Share your email problems and insight for an MPU episode

So, another ‘reinvention of email’ that’s a pay service whose pricing, features and rollout date are unknown. :roll_eyes:

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Yep! :slight_smile: There are some good reasons to think it’ll be a serious shot at Gmail, like Fastmail is. The only reason it hasn’t launched is COVID; they were pretty open about the original deadline and that they delayed it to give their life-stressed employees a break.

I think that one of the most frustrating parts of IOS is that whilst the native client will take your credentials and allow you to connect direct to the server your email is on, many of the 3rd party clients ask you to give them access and in many cases your email passes through their servers. This has always made me uneasy, but unfortunately this has been the price you have to pay to use new and exciting clients. I’ve been a Spark user for a long time as I like the app on IOS.

The recent Newton mail email breach led me to re-evaluate my use of email and clients and I will now only use clients which allow me to connect directly to the email servers where my email lives, so for now I’m stuck with the IOS native mail app.

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I’ve used lots of email apps. In the past I ended coming back to apple mail. Then last year I changed across to gmail in chrome as a web app. I use google services for personal use - I don’t subscribe to gsuite. I was very sceptical this experiment would last. But I am a total convert. I now even use the google calendar web app. I also closed my evernote account and moved across to google keep as my single source of notes I need to store somewhere, nothing needs filing or tagging - google search is simply too good.

My main issue with email clients and calendar clients was syncing and the program “hanging”. This is not an issue with gmail as a web app. You’re dealing directly with the server as the people who built it intended. I like its simple layout. I’ve created icons in my Dock which automatically open these services mimicking an installed app.

Good ole Apple Mail on macOS and iOS, with gmail (personal), iCloud (misc junk), exchange (work) accounts. I have a couple keyboard maestro keyboard shortcuts to archive/file things a little quicker. I also have a keyboard maestro script that creates a link to the last open mail message that I can paste anywhere in macOS, which I used to use in reminders. Lately though, I’ve just been doing dragging from mail and dropping into Reminders for anything I need to follow-up on, which is nice cause reminders creates a link that works across devices if I need to reopen the email. I also have some Mail rules set up to filter out ads from businesses I signed up for into a separate folder which I pop into every now and again but don’t need to see in my main inbox. I’m too cheap for sane-box, and this works well enough for the volume I get.

One thing I wish mail had was the ability to create recipient groups for people that I email regularly (or maybe this exists and I don’t know where/how). I’ve worked around this using text expander, but seems silly it’s not built into mail.

Perhaps think about more refined categories of what “important” really means or organize by response time (e.g., now, tomorrow, this week) or by project. If possible, maybe some stuff could move to a different medium (slack, chat, etc). Alternatively, think about what you do with the email and organize based on common actions or works flows.

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Don’t you just set this up in your contacts app? (“add group”)

You can set up recipient lists using groups in the contacts app.

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As others have pointed out, you can create groups in Contacts. I have 13 of them.

Whoops! I don’t know why I never thought to try that before. Thanks for the tip!

For some reason, I kept looking for this function inside of mail and never bothered opening contacts. It looks like this should work although the functionality is a little limited (e.g., if someone has multiple email addresses it seems to just default to the first one listed instead of a way to pick or send to multiple addresses for the same person). There also seems to be a limitation with contacts that pull from an exchange server, which for my scenario just don’t show up in the contacts app but do appear in mail as part of auto-complete. I suppose I could manually add them to contacts and then make a group. I shall tinker!

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It is indeed limited. My biggest frustration with it is that you cannot manage groups on iOS, though you can if you use CardHop. I hope Apple adds enhancements to both Mail and Contacts. They both need work.

On the Mac I use Apple Mail I haven’t had enough pain to bother trying anything else since Google Inbox got shut down, and even then Apple Mail was still connected to the accounts I was using Inbox for.

For a while I used that app that got bought by Google & shut down, (I think to create Inbox?). I really enjoy having one E-mail app and one place for E-mail.

But if anyone could tell me how to set the order of mailboxes in the sidebar and actually have it stay the way I put it that would be amazing. Better search like @iPersuade mentions would also be wonderful.

On the iOS, (iPhone only), side: All Apple Mail. I used to have the Apple Mail, Google Inbox, and Zoho Mail apps, then when Inbox went away used Gmail for a while, then something happened with Zoho Mail, (I think it wasn’t background fetching), and I thought it would be great to simplify my E-mail and only use one app, so Apple Mail it is. Searching with Apple mail on the phone is a royal pain though. If I could fix one thing it would be to make the search really good.

I have 19 different email accounts but they all feed into a single inbox. That way I can process them there. I also only use 1 single system for all my email and processing as my accounts are still mostly POP accounts. I find that batch processing of email both in time and by device means that I am not slaved to the latest and loudest by getting pings all the time on portable devices.

I deliberately choose to wait to handle email until I am in the most efficient place I can be to fully handle it. Ideally a single touch on each piece of mail. I also set time limits on how much time I will spend processing email each day.

I use Apple mail with 189 separate rules. Those rules basically filter out newsletters and ads into 2 mailboxes. One for authors and one for everything else. The authors one can be wholesale deleted whenever it gets too big, it’s often about new books coming out or perhaps freebies. If I have time and want to I’ll take a look but usually I just delete them. The one for everything else is also usually time dependent with it usually holding coupons.

Things that stay in the inbox get handled one at a time. If I can I delete it. If it just needs a response and I know what I need to say in the message I do it then. I don’t stick to a set time limit for those responses but instead try to get things where I know what I need to say as a response done even if it takes 5-10 minutes or more to do. If it’s support material for something I am doing or a task I need to do or I need to research before I can respond I extract out the important part into Omnifocus. I do NOT use the forward to OF option as usually there is a lot of junk in the email that isn’t relevant. So I pick out the important bits by hand and paste them as appropriate. Emails that are links to stuff I might want to read later gets put in DEVONThink in a folder for reading. For that one I usually just import the entire message into DT as there is rarely much junk in those emails and it’s faster to just import them intact. That includes messages like a note I am now enrolled in a MacSparky course etc. My final step is to file the message into my mail’s reference folder.

When I run out of my time to process and the inbox is still full or has more in it I look ahead and see if I can plan for a bit more time to get caught up. My goal is inbox zero at least 4-5 times a week. Right now, due in part to high mail volume I am only getting it to zero about 2 times a week.

My deep archive of messages is in DEVONThink in a separate database. I pull out the messages from 2 years ago each month and file them there and then delete them from the Mail app.

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Nineteen email addresses and 189 rules!? That makes my paltry three email addresses and 30 rules seem anemic! :slight_smile: I do have a question. I’d like to archive my older emails as well. What method do you use to get them into DT? I’ve tried but my approach is not working as well as I’d like.

Really simple, I display the messages on my Mac by clicking on the folder where they are (Either Reference, Stored, or Orders Rcvd) click the first message of the month then Shift Click the last message of the month on my Mac in Apple Mail and then drag them into the folder in DT for that year. In my DT archive I combine the sent, orders rcvd and reference messages by year.

Ha! I have the same issue. My exchange and iCloud accounts stay in the same spot, but by 3 gmail accounts randomly shuffle at least a couple times a week it seems. I prefaced the mailbox names with numbers, so I can at least see when they go out of order and quickly fix them (fully knowing it won’t stick but also hoping one day it will).

I find it’s very hit or miss. Sometimes it works well and other times, it just doesn’t show some/all messages that I know exist no matter what search parameters I use (name, email, to, from, content).

Thanks, I’ll use that approach!

Email’s magic power is that it can be synchronous OR asynchronous. On a couple of occasions recently I wanted to contact a friend or family member. I didn’t want to interrupt them by calling, or sending an iMessage. It took me a few moments to remember that’s exactly what email is for.

The recipient can read and respond the instant they get the message. Or they can easily wait until later. That seems like magic if you have gotten in the habit of using iMessage, Facebook Messenger and phone calls for most of your conversations.

VIP and thread notifications are magic. Keep notifications switched OFF on the iPhone, but turn them ON for important threads and/or VIPs. That way you can stay on top of important conversations right away, while processing other email at leisure.

”VIPs” are mis-named. The most important people in your life probably email you often, and probably a lot of that email can wait. If my wife sent me a link to a sofa (we’re shopping for a new sofa), I can look at that at leisure . “VIPs” only applies to people who are important in your life and work and who only email occasionally.

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I think it might be partly related to what’s on the phone and what’s old enough that it’s only on the server. Searching for old stuff I find useless - usually there’s just a spinner. Recent stuff can be ok, but it could always be better.

Mine never move. I did use numbers so they sort properly but they never change from that.

Search is why I move older archive emails into DEVONThink. Much better.