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The biggest reason why people are so much more efficient with their email when using Mail Pilot is the workflow that its interface allows you to employ. It works the way we naturally want to think about our email. This article is a guide to using that workflow effectively in Mail Pilot.

#1: Use the Important tab to focus just on what matters throughout the day.

Throughout the day, leave the Important tab open. This tab should contain only the messages that you want to see immediately when you receive them. For most users, this will be a small minority of the messages you receive.

The important tab may be home to emails from loved ones and close colleagues, as well as services which often have something urgent to alert you about.

The messages in your Important tab are the only ones that Mail Pilot will post a system notification about when they arrive.

Add the senders you most care about to your Important tab

By default, Mail Pilot will only put messages written and sent by an actual person in your Important tab. You can add or remove any senders you want to make your Important tab most effective.

For example, you might want to add services like PagerDuty or calendar invites to your Important tab. Or, you might have a noisy sender in your inbox that you'd rather move to your Batch tab.

To change where a sender's messages appear, click their name on a message they sent, or use the action bar when in Important or Batch (more on that below).

Expanding and reading messages

As you receive messages, you'll see that you can immediately read their contents without having to navigate to another view. If you want to see more of the message than is immediately visible, you can click it to expand the message (or if the message is focused, you can use your enter key). You can collapse the message with your escape key.

The heights of the message cards are based on your window height. If you want the cards to start taller, try making the window taller. Likewise, if you make the window shorter, the message cards will show a shorter preview of their contents.

Replying to and organizing messages

Replying also requires no navigation — you can use the quick reply box at the bottom of each message card to fire off a reply in no time (shortcut "R"). And you can use the action menu to organize the message once you're done with it (shortcut "A").

2. Use the Batch tab to save time processing unimportant emails.

Your Batch tab contains messages that you don't want to interrupt your day. You can check Batch far less frequently than you check Important. Most users can check Batch once or twice a day at most to get the most out of it.

The Batch tab is often home to newsletters, social notifications, transactional updates from services, and other less important emails.

Skimming by sender

Messages in your batch list are grouped by sender, so you can skim through what you've received very quickly. And since every message previews its contents in the message card, you don't have to navigate to know what each email is about, or to read more of it. Clicking a message (or using the down arrow to focus on specific messages, then your return / enter key) expands it so you can see more.

Once or twice a day, open your batch list and scan down it. Anything important can be acted on or organized. Use Set Aside to pull out any important emails you can't act on or organize just yet (more on Set Aside below).

Archiving your entire Batch list in one click

Once you've reached the bottom of Batch, having acted on anything important, use the "Complete All" button at the end of the list. This will send all of the messages in your Batch list to your archive.

You can also complete all of the messages from one sender, and you can even view just the messages from one sender.

Save more time by waiting for more messages before checking Batch

To an extent, the less frequently you open batch, the more you benefit from it. For example, if you check batch twice a day instead of every time you open your inbox, you'll be able to use a single click to archive far more unimportant messages at once.

Using the batch indicator ring

The batch indicator ring shows about how many messages have been batched. It becomes full, lighting up in blue with a dot in the middle, when it would be advantageous to review your batched messages.

Wait to review Batch until the indicator ring is full in order to save the most time.

3. Reach Inbox Zero, even if you have 30,000 unread emails in your inbox.

The new Mail Pilot makes it possible to reach Inbox Zero every day — whether your inbox has 3 messages in it, or 30,000.

By default, the Important tab will only show the last 10 messages from the last 3 days. Once those messages are organized out of the inbox, you'll reach Inbox Zero and see that day's Inbox Zero illustration. You can always load in more messages to continue processing older emails.

Similarly, your Batch tab will initially only show up to 100 messages from the last 30 days.

Humblebrag whenever possible

Whenever you reach Inbox Zero, you can share the accomplishment with friends and followers by sharing the postcard you get that day on Twitter or in Messages. Just click the share button when that day's Inbox Zero illustration comes up.

4. Use keyboard shortcuts to surf effortlessly through the interface.

For keyboard junkies, you can dive into your message list by hitting the down arrow key which will select the first message in the list, and on the next press, it'll select the next message. Use your enter / return key to expand a message if you want to see more of its contents, and the spacebar to navigate one page down.

Use Command + "." to immediately complete and archive the currently focused message.

You can hit your "R" key to begin a quick reply, and your "A" key to begin using the action menu. In the action menu, you can type anything to pull up a result – such as a date for a reminder, the name of a new or existing list, or an action integration. Just hit enter to select the result you'd like to use.

Your escape key will always take you "back" one step. So if you're focused on an expanded message, it will collapse. Then the escape key will remove focus from the message. Or if you're in the action menu, the escape key will close it.

For all of the keyboard shortcuts, see the keyboard shortcuts guide.

5. Use the Action Bar to take any action in just a few keypresses.

Things get really efficient when you put your Action Bar to use.

When a message is focused, hit "A" to put your cursor in the Action Bar (of course, you can also use your mouse).

Type to filter action results

The action bar is more than just a button. You can type in the action bar to filter results, and even to create new ones. For example, you can do any of the following:

1. To set a reminder:

  • Type a number to set a reminder for that many days in the future (e.g.: 1 for tomorrow)
  • Type a date in any format (e.g.: 10/15, Jun 3, etc.)
  • Type a month, day of the week, or similar term (e.g.: July, Monday, Weekend)

2. To move the message to a list or folder, simply begin typing the name of the list or folder.

3. To create a new list or folder and move the message to it, simply type the name you want to give the new list or folder.

4. To trigger an action integration, begin typing the name of the app or the action.

5. To send a message to any other destination, such as Set Aside or Complete, simply start typing the name of the destination.

6. When in Important or Batch, to change which tab the sender's messages should appear in, begin to type "Important" or "Batch".

When the action you want to take is selected, hit your return key. You can also navigate the list with your arrow keys.

Create integrations with all of your favorite apps

You can create new actions in your action menu to send messages to other apps. This includes task apps like Things, note taking apps like Bear, and many others. To learn how to do this, see our documentation on action integrations.

6. Use the More tab to navigate anywhere in just a few keypresses.

Hit your command key and the digit "0" to access the More menu. This will automatically focus a filter input that allows you to quickly type to navigate the app (of course, you can also use your mouse).

You can type anything to filter to any view, list, or folder, and hit your return key to navigate to that view. You can use your arrow keys to further navigate down the results list.

Because you can use just your keyboard, the more tab is a rapid way to navigate through the app.

7. Use Reminders to schedule when you want to act on an email.

When you receive an email you can't complete yet, you can set a reminder for a specific date. The message will leave your inbox to reduce clutter, and when you need to take action on it, the message will show up in that day's reminders.

This is perfect for bills, meetings, deliveries, due dates, and many more kinds of reminders that help you stay on top of your week.

8. Use Lists to group or act on similar emails together.

In Mail Pilot, you can organize related messages in individual lists.

Lists are automatically unified across all of your email accounts, and can contain both incomplete and completed messages.

9. Use Set Aside to hang on to emails you’ll deal with later.

If you can’t complete something yet, and it doesn't make sense for a List or Reminder, just use Set Aside. It's an easy way to clear your inbox so you can focus on what's important. Return to your Set Aside messages when you have more time.

Pro tip: When skimming down your Batch list, if there are any messages you need to act on but don't immediately have the time to, use Set Aside to pull them out of your Batch list so that you can still click once to complete everything else left in Batch at the end of the list.

10. Use Complete to archive emails you’re finished with.

Mail Pilot has always been designed around the essence of email: All email messages have tasks associated with them, so instead of “unread”, new messages are “incomplete”, even after you’ve read them.

When you’re done with the tasks associated with an email message, check it off as Complete. Just like a to-do list, it’s then archived.

Youll never look at email the same way again.
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