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In this series on productivity, author Jess Stratton takes you through the latest tools that will help you run your business and life more efficiently. Each installment covers a particular feature or technique in a different online tool, such as Google Apps, Skype, YouTube, Mint.com, Etsy, and more. Check back every Monday for tips on topics from recording and publishing video chats to managing your finances online.
Hi there, I'm Jess Stratton and welcome to Monday Productivity Pointers. This week on Monday Productivity, I'm talking all about the native Mac mail client. Now, there's lots of other mail apps you can use out there. I'm going to try to give you some incentive to use the fully integrated, free, and built in Mac mail app. Now in this video, I'm going to show you ways that you can customize the view and get it all set up to work just the way you want it to. I've got my Mac mail client open on my computer.
On your Mac, this is probably how it looks right now. So there's some ways that we can change things around a little bit, just to get it work the best that you like to work. You can customize it. Now the first that I want to show you is the ability to add flags to your messages. I can right click on any message, come down to the flag area and choose a flag. I need to create my own system. For example, I need to reply, follow up, or to be filed, or to phone back.
So once I know what these mean to me, I can then choose a flag for an item. I can see the purple flag appear next to it. And if I want to remove that flag, I can right click on it again and just click the x to clear that flag from that message. So I can go through with my own system and add flags to messages. That mean certain things. To remind me to do certain things. And when I know my own system, I can come over here on the left hand side to the flag section. And either click right on the flag to view to see all my flagged messages.
Or I can fine tune it by clicking the triangle next to word Flag. And seeing how many messages I have for each flag. In the last video, I showed you how to create smart mail boxes. For example, here's a smart mail box I created, to only show me mail that I've gotten today. And here's another smart mail box I created, that shows me all my recently viewed messages. That is messages that I've looked at, in the past three days. So if I want to get these up to my Favorites bar, the first thing I have to do is make sure that my Favorites bar is indeed visible.
And I do that by clicking View, either Show or Hide Favorites Bar down here depending on whether or not it's visible. If you can't see it, this is what your Mac mail client might look like. So you can come up here at the top, select View and choose Show Favorites Bar. This is a quick way to get back to your Inbox, into your Sent folder and also into any of your Flagged messages, very quickly. So you can get those Smart Mailboxes in there by simply going down to your Smart Mailbox, clicking, holding down the mouse button and dragging it up to the top.
I can do that with both of them or just one, and any smart mailboxes that you've created. So any time while I'm looking at my mail, I can come up here, an click recently viewed to see all my recently viewed mail. Now the other reason that this is so important, is because you might not like to see this huge folder list here on the left-hand side. An that's another customization that I wanted to show you. At any time, from the Favorites View, you can click the word Hide and that Folder list goes away.
So right away we've already made our mail client a lot prettier. And we've given us some more real estate to look at the actual content of our emails, which really is the important part, like getting rid of that folder list. And now, with that folder list gone, you'll see why it's important to be able to get to these things very quickly right from this Favorite List. So now you don't have that visual clutter of all your folders. You can only see just the messages that you want to see. For example, I can go back to my Today's messages.
At any time, I can get back to my Inbox. Another thing that I can change is the ability to group messages by conversation. You'll notice in this email there's a two next to it. If I click on this email, here's where I can see all the emails that are part of that conversation that I've had. In case I don't want it to be organized this way, which is by default, I can come up here click View, and uncheck Organize by Conversation. This will turn into a flat view by date. If I click on this reply, I only see the message and I have to scroll down to see the threaded responses. At any time I can come here to View and turn Organize By Conversation on.
There's just a few more things I want to show you. The first one is, the Mac mail client uses something called data detectors. This gives you the ability to use maps, add things to your calendar, and track packages all within the Mac mail client using a nice, little pop out window. So here's any e-mail that contains a date and a time. If I hover my mouse over this date and time, you'll notice that it gets outlined with gray dots, and an arrow appears to the right of it. If I click on that arrow, it's going to pop up my calendar, so that I can see what else is going on in my calendar.
If I'm free, I can click Add to Calender. And it will actually put this right directly into my calender. So go through your mail. Look for anything that has a date in it. Hover your mouse over it. Click the arrow and you'll see the same thing. It's also going to work when there's an address involved. And if you get a shipment notification, say from UPS or, FedEx, you'll get the same arrow. You can hover your mouse over that tracking number. Click on the arrow.
And it'll pop out a dialogue box that shows you FedEx or UPS's tracking information. So you don't even have to leave your mail client. Now the final thing I want to show you, is how to bring this all together in a great, easy to read way. And that is to bring your mail client in to full screen mode. So right away we got rid of the visual clutter by getting rid of your folder list. We put all your important folders that you wanted to see in this Favorites List up here. But we still have the background.
And we still have this file list up at the top. To get into Full screen mode, simply click on the two arrows on the right hand side of any of your Mac apps. And now I'm running in Full screen mode. So this is the same Mac client except it's a lot prettier, and it's going to make you a lot more able to focus on the content of your emails.
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