Shortwave helps bring order to clutter in users’ Gmail accounts

I just whipped through my email in record time using Shortwave for Gmail.

Shortwave was created by two guys from Google who figured out how to declutter everything. Ironically, Gmail is about to get even more cluttered. Take a look at the preview of the version rolling out this month.

I love how Shortwave bundles similar emails together. That way, if the whole group looks like junk, I can sweep it off my plate in one fell swoop. This is stuff I normally would have looked at, wasted time on, been sorry I bothered. But when the subject line of a bundle gives me an instant idea of what’s inside, I have more will power. For example, in a subject line labeled “Promotions,” I saw “Book TV,””Trippin’ Travel,” and “DoorDash,” along with tiny, recognizable icons for the rest. When I opened it, I got a list of headlines for everything in there. I can click on an item to unravel it without unrolling the rest. I can check each item off after I’ve read it, pin it or snooze it for reading later or check off the whole bundle. Just now, I dispatched nine items in a few seconds. I feel freer already.

Neatly listed on the left side of the page are the names of people you have recently corresponded with. Click on a name to see your latest conversations. The free version only lets you search for stuff emailed in the past three months, but everything else can be retrieved in regular Gmail. I have notes going back to 2005.

Surprisingly, Shortwave has no delete button. At first this bugged me, but it actually saves time. I no longer fuss over what to delete. Once a day, I go back to regular Gmail to delete whole swaths of stuff. I call it up by clicking the advanced search icon to the right of the search bar, typing in the word “today” next to “date within one day of.” Just now, there were 116 items. I selected all for deletion, saving four of them.This sounds like extra work, but takes only seconds.

Shortwave is available for Windows, Mac, iPhone or iPad. On Android phones, go to The paid version is $9 a month and offers team features as well as unlimited search and email history.

If you’re…