Dec 4, 2014
[This post has been completely updated. See the new post here]
As you know, I have two primary recommendations in MYN and 1MTD for keeping e-mail under control:
- Convert action emails into tasks.
- Empty your inbox into a single folder (for speed) and use Categories in Outlook (or labels in Gmail) to group your mail by topic when needed.
There’s now an app that can do both of these on the iPhone or Android: and it’s called TouchDown, and it’s only for users with an Exchange Server (e.g. for those in a corporate environment or for individuals using Office 365 with Exchange).
I’ve been recommending TouchDown for years on Android but up to now I thought its iPhone version was too immature—but now it’s e-mail module is ready to recommend. It also comes with good Calendar and Contacts modules that sync with Exchange.
These are very unique apps. There are no other e-mail apps on iPhone or Android that can assign or view Outlook categories on smartphone mail—even Microsoft’s apps can’t do this. And very few apps can convert e-mails to tasks. So these apps are very good for MYN and 1MTD users.
Assigning categories is easy within both platforms. Just click the label or tag icon while in an open email (see the icon third from left in figure above) and choose a category from the scrolling list. The colors don’t always match what’s on Outlook, but the category names do get assigned. Once assigned, within seconds the same assignment shows up in your desktop copy of Outlook. And you can easily toggle any folder list view to show only e-mails with certain categories.
Converting E-mails to Tasks
On the Android app, to convert an email to a task, do this. Once an e-mail is open, tap the main menu button in the upper right corner of the TouchDown window (that button has 3 stacked lines of equal length) and you will see a number of menu choices. Second from the bottom is one labeled “Make Task.”
On the iPhone app, in the e-mail list view, slide an item to the left and that brings up a submenu. Click the “Graduation cap” menu item (icon on the farthest right as shown in image above) and choose Make Task (thanks to Faron for pointing this out to me).
On the Android app the Tasks module is quite sophisticated and can be configured for MYN or 1MTD settings. I show how to do that here.
On the iPhone app, the Tasks module is a bit immature and it cannot be fully configured for MYN or 1MTD, but you can get some use out of it. I just wrote an article about that here.
I haven’t beat up the TouchDown iPhone e-mail app much, so if you use it and like it or hate it, report back here in the comments so others can see. By the way, the company that makes TouchDown (NitroDesk) was recently acquired by Symantec. I think that’s both good and bad. The bad part is that they have dropped a few of their other products (Mac version and Windows 8.1 versions of TouchDown), but those were quite immature anyway. The good news is it means the product is well funded, enterprise focused, and in business for the long run. And Symantec has for decades been dedicated to creating focused high-quality products.