Email overload is like the new common cold. Solutions have popped up everywhere, offering help to alleviate symptoms. While none have totally cured us of this modern illness, some have really made strides in making life better in the meantime. Courteous.ly is one of those solutions. It's an app that acts kind of like an assistant who offers insight to your clients, friends and business folks about when you're busy and when you're not.
It works like this: First, you consent to have Courteous.ly take a peek inside your inbox. (Sorry folks but right now, it's only available for Gmail users and domains that use the Google API.) By looking at your inbox, Courteous.ly determines your present level of email overload and then reports in plain language whether or not it's a good time for you to receive email.
After you sign up, you're given a unique URL to use in your email signature or in autoreply messages that people who email you can click on to see your current email level. This information gives people emailing you some level of insight as to when you'll be able to respond to them. Email on overload? They'll know and not expect an immediate answer. Email level fine right now? Then you'd better get cracking on that response!
It doesn't get any simpler than this.
The company's consent form says that it does not actually read or store your messages, or sell your information to anyone. This is a standard you should always ask for in any app that attaches to your email, in my opinion.
For those of you who aren't on Gmail or a domain using Google's API, but who are still looking for that perfect email solution, check out last week's Cool Apps post on AwayFind.