AwayFind gives you the peace of mind to ignore your inbox without fear of missing an important email

I've found that having big stretches of time where I don't frequently check my email boosts my ability to accomplish things. A service called AwayFind gives me the peace of mind to ignore my inbox.

In a nutshell, AwayFind lets you add selected email addresses to a Priority Inbox. When someone on your list sends you an email, a notification appears on your phone. That way, you don't need to check your email inbox every few minutes. I've added my family members, my book editor, my coworkers at MAKE and Boing Boing, and a few other people to my Priority Inbox list.

Does this sound like Apple's new VIP feature? Yes, AwayFind and Apple's VIP share some of the same functionality. However, AwayFind goes beyond Apple's VIP feature, making it much more useful. Jared Goralnick, the founder of AwayFind, wrote a blog post that describes the features in AwayFind that VIP doesn't have. For instance, AwayFind determines the 25 people that you reply to the fastest and makes it easy to add them to your Priority Inbox (this list is regenerated every month). It also notifies you when someone you've scheduled a meeting with sends you an email before your meeting, even if they aren't in your Priority Inbox. These examples just scratch the surface. Check out a list of the other differences between VIP and AwayFind here.

You can try AwayFind for free for 30 days. After that you can subscribe to a personal plan for $4.99 a month, which includes 100 alerts a month, or a pro account for $14.99 a month, which gives you 1000 alerts per month.



  1. The very ancient Unix/Linux procmail facility let you set up any rules you wanted; if the fields in the header matched a pattern, take an action (which could be anything: delete the mail, put it in a particular folder, forward it, run an arbitrary command).  But I guess it wasn’t Innovation until Apple did it and made it shiny.

    1. Yes, and you can also hook procmail up to an SMS gateway and get it to take a peek at your calendar too, but that’s not exactly a trivial amount of effort.

    2. Gmail does that too (although admittedly it’s not an old feature). I have all my email sent to whatever folder it needs to be in, marked as read, important or whatever. Any emails from important people which follow a particular pattern in the subject line get sent to me via SMS using IFTTT. It’s just the first line or so, but I do get enough information to decide whether I need to open and reply to the email.

      1. Joe, you’re right that IFTTT does offer a recipe for email to SMS.  Our value is that our product is DEEPLY integrated with email and designed to help people stay in the loop for the most critical of messages.

        For instance, you can create a rule from our iPhone app while you’re sitting at lunch, so a special alarm will go off if someone emails you. There’s no iOS or Android app to do this with IFTTT.

        Or if you have a lot of appointments, we’ll sync with your calendar to let you know of last minute changes.

        Or if you use Salesforce, we’ll let you know when someone tied to an opportunity emails you.

        And we plug directly into the UI of Gmail and Outlook, so you can create these rules without logging into a separate website.  And these rules can be set to expire.

        Essentially, if you get a lot of email and have certain things that are very important, we make this extremely easy…and we send the alert within seconds (not within 15 minutes…which makes a big difference in some industries like finance or real estate).

        IFTTT is a great utility that pieces lots of things together.  AwayFind is 100% focused on email alerting, and helping people to get focus…so we have a bit more depth there.  It’s not for everyone, and it’s much more mainstream in who can use (i.e., it’s not a developer tool) but we do a lot that’s different.

        Hope that helps to clarify!

  2. Hmmm. There’s like a billion free ways to do this already. Did it only become blogworthy when Apple featured it in a rich, multimedia keynote presentation?

    1. Ha!

      As the founder of AwayFind, I can tell you that for 8 years I ran a productivity training business and we had so much trouble getting our clients to close their inbox.  So we built a tool that literally thinks of all the pieces and education necessary to help people to confidently close their inbox.

      Yes, there are tools that can do parts of what we do.  And yes, an engineer can build some more pieces of it.  But I don’t believe there’s any tool that’s as comprehensive or geared toward a regular businessperson that comes close when it comes to how easy we make it to escape your email.

      Unfortunately it’s the details that matter.  I wish I didn’t have to build AwayFind, but when people lose a quarter of their day to being interrupted, telling them to build an IFTTT recipe or 3 just isn’t the same as giving them a big button to press along with training material that explains WHY they need to get out of their email.

      Believe me, I wish I never had to build this product.  But I’m so glad that it’s helped folks like Mark, and hope you’ll give it a try : )


  3. Except there is NO, zero, exactly none e-mails so important that they can’t wait a few hours.   Click on that old “QUIT” button and boot up your email app twice a day or less.

    1. Tell that to a lawyer or a real estate agent or support rep…  I wish there were no cases for some emails being urgent.  But every once in a while there is something that needs an immediate response.

    1.  no doubt with notifications reaching your twenty year old multitouch 4G smartphone, that functioned more or less wherever you were? impressive!

  4. So, basically it’s a paid version of a filter I can set up in a minute or two in my gmail, for free.

  5. Or you could make an IFTTT recipe to text you when you receive an important email. Can I get $15 a month now?

    1. See comment above to Jonathan.  I love what Linden and the rest of the IFTTT team are doing.  We just do more that’s focused around email.  Our skill is depth for regular folks, rather than breadth for engineers.  Hope that helps!

  6. Why don’t use a IMAP folder (and only sync this one folder on your mobile device)? Filter rule on the server?
    I don’t need any third party accessing my inbox, thank you very much.

  7. Seems odd no one has mentioned that in order to do this, you have to give this company the keys to your email account and the ability to scan and record the content of your emails, as well as everything else in there, like your contacts and calendar. And since they have to log in to those accounts, they have to store your passwords in a reversible format. But of course you can trust that they are so good at security there’s no chance of their information ever being compromised.

  8. Boing-Boing placing huge ads into the midst of the blog flow? Not cool. Some masked as ‘content’ such as this article, this is pushy and lacking in vision. Surely you can pay your bills without bombing your readers.

    1. I can assure you that if someone paid for this publicity, it wasn’t AwayFind.  So if there’s someone up there in the sky that’s paying for us to get PR, I thank you for that, PR God.

      So far as I know, Mark’s been using the tool for some time now, and reached out to interview me as a fan of the product.  But, hey, Mark, if you’re in SF, I’ll happily buy a beer!

        1. Acknowledged that you showed sympathy.

          Still, why should anyone give them their keys to their house? Oops, sry: their mail? Remember @mathonan?

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