If your day looks anything like mine, you probably spend a fair amount of time requiring some sort of time-sensitive response. Perhaps you need a file for work, an rsvp for an invitation or any myriad of responses. The problem, of course, is that once you hit send it’s qutie easy to forget about the message. An app to track replies to the message, then, is a great idea – and that’s where RSVP comes in.
RSVP is a unique Mac app. It integrates with Apple’s mail app via a menu-bar application and allows you to set reminders. The reminders track any responses to an email within a given time-frame, and send you a reminder at the end of the time frame if no one has responded to the message. It’s a simple app, but quite an ingenious idea. Stick with me after the jump to learn more about how the app works and what I thought of it.
Your First Reminder
First things first, let’s get you set-up. It’s fairly straight forward – just download and install the app. Then open up Mail to give the app a whirl. Unfortunately, Apple’s Mail app is the only app which RSVP supports, but more on that later.
In order to set-up your first reminder, find the email that you want to track. Make sure you have the conversation selected in mail or it won’t work. To set-up the reminder, just select the option from the RSVP menu. I recommend just setting a simple reminder time for the first message you try – we’ll get into the customized rules a bit later in the review.
Once you’re all set up … just wait. RSVP can take it from here. If you don’t get a response to the message within the time frame you specified, RSVP sends you a simple pop-up reminder. The pop-up gives you a few options. You can choose to deactivate the reminder and send a follow-up email. You can also snooze the reminder, allowing it to pop-up after your snooze time, or you can simply reschedule the reminder to a new custom time period.
Setting up an initial reminder is really simple, and that’s most of what RSVP has to offer. There are, however, a few other features worth noting. First up is the manage reminders section. This is the area where you can easily edit and deactivate any reminders that you have set up. The manage section has a pane on the left with a list of all active reminders, along with the edit section to the right. From here you can change the times for the reminder, edit the rules and deactivate. Any deactivated reminders are sent to their own list, where you can permanently delete them if you so choose.
If you hover over the subject in the manage reminders window, RSVP turns it into a clickable link back to the original message you are tracking
Rules are another feature worth noting. A reminder, by default, tracks responses from anyone who replies. Often times, however, the only important response is one from a particular person on the list of email recipients. Luckily, you can add rules to the reminders which allow you to track responses only from certain email addresses. You can add, delete and edit rules from within the manage reminders window.
Lastly, let’s pop over to the preferences panel, as RSVP has a few things to keep an eye on. From the preferences section you can choose whether the app opens at log-in, set the sound for pop-up reminders and choose how frequently RSVP checks for replies. By default, RSVP checks for replies every 15 seconds. You can change this to whatever best suits your needs.
First things first – RSVP only costs two bucks. If it seems like something that might be helpful to you, it’s worth the download. RSVP does its job well. It sends consistent reminders, and brings about an email feature that I really wish was just included by default in gmail (and other email services, of course). The app is simple to use – there’s not a lot that you can do, so there’s not too much to get stuck on. The available features are well thought out, offer some limited customization and are easy to find and put to work.
I do, of course, have a few things that I’d like to see fixed/improved upon. First of all, it’s really frustrating that RSVP only works with Mail. If you already use Mail, then no sweat. I prefer Sparrow, however and it’s really a pain that RSVP can’t integrate. I hope to see more email clients supported down the line, if possible. The design also isn’t great. Don’t get me wrong it certainly gets the job done, but I’d like to see a little more spice in the design work/basic interface.
Some more options for rules would be helpful as well. It’s great that you can filter by recipient, but it would be great to add a few more requirements. One thing that might be really helpful is the ability to check to see if there is an attachment of any sort. Often I find that I’m waiting for someone to send me a specific file, typically via an email attachment. If rules could check for things like attachments, I think that would make RSVP an even stronger application.
I’m definitely pleased with the two bucks I dropped in order to pick up RSVP. Even though I’d like to see more features, and the lack of Sparrow integration is kind of upsetting, it’s a great tool. It’s helped me to become more prompt with re-requesting information when needed, ensuring that I stay up to date with work. RSVP is simple, user-friendly and fixes a need that should have been fixed by email providers a long time ago (in my opinion).
So are you going to try it out? Do you think it’s worth it? Does the lack of integration with other apps upset you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.