Are you handling multiple Gmail and Outlook emails for business and personal use? Are you trying to juggle between multiple apps to keep your inboxes from taking over? This article is intended for apple users - as the primary email application that will be used is the Apple Mail app. In this article, you'll learn about a workflow I use to follow the Inbox Zero approach without having to navigate between different apps.
Before diving in, keep in mind some of these pros and cons I've experienced using this workflow:
If you haven't already done so, you'll need to create your iCloud email address and enable iCloud Mail in your iCloud account. If you're on macOS, you can set up your iCloud email address by going to Internet Accounts from System Preferences and enabling Mail from your iCloud account. If you're on iOS or iPadOS, enabling iCloud Mail in your iCloud account will prompt you to create an email.
You'll have to add all your Gmail, Outlook, etc., email accounts for each device. For macOS, you can go to Internet Accounts (make sure these accounts are enabled by going to the Mail app preferences). For iOS and iPadOS, navigate to Apple Mail under settings and tap Accounts.
With your iCloud email address created and email accounts added to your device(s), it's time to start forwarding all your other email addresses to iCloud. For brevity, I've only included images of the steps to take for Gmail. The steps should be similar for other email service providers.
Once you've added a forwarding email address, click Forward a copy of incoming mail to and select the iCloud email address. After doing so, you'll have the option to:
Keep Gmail's copy in the Inbox
Mark Gmail's copy as read
Archive Gmail's copy
Delete Gmail's copy
If you want to keep a "backup" of your emails, don't select Delete Gmail's copy. This is just personal preference. Any other option, when enabled, will keep the original email even if you delete the forwarded email from your iCloud Inbox.
After forwarding all your emails, it's time to start organizing Apple Mail to your liking. The placement and settings for each inbox in Apple Mail are device-dependent, so you'll have to repeat this process for each device. For reference, I've included an image below of my sidebar configuration:
Finally! It's time to delete your old email apps and be on your way to reaching Inbox Zero!
One of the major issues of using email services providers with Apple Mail, specifically for iOS and iPadOS, is how data is received (i.e., how you get a new email notification). Because push notification is no longer supported, the only methods available are fetch and manual. This means that notifications won't show up in real-time. You can set the data to be fetched manually at a 15-minute interval, but this would lead to battery drain and more data usage. The benefits of push are real-time notifications, less battery drain, and less data usage. So, you need an iCloud email for Apple Mail to have push notifications.
You can! But there's one caveat for Gmail - no Gmail app on the Mac App Store. This means that for macOS, you'll have to stick to juggling between different windows and tabs to access all your Gmail accounts.
No. Rather than replacing your email accounts with a single iCloud email address, this email workflow describes a method of "email aggregation" to easily follow the Inbox Zero approach. Also, when you're on a non-Apple device, you can always manage your iCloud email from Apple's iCloud home page.
A cool feature of Apple Mail on macOS is Apple Mail's ability to automatically set the correct email address to respond from (this also means a custom signature you set for your email address will be used!). To set your custom signatures on iOS and iPadOS, head to Apple Mail under settings and select Signatures. After doing so, select Per Account - if you have different signatures for different email addresses. For macOS, go to Apple Mail's preferences page and select the Signatures tab. If you're using a styled signature, make sure to uncheck Always match my default message font before pasting your signature to retain your custom layout and font styles.
Thank you for taking the time to read about an email workflow that I've been using to manage my personal and work email addresses. Personally, I've disciplined myself to keep my iCloud Inbox empty by the end of the day. In doing so, this has made a huge impact on my overall productivity. I'm excited to share my email workflow, and I would love to hear about your email workflow in the comments below!
-Be Positive. Stay Productive.-
As with any productivity workflow/setup/lifestyle, it really is to each their own. The article is intended to only inform others about an email workflow and is by no means the correct, best, or only method for email handling.
Also published at https://dev.to/louismin/a-new-way-to-use-apple-mail-for-email-sanity-92d