The Spark of Genius Series is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark. Each post highlights a unique feature of a startup. If you'd like your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here.
[More from Mashable: Gmail for iPhone App Update May Annoy You]
Quick Pitch: PhilterIt is a web platform that turns large email streams into visual mail feeds -- complete with brand icons and profile pictures.
Genius Idea: PhilterIt separates personal messages and brand emails. The customizable dashboard also lets users prioritize emails from different users and brands, so they're never overlooked.
[More from Mashable: 8 E-Reader Cases You Can Take to the Beach]
Email is more pervasive than ever. For one, it's hard to leave work-related emails at the office. Most of us check our email every one to two hours in our free time. Nearly 98% of people send work-related emails at night and on weekends.
The problem: our inboxes are time-consuming beasts. PhilterIt is a new web platform that promises to tame email with the help of filters. PhilterIt gives you the choice to prioritize emails or hide them by sender.
The interface pulls all emails received in the last 30 days. PhilterIt supports Gmail, Yahoo Mail and AOL Mail. Sign-up is a simple three-step process -- enter an email, email password and invitation code. PhilterIt is still in a "public beta." The first 500 Mashable readers can sign up with invitation code Mashable.
Upon registration, PhilterIt lists all the brands that have sent you emails, in categories including Entertainment, Finance & Bills, Organizations and Retail. Users can click on the brands to mark those emails as high priority. From then on, these emails will be accessible on your personal Dashboard.
In the company's mail feed, personal messages are separated from brand messages. Users can also choose to view all, read or unread emails. It's all about choice. Users can delete emails, compose messages and read from within the interface.
Co-founders Avi Levine and Robert Wollner started PhilterIt to tackle the "basic pains of email."
"The idea was we get so many messages into our accounts and our accounts are only built to deal with them one at a time with our most recent one on top," Levine tells Mashable. "You don't need to have every message at your fingertips when they come in. There are messages you care about more than others."
Individuals generally want to see personal messages from friends and family immediately, he says. Brand emails can wait.
PhilterIt is a product of research, surveys and one-on-one interviews to find out what individuals want from their inboxes.
PhilterIt can be as dynamic or as simple as users want. The startup hopes to revolutionize email and online communication. The young company, which started development in November, is still open to user feedback and the team works to perfect the product. The next step is to optimize the web platform for mobile use.
Various startups are developing different product solutions to fix the current state of email. AwayFind is a product that forwards emails from specified senders or emails containing specific words to user phones via text and tweet. Other products such as Unroll.me allow you to unsubscribe from all the mailing lists you signed up for. The co-founders found out individuals would rather save brand emails when they needed them rather than deleting them just to get to the important personal messages.
It's a distinguishing trait of the product. PhilterIt prioritizes messages from people and lets you see brand messages later.
"Our major goal is to give people a new way to organize, manage and interact with their inbox," Levine said. "It's making email less stressful for the user. We want to build the inbox of the future -- we shouldn't be restricted."
How many times on average do you check your email each day? Tell us in the comments if you would you use this platform to change how you view email.
Series presented by Microsoft BizSpark
The Spark of Genius Series highlights a unique feature of startups and is made possible byMicrosoft BizSpark, a startup program that gives software startups three-year access to Microsoft software development tools, marketing visibility to help promote their business and a connection to the BizSpark ecosystem, giving them access to investors, advisors and mentors. There is no cost to join, so if your startup is privately owned, less than three years old and generates less than U.S. $1M in annual revenue, sign up today.
This story originally published on Mashable here.