Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tuesday Tech Tip #16 - Gmail App for iPhone

I know that many of you have personal iPhones or iPads you use to check your work email. How do I know this? Well, there is always a dead give away - the name on your email when you send it from your iOS device.

Often iPhone users name their email accounts phrases that make sense to them including "NCS Email," "Star Academy," and "Work." I used to do this too. Unfortunately, when you send email using the mail app built into the iPhone the phrase you used when configuring your mailbox also becomes your sender name. In other words your email will display something like NCS Email <jwood@natomascharter.org> when you send it from your iPhone and it can be confusing when your recipient first opens the email.

You could easily fix this by adjusting your mailbox settings...OR...you could install the free Gmail app. But do I really need a different tool to manage my email? Yes, you do. Here are five reasons to give the app a whirl.

1. Search Your WHOLE Inbox
Let's start with the #1 reason I use the Gmail app. You can search your WHOLE inbox, not just the 50 most recent messages. This has saved me numerous times and is why I will always use the Gmail app over the native built in iOS Mailbox program. If you need an email on your phone from three months ago you can find it immediately!

2. Archive Button & More
Similar to the desktop inbox you have an Archive button on the mobile app, but you can also move messages to a folder, mark as unread, star, and report as spam. All of the buttons you are used to seeing on the desktop client are there and your workflow does not have to change simply because you are on another device.

3. Search Terms
If you are familiar with Gmail search terms they work perfectly in the Gmail app. Not sure what I am talking about? Take a moment to read this blog post and print out the cheat-sheet. It will save you tons of time.

4. Mobile Signature
All of us use standard signatures on our work emails including name, title, and contact information. When you send email from the Gmail app those signatures are automatically applied. However, you can also set up a mobile signature so that your recipients recognize that your short email or inevitable typos are simply due to emailing from a small screen.

5. Vacation Responder
Let's say you're headed to the airport and think, "Man! I forgot to set my out of office reply." No sweat, the Gmail app lets you set the away message from your phone. No need to find a computer to login to the Google Apps website.

What about Multiple Email Accounts?
This might be the only downside to the Gmail app. It only works with other Gmail accounts, so if you have Hotmail, iCloud, or something else you may also need to use the Mailbox app too. However, if like most people you have multiple Gmail accounts you can set them all up within this one application and easily switch back and forth.

Take a few minutes, download and install the Gmail app. You will be glad that you did.


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