Outbox: Sorting Through the Junk

An application dedicated to sorting and ridding the world of junk mail--once and for all.

There is nothing I love more than getting something in the mail. Well, that’s not entirely true, but I sure do like to a whole, great-big bunch. There’s something special about this kind of distant, yet entirely personal, communication. However, these days personal mail tends to become drowned in the brash sea of the demonizing junk mail. Junk mail is wasteful of time, money, and natural resources. Not to mention that most of it ends up in the trash, which then sits in a landfill to fester and rot and pollute.

Luckily, a group in Austin has “sorted” out this mess with the highly efficient application Outbox. Founded in Austin by Will Davis and Evan Baehr, Outbox is dedicated to the arduous processes of sorting through the mail that is unequivocally junk and those special bits of postage that actually matter. How this works is simple: they obtain your mail three times a week, sift through the junk, recycle the unwanted junk appropriately (which is my favorite part), and snap picture of what is left. Users then decided what is important enough to keep and send to them. Now, this app, which works on the iPhone, iPad, and all computers, isn't necessarily meant for the casual receiver of mail, but rather for a small business, traveler, or someone who isn't able to access their mailbox every day.

With the United States Post Office finding itself at a loss of a whopping $15.9 billion last year—which ultimately resulted in the ousting of Saturday delivery—a question is raised as to where “snail mail” will end up. It is hard to know if there will ever be a day where the use of the postal service will be outdated, but I will say this: with the help of Outbox, the redundancy and unnecessary pollution of junk mail will likely be lost in time. has all the information one would want about their services. CNNTech has a lovely photographic timeline of the inner-workings of the Outbox process.


Tags: app, mail, iphone, ipad

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