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► The four pillars of email work-life balance: After hours emails - Schedule quiet times - Smart email notifications - Remove business emails after hours
Sending email out of hours - Work-Life Balance #1
One of the most important aspects of work-life balance is the problem of sending emails after work hours. Sometimes it is useful to spend some spare time, such as travelling, to get a head start on your emails to try and clear your inbox. Unfortunately, sending email late at night usually results in even more email to take care of. People who receive an email from their manager or colleague after hours often feel obliged to respond quickly, even if they are told not to.
But it does feel good when you are clearing your inbox and you are on your way to 'Inbox Zero'. The key is use this spare time to catch up but not have the emails sent straight away. AltaMail provides several options for sending email later during working hours.
The simple way is to choose 'Send after' from the action menu when you are editing an email. Then you can choose a date and time for the email to be sent.
You can also create email schedules to limit when sent emails are actually sent. Emails sent outside of the scheduled times will wait until the time is right to be sent.
To automate a delay for sending emails after hours. Tap on the "Work-Life Balance" button in the left side panel.
Then tap on "Restrictions for sending email". You can choose one account or use "All accounts" to apply the new restriction to all accounts. For example, you could choose to only delay emails sent from your business email account.
You can tap on the schedule button to create one or more time windows to allow emails to be sent. (Editing schedules) You can choose which days are used for sending emails too.
Emails sent outside of the schedule will be delayed until the scheduled time.
You can also choose a location that allows emails to be send. For example emails will be delayed when you are out of the office or after hours. When you return to the office location, your emails will be sent automatically. (Editing locations)
You can send an email immediately if you choose. When editing an email out of hours, do a long tap on the send button. This will show the option to send immediately or later.
Emails that are sent out of hours are queued up in the outbox. If you change your mind, you can send emails from the outbox by tapping on the schedule or location icon on the right of the email. This will ask you if you want to send the email now.
Schedule time without email interruptions - Work-Life Balance #2
Trying to complete tasks with constant email interruptions can be a tough balancing act. Often you end up starting new tasks from the new emails and by the end of the day you have completed nothing. It is important to schedule quiet time without new email interruptions so you can work uninterrupted. Mobile devices are used for more than email so simply putting your phone in a drawer isn't practical.
What AltaMail can do is allow you to schedule quiet periods of the day by setting times when new email is checked automatically. Many tasks require sending emails so you need to open your email app to send those emails. You can avoid being distracted by seeing new emails while you are sending other emails.
You can choose to override the send schedule for important emails or from certain people. If you have some downtime between tasks, you can do a manual refresh of the inbox to get new emails.
To set up your periods of quiet time, tap on the "Work-Life Balance" button in the left side panel. Then tap on the "Restrictions for checking new email" button.
You can choose to edit the settings for all of your email accounts, or just some.
Tap on 'Schedule' to create a schedule of multiple times during the day when new emails will be checked and displayed. (Editing schedules) You can choose which days are used for checking emails too. eg. for Business email accounts.
Tap on "Locations" to choose which locations are ok to check for new emails. For example, you could use your office building location to allow new emails to checked. (Editing locations)
If you want to allow some emails to override the checking schedule, tap on the "Allow high priority emails" button. This will create a filter to override the schedule. Tap to view this filter and add more filter options using the "+" button. For example, you could add the "From" field and choose some contacts or email addresses for emails that will be received immediately.
To turn off this filter, delete all of the filter fields with the delete button to the left of each field.
Make notifications smarter with clever filters and custom actions - Work-Life Balance #3
Controlling email notifications can often need something more than just a schedule. Some emails are more important than others and some emails are just not worth a notification at all. AltaMail has a smart notification filter that can easily filter out emails that don't really matter and skip the disruption.
You can also create your own notification filters that change the behaviour of notifications and sounds. For example, change the email sound based on who the email is from or a particular subject. Notification filters can also be used to override the "Do Not Disturb" schedule so you will still receive notifications for important people or topics after hours.
You can open the 'Email Notification Settings' screen by tapping on the button with 4 squares in the bottom right of the screen. Then tap on 'Email Notification Settings'
You can also open the app settings and view the 'Email Management' section. Then tap on 'Email Management'. (Settings) Scroll down and tap on 'Email Notification Settings'
If you want to set a filter for all accounts tap on the "Filters" button in the top section of the screen.
Otherwise you can open an email account by tapping on it, and then tap on "Filters" under the account.
The quickest way to filter notifications is to turn on the 'Smart Notification Filter' in the filters screen. This will only show notifications for emails that are not newsletters and other email lists. You can tap on the cog button to edit the smart notification filter for more options.
In the smart notification screen, tap on "Any sender' to choose which email senders will show notifications. You can choose to receive notifications only for contacts. If you choose known senders then you will see notifications for contacts and anyone you have sent en email to before. Otherwise other senders will not show a notification.
You can choose which priority emails get notifications with the 'Any Priority' button. For example, you could disable notifications for low priority emails.
If for some reason, you do want to see notifications for mail lists and bulk/automatic emails, then you can turn those options on too. You can simply turn off the Smart Notification Filter in the previous screen to see notifications for all emails.
You can also create your own notification filters. These filters can either turn off notifications or enable notifications based on which actions you choose.
Note: It is important that you choose the correct option for the button at the bottom of the screen. There are two modes for notification filters:
1) Notifications are off. Filters can enable notifications. - This option will turn off notifications and you will need to add filters with the 'Notify' action. Otherwise you will receive no notifications at all.
2) Notifications are on. Filters can disable notifications. - This option will turn on notifications and you will need to add filters with the 'Disable notifications' action. Filters with the 'Notify' action will have no effect but you can use filters to change sounds.
Tap on the '+' button in the top of the screen create a new filter and type the filter name.
Then add the criteria you wish to use for the filter using the "+" button below the 'Search' section. Notification filters are edited much like searches. (View)
To customise the notifications, tap on the '+' button in the 'Actions' section and choose the action you require. You can add multiple actions by tapping by "+" button again.
You can choose to enable notifications by choosing the 'Notify' action. You can override any 'Do Not Disturb' schedules you may have using the 'Ignore Do Not Disturb' action.
You can use the 'Play sound' and 'Disable sounds' actions to change the notification alert sound.
Do not disturb. Advanced notification and sound scheduling
Email notifications and sounds can cause constant interruptions. It is difficult to relax when your phone screen pops up some email alert that probably really doesn't matter that much.
You can set a schedule for receiving email notifications and also sounds for all email accounts, or for each account such as business and personal emails. This can avoid interruptions at times when you don't want notifications or sounds. You can override this schedule for important emails using the notification filters options. (View)
Use your location to change your inbox layout - Work-life Balance #4
Most devices are being used for both business and personal emails and being reminded of work emails is stressful when you are out of the office. One of the most powerful ways that AltaMail helps work-life balance is to remove work related emails from the main inbox when leaving the office. You can choose to apply a schedule to an account, or even link accounts to locations such as your office or home. The "split screens" feature of AltaMail can also push personal emails to the top of your inbox after hours, and push work emails lower down in the list, or remove them completely
To set up your locations, open the left side panel and tap on 'Settings' near the bottom and tap on 'Locations'. By default there are 3 locations, 'Default' is for any location not in the other locations. You can add more locations using the "+" button at the top of the screen.
Tap on a location to edit it. In the edit location screen, the top panel contains the locations that define the overall location group. You can use the "+" button at the top of the screen to add a new location. Locations can be defined by the either the current network id, or a geographical location or a schedule. When you add (or edit) a geographical location, you can search for addresses or scroll the map to choose a location. Tap on the size "+" or "-" buttons near the top right to change the size of the location area.
The network location criteria will use the current WiFi network to determine if you are in the location.
You can also choose a schedule for a location. For example, you can choose Monday - Friday from 9am to 5pm as the schedule for your business location. Editing schedules
In the edit location screen and you can choose the panel that will be displayed when you are in a location. You can choose a simple view like an email account or account category (View), or choose from a wide range of options such as Folder Filters (View) or Split Panels (View).
As an example you could choose the "Work - home" split panel to be displayed when you are in the "Business" location.
Tap on the "Locations" button in the left side panel to see your emails filtered by location.
If you want to use your locations screen as your default for the top button menu in the side panel, open the app settings (View) - 'Email' section and choose the "Default screen"
To show the location unread emails in the AltaMail badge, edit the notification settings (View) and tap on the badge button.
You need to enable the location access in the device 'Settings' app. Scroll down and tap on AltaMail - Location. Enable the 'While using' access. Your location is never shared and does not leave your device.