Inbox Heroes

Inventive new tools aim to eliminate e-mail clutter

Illustration by Todd Detwiler for TIME

Once upon a time, back in the era of AOL's cheery "You've got mail!" alert, receiving e-mail was a pleasant, even welcome experience. That was then. Now our inboxes buckle under the weight of an ever expanding morass of messages--many of which are ads and notifications sent by relentless machines rather than fellow human beings. Last year the average business user dealt with 110 messages a day, according to the Radicati Group research firm. These days, the best thing about e-mail isn't getting it. It's getting rid of it.

For years, e-mail software didn't change much to reflect that ugly reality....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!