get done later that require little pieces of work as you go along.  Now SaneBox addresses this too.

One of the highest requested features on SaneBox is the ability for us to filter by topic instead of importance.  One user suggested the ability to create a folder with receipts that needed to be booked into an expense report at the end of the month. This suggested use case really resonated with me.

I use to keep SaneBox’s accounting books.  And there is a set of emails that need to get “booked” every month as an expense or income.  So having those emails corralled into one folder for me is a huge time saver.

Now SaneBox can’t guess which email receipts need to be booked in my accounting system, versus receipts that are simply needed for reference, so to make this work, we invented “User Defined Sane Folders”.

You click on the “add user defined folder” link in the page.  Name the folder whatever you want. And start throwing emails into it.

I already have a @SaneKashoo folder and it has lowered my stress level enormously. Instead of being bummed out everytime I see those receipt emails that I haven’t booked yet, I now know that they are waiting for me to deal with them when I have time.  All nicely organized in @SaneKashoo.

We have plans to allow users to re-use each other’s Sane folder definitions and we are thinking of rewarding those users with the **most** re-used folders.

But, in the meantime, make yourself one and make your life a little more organized.

Hope you enjoy this feature as much as I am!


SaneBox SaneReminders – Track Who Didn’t Reply to Your Email & Defer Your INBOX Email

We just fielded a new feature we call SaneReminders.

It solves two big problems at one shot.

  • scheduling email processing without a folder in a more granular way
  • keeping track of emails that haven’t received a reply yet

Like all SaneBox related things it is easy to use.

When sending an email…

add a special SaneBox address as a recipient in the TO: or CC: or BCC: field.

This special SaneBox address can look like:


Here is a full description of all the permutations: SaneReminders addresses

At the appointed time, if no reply has been detected for the email, we will download that email (just long enough to) send it back to you so it will appear at the top of your email queue.

In the meantime, we will keep a copy of your reminder emails in @SaneReminders so you can know what emails you are waiting for.

send a test email TO: and see for yourself 🙂


Status of SaneBox

In my on-going attempt to live my startup life out loud, here is the status of

SaneBox was started on 2/20/2010.

It automatically files unimportant emails into a @SaneLater folder so your Inbox is free of distractions.

It does this with global rules and a statistical analysis of your email history and your relationships with other social networks.  Training is as easy as moving an email from the wrong folder to the correct one. It has an @SaneBlackHole folder for training emails to trash and folders for deferring emails. It can also discern up to 5 levels of importance and file accordingly. It can report every week on how you are doing with your email.

Training an email to SaneBlackHole will train that contact to be filtered into your Trash folder. If the email is new (less than 7 days old), this email will stay in your SaneBlackHole folder for 7 days. Thus allowing you time to review to make sure you have not created an accidental training.
Important. If that email was received 7 days ago and you move it to SaneBlackHole, it will automatically be filtered to your Trash folder that day.


1 month to first private beta user.

6 months to first direct free bundled competition: Google Priority Inbox

8 months to public release on gmail and google apps.

Now: (11 Months later)

Since going public (users having to pay after the initial 30 day trial) we are converting at 11.33%.  So we get 11 paying customers for every 100 trails.  People tell me that this is good, but I still reach out to the other 89 users every time to see how we failed them. I will blog about why people quit SaneBox separately.

We have been adding features and improving accuracy and scaling and now have aworking beta to provide SaneBox for ALL IMAP servers:,, exchange, dovecot, you name it.  This involves taking user passwords so we have upped the overall security of everything including encrypting those passwords and all authorization credentials with a key that has to be typed in by hand.  If someone were to steal the code AND the database, they still would not have access to those passwords.  If you want in on the beta, email me: roseman dash beta at sanebox dot com.

The website was running a bounce rate of 62% so I hired Performable to put together some new landing pages and they are in the midst of A/B testing to bring those numbers under control.  I’ll blog about this effort separately.  What do you think of the website?  My team hates the font.

I am installing 2 new blades with 24 cores and 128GB of RAM each which will 5x our current capacity.

So far our traffic has been generated 100% virally. It’s time to start paying for key words.

That’s it for now.  I’m off with my wife for a kidless, not-on-call, 4 nights and 5 days, beach vacation tomorrow. It’s supposed to start snowing again here in Boston at 9AM. Our plane takes off at 8:45AM.  Wish us luck.


Email With SaneBox – A Better Priority Inbox for Everyone

For those that have been living under a rock…

SaneBox and Priority Inbox distinguish between important email and email that can wait.

First, make no mistake, SaneBox is better than Priority Inbox.

Because SaneBox…

  1. Automatically files the unimportant stuff out of your INBOX so it doesn’t constantly distract you.
  2. Requires no training to be effective.
  3. Is more accurate
  4. Has great customer service
  5. Has 4-5 levels of importance
  6. Can defer an email for future processing
  7. Can Blackhole an email
  8. Can auto-file old emails
  9. Can monitor your SPAM folder for important stuff
  10. Can report on your email trends
  11. Can link to your social networks for increased accuracy

But, the general concept is the same.

Oh yeah, Google’s Priority Inbox is free and SaneBox costs actual money (about the price of a latte a month).

Oh wait… there is one more difference… Google’s Priority Inbox ONLY works with Google’s Gmail

and SaneBox now works with ANY EMAIL SERVER!

SaneBox now works with Gmail, Yahoo!, Mobile Me, AOL, MS Exchange, or any other service you can think of. Ummm… except Hotmail and Earthlink (don’t ask).

What’s your wasted time and email frustration worth each month?

We at SaneBox say enough to perpetual presidents, monarchies, walled garden email providers.  Free your email. Free your spirit.  Think of this as the first wave of an email revolution.