My iOS Mail App - Dispatch

 

Oh I’m a happy boy this week. “Why’s that?”, I hear you all screaming at your devices (well, a guy can dream can’t he?!)

It’s simple, because I am a man of simple pleasures. Dispatch has been released on the iPad and I now have a uniform iOS experience on both of my mobile devices. 

Prior to Dispatch’s iPad version, I was using it exclusively on the iPhone, with Boxer on the tablet. I had no real complaints with Boxer. It’s a great application and if I used it on the iPhone, i would have no qualms whatsoever about using them both in parallel with each other. However once I’d started to use Dispatch on my phone, I was never going to go back to any other solution and having the same experience on both devices is a real boon to my productivity. 

Why Dispatch?

Dispatch has some great built-in features. It’s now reached the point, where I can use it to effectively triage my inbox on the move rather than just use it ‘spot’ emails when I’m in a queue, travelling or sitting in a cubicle enjoying some alone time! (those of you with children will know the value of extended toilet breaks - I’m not ashamed to say so). Rather than list of all it’s features, I’ll simply talk you through the use cases I have for it and I’m sure they will resonate with many of you out there. 

Export as PDF

As I am a strong DEVONThink Pro Office user, I have a need to print a lot emails to PDF. OK, I don’t HAVE to do this, I can simply store the email in there if I so wish in it’s raw format and it’s still searchable, however as I use Airmail on OS X for my email management, I find it a lot easier to use MacSparky’s Print To PDF trick to get my content into the DEVONThink Pro Office database. Getting the emails into any DTPO database I wish from iOS is now simple. When I go into [Dispatch][]’s numerous share options, I select Export As PDF. From there, I see a PDF preview of my email. From here, I can go one of two routes, dependant on the email. The first one is to click on the iOS Share icon and open the file in DEVONThink To Go. This then saves the PDF directly into my Global Inbox. The second option is to, once again, select the iOS Share button, yet this time, save the PDF to Dropbox where I have a Holding Folder. This Holding Folder has a Hazel rule running on my Macbook Pro which will scan the PDF, rename it dependant on the context and send it to DEVONThink Pro Office. A healthy workflow, which I certainly didn’t have before. In fact, the lack of options for exporting directly to DTPO from my iOS device(s) was a concern for me. 

Send To OmniFocus

Yes, there is a direct link to my ToDo manager of choice, OmniFocus! I don’t think I need to say much more. If an email requires actioning, then a task is created with the email subject forming the task subject and the contents of the email being copied across to the Notes field. How cool is that?

Send To Evernote

For a small project I’m working on, or if there is something that doesn’t need to be kept in my long-term DTPO database, yet I want to be able to see it outside of my email application, I send it straight to Evernote (it should be noted that this is also supported by Boxer

Snippets

Snippets are great. I’m using TextExpander on my iOS devices, yet Snippets are built into Dispatch and have certain key phrases stored within that you can input into your message with one simple tap. In the latest version of Dispatch, there are predictive snippets, so as you type, the applications tries to anticipate the snippets you may require and displays them for you. This may sound intrusive and cluttering, yet it’s discreet with the snippets shown in small boxes, just large enough for you to see yet small enough not to interfere with the message you are typing. 

There are other features in Dispatch that I haven’t highlighted - sending messages as PDF’s, integration with various calendar apps, auto salutations, undo send, auto reply store - a raft of options which makes Dispatch so worth the money. 

When people ask my mail apps of choice for iOS it’s simple - Dispatch and, at the moment, I don’t see that ever changing. 

iPhone App ->

iPad App ->