Quickstart guide

Hey there 👋

Welcome to Shortwave, the email app to help you get more done.

Shortwave is an email app designed to bring modern productivity features straight to your inbox. Since Shortwave syncs with your existing email account, getting set up takes less than a minute!

Sign up for Shortwave access

During our early access period, you'll need to be invited by a Shortwave team member or existing user to access the product. After our team receives your request, you'll receive an invite email with a ✨ magic access link

Click that magic link in your invitation email and follow the instructions below to sign in.

Sign in on browser

  1. Click the magic link from your invitation email to the special early access version of app.shortwave.com
  2. Click Sign in with Google
  3. Select your Google Account to use with Shortwave
  4. Check the three boxes to grant permission access
  5. Click Continue, and you’re in!

Set-up is really just that simple.

All you have to do now is remember to go to app.shortwave.com to check your email!. You can even bookmark the page while you're there, or just download our mobile and desktop apps.

Navigate Shortwave

Once you've signed into Shortwave, you'll be greeted with your brand new inbox! It should look something like this 👇


Let's break down what all these new buttons and bundles do!


The sidebar refers to the entire left navigation pane, from Inbox down to the bottom of the Conversations list. The sidebar is used to quickly see new messages, access drafts, or view your full conversation history with your contacts. It's comprised of three main sections:


Inbox — for emails you need to triage + page for emails you've prioritized to do next

Snoozed — for emails you've scheduled for later

Done — for emails requiring no further action

Workspaces — for organized team collaboration


This is a dedicated area for your important contacts and channels. Adding a favorite lets you quickly see when new messages come in and reference past conversations. To add an individual, group, or channel as a favorite:

  1. Click ➕ add favorite in the top right of the favorites section
  2. Search for a contact or channel name and click continue
  3. You can also add groups by dragging & dropping from the conversation list below

Your conversations list is populated based on who you last sent a message to, you have push notifications enabled for, and recent drafts you've started. Clicking on a name in this list will take you to your conversation history with that individual or group.

Inbox layout

Shortwave's inbox helps you stay organized by default. Threads are automatically grouped into bundles, making it easy to understand your inbox at a glance. Bundles are groups of related emails, giving you a condensed view of your inbox.

The inbox is further organized into collapsible sections based on time, like

this week
last month
. Want to customize things? Re-organize by dragging & dropping threads together to create custom bundles and reorder sections. Feeling overwhelmed by the amount of email you get? Adjust your notification settings to control who sends you push notifications and what enters your inbox.

Send messages

In Shortwave, conversations happen in threads between people and channels. You can quickly send short replies, or compose long-form emails, all in real-time. We support a variety of rich text features such as inline images, emojis, and code blocks to keep your emails looking fresh.

To send an email, use the compose button in the lower-left corner or reply to a thread directly from your inbox.

Customize settings

Finish setting up your new email app by customizing your preferences. From the Shortwave settings page, you can manage email aliases, enable signatures, and adjust your notifications to make Shortwave work for you. To navigate to settings, click your profile photo in the top-right and select settings from the drop-down menu. Here, you can also import all of your Gmail history and even sync your existing inbox filters. If you're feeling adventurous, you can even test out official Shortwave experiments!

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