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Lifehack Presents: Sparrow for iPhone Mini User Guide

Lifehack Presents: Sparrow for iPhone Mini User Guide

We have had some very exciting news regarding Apple products in the past few weeks, but when Mr. Vardy let me in on Sparrow coming to the iPhone, needless to say I was super excited. Sparrow for the Mac is a great alternative to the native Mail.app, so I was hoping that Sparrow for iPhone would be the same thing.

After following this Lifehack Mini Guide, you should find that Sparrow could be the new Mail app replacement for your iPhone.

First use

The Sparrow mail app is laid out a little differently than a traditional list-based app. The basic interface contains three panels that you can slide back and forth. The first panel contains all of your email accounts, as well as the button to get to settings, and a way to add new accounts. The second panel is the list of all of your “mailboxes” and label (if you are using Gmail; folders otherwise). The third panel is a drill down on the current “mailbox” or folder that you tap from the second panel. So, the way you navigate is horizontally and vertical.

Accounts Panel in Sparrow for iOS
    Accounts Panel
    Folders Panel in Sparrow for iPhone
      Folders Panel
      Messages Panel in Sparrow for iPhone
        Messages Panel

         

         

         

         

         

         

        Adding new accounts

        To add a new email account, go to the Accounts panel, click the “+” button at the bottom right and enter a name for the account (which will be the display name of the email), your email address, and password. If your email provider is supported (like Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.) the account will add automatically. If you have your own personally hosted email, then you have to enter your server credentials in to add the email address.

        Mail functions

        Here is how you get your mail done with Sparrow.

        Navigating your inbox

        The inbox view of Sparrow is quite intuitive.

        Inbox View in Sparrow for iOS
          Inbox View

          To check for new mail simply drag the list all the way down to enable the refresh function. This is just like in other list based iOS apps.

          You can process your inbox emails one-by-one, or you can process them in bulk. To process your email individually, you can swipe the message from the inbox to the left and you will then be given a set of options to reply, star label (or put in folder), archive the message, or delete the message.

          To process your email in bulk, simply tap the Edit button at the top right and you will see a new menu bar at the top. The first checkbox button allows you to mark all of your messages as read. The other three buttons, Move, Archive, and Delete, will be enabled after you mark your messages you want to process. This is a really fast way to deal with your inbox.

          Single Email Processing in Sparrow for iPhone
            Single Email Processing
            Bulk Email Processing in Sparrow for iPhone
              Bulk Email Processing

               

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              Other mailboxes (for instance you sent mail or trash) can be dealt with the same way as your inbox. You can just as easily move and process your mail in these other mailboxes.

              Single email and threaded view

              Sparrow has threaded email view built right in. So if you are a Gmail user you will feel right at home.

              To view your email simply tap on the item in the mailbox you are currently in. If the email has multiple replies associated with it, you will be taken to the latest message and will see the number of the mail message that you are on (for instance 3 of 3). To get to another message in the thread you can pull or push the message down or up to “slide” the next message. Or, for longer threads, you can tap the message number indicator in the heading (the 3 of 3 heading) and you will be taken to a list view of each message. To get to the message just tap on it.

              Threaded Messaging in Sparrow for iPhone
                Threaded Messaging
                All Threads View in Sparrow for iPhone
                  All Threads View

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                   

                  You can quickly process your email with the little blue arrow at the bottom right of the currently viewed email. Tapping that button will bring up buttons to create a new email, forward the current email, star the current email, archive the message, or delete the message.

                  The action bar at the bottom of a message in Sparrow for iPhone
                    The bottom message bar

                    You can also mark a read message as unread by tapping the the small dot in the messages subject section.

                    Composing messages

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                    To compose a new message, tap the small blue button at the bottom right of any mailbox view. This will bring up the Send To screen where you can add email recipients. One of my favorite things about Sparrow right now is how you can quickly search for a contact and  choose if you want to make them a ‘To’, ‘Cc’, or ‘Bcc’ recipient in one nice little package. It’s super intuitive and the color feedback makes it very easy to use.

                    Compose a new message in Sparrow for iPhone
                      Compose a new message
                      Add To, Cc, and Bcc in Sparrow for iPhone
                        Add To, Cc, and Bcc

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         

                         

                        To compose the message, tap the Next button after you have selected your recipients. You can then type your subject and message. To make an attachment, click on the paper clip in the subject text box. You will be given two options; to take a photo or choose one from your photo library. Once you add a picture to the email, you will see that you have a nice “gallery” at the bottom of the message where you can add new photos, delete them and view them before sending.

                        Add a photo to your email in Sparrow for iPhone
                          Add a photo to your email
                          Add more images or delete them in Sparrow for iPhone
                            Add more images or delete

                             

                             

                             

                             

                             

                             

                            If you want to change the email address you are using to send the email, simply tap the top header where the “From” listing is. You will then be given a list of all of your currently added email accounts as well as any aliases you have added (more on that in a bit).

                            Change the 'From' account in Sparrow for iPhone
                              Change the 'From' account

                              You can also add more people and change the there message type (To, Cc, or Bcc) by tapping on the number of people that the message is being sent to in the To text box. This will take you back to the “Send to” screen where you can edit the messages recipients.

                               

                               

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                              Forwarding and replying

                              Once you have the basics of sending email down, forwarding and replying is a snap. You can forward and reply in two different ways, one from the mailbox view, and one from the message view.

                              From the mailbox view

                              Simply swipe the message to the right and choose the reply button (furthest to the left) to reply to the message. You will then be taken to the compose message screen where you can do all the things like changing the sent from email, adding recipients, adding attachments, etc.

                              Options for a single email in Sparrow for iPhone
                                Options for a single email

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                From the message view

                                Tap the Reply button at the top right of the screen to reply to the currently selected email. You can then treat it like any other composed message.

                                Settings

                                To get to Sparrow’s settings, go to the account view panel (the panel all the way to the left) and click on the settings gear in the bottom left of the screen. From the setting screen you can adjust single email accounts as well as behaviors for all accounts

                                Accounts

                                Account settings in Sparrow for iPhone
                                  Account Settings

                                  Under the accounts heading you can choose an account change the accounts avatar, add a custom account signature, add aliases (that is, other email addresses that this account can put in the ‘From’ field when sending an email), turn sounds on or off, and the ability to refresh your account’s contacts and labels.

                                  The default account option under the Accounts header on the Settings screen can be used to choose a default From account.

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                                  Appearance

                                  Pretty general settings here. You can choose how many messages to recent messages to show (from 25 to 1000), how many lines are shown in the preview, and toggles to show your avatars in your accounts screen and the ability to use Priority Inbox (if you are using Gmail).

                                  Advanced

                                  Here there are toggles for turning on reply to all as default, an option for when you label something (or put it in a folder) it will archive it too, and a reversed thread order for your messages (ie. newer emails will be number 1 of 3 rather than 3 of 3).

                                  The last choice is a Panel Button option which allows you to change the behavior of the panel button in your mailbox list panel. By default, the button on the top right of the message list panel will take you back to the mailbox and label list panel, and the button at the top right of the mailbox and label list panel will take you to the account panel. By choosing Go to Accounts in the Panel Button option, the top, right button in the message list panel will take you all the way to the accounts panel.

                                  Social Networks

                                  As of now, you can sign-in with your Facebook account to grab avatars for all of your contacts.

                                  Other stuff

                                  To get back to your inbox quickly from another folder or mailbox view, simply tap the header of the list. For instance, if you are in a folder called “Receipts”, just tap the header of the list and you will quickly move to your inbox. Once there, you can tap the header to get to your unread and starred items.

                                  Quickly change list views in Sparrow for iPhone
                                    Quickly change list views

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                    For the Panel Button option, you probably want to choose the “Go to Accounts” option as this gives you the most flexibility. Instead of having to swipe all the way to accounts, you can simply tap the button. Then you have the option to swipe to your Mailbox panel. It’s much more versatile.

                                    Right now there are no push notifications. Some people will find that to be a nuisance, or even possibly a deal breaker, but really it’s kind of nice to not be annoyed by endless message ‘dings’ and ‘boops’. Also, there is no way to turn off the unread count in Sparrow’s badge. Seems like a misstep.

                                    Another potential setback is that because of iOS restrictions, Sparrow can’t be made the “default” mail app. That means, whenever you tap on an email address from, say, Safari or any other app, Mail.app will open instead. This means, that you need to have the same email accounts set up natively on your iPhone as you do in Sparrow, that is if you want to use all of these accounts to send from.

                                    Sparrow for iPhone is a very well thought out and useful application, and for most people can totally replace the native Mail app on their iPhone. Hopefully this mini guide will help you get you started with using Sparrow for iPhone.

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                                    Published on November 9, 2018

                                    How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                                    How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                                    Technology has taken the business world by storm. People and businesses are progressively reliant on technology world these days. As a result, the people with impressive knowledge and experience with a computer are in demand.

                                    Considering this growing market trend, if you too wish to bag a profitable job, this article is apt for you. Here, we will dig deeper into the business and technology world to look into what are the best computer skills one should invest in and what resources to get help from.

                                    So, are you ready? Here we begin.

                                    6 Most-In Demand Computer Skills This Year (and Beyond)

                                    When talking about computer skills, following are the 6 computer skills that can fill your mailbox with endless job opportunities (besides, having an English and Hindi typing speed of 40+ WPM):-

                                    1. Spreadsheets and Databases

                                    Considering the treasure trove of data companies are handling these days, Spreadsheet and Database management skill tops the list. It is considered the most wanted job skill in the market, with a salary of around $53,129/yr for an entry-level position. However, the spreadsheet skill does not confine to auditing data from cells.

                                    To get hired based on this computer skill, you need to become a Spreadsheet ninja. From storing data to organizing them, applying complex mathematics formulas, and creating complex macros, you need to be an expert at all.

                                    In other words, you need to have an expertise at working with:

                                    • Microsoft Excel
                                    • Microsoft Access
                                    • Statistics
                                    • Data Analytics
                                    • Adobe Campaign
                                    • Quickbooks
                                    • XML Database management system
                                    • Filemaker Pro
                                    • MATLAB
                                    • Hive
                                    • FORTRAN
                                    • RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
                                    • SAS

                                    2. Social Media, Email, and Blogging

                                    Though people are socially active, not everyone knows how to use the social media tools on the professional front. In such a scenario, having an expertise at writing engaging yet professional emails, writing blogs, and managing social media activities is a ticket to entry in reputed organizations.

                                    Some of the skills related to social media, email and blogging that will have a leg up in the hiring process are:

                                    • Content Management System (CMS)
                                    • Google Analytics
                                    • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
                                    • Email Marketing
                                    • Web Page Design
                                    • WordPress
                                    • Digital Media
                                    • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
                                    • Campaign Management Software

                                    3. Graphic Design and Word Processing

                                    A solid grasp of skills to present the gained information in the much readable form is another market need. When considering this computer skill category, you need to enhance your skills at:

                                    • Adobe Photoshop
                                    • Adobe InDesign
                                    • Adobe Illustrator
                                    • AutoCAD
                                    • CorelDRAW
                                    • Microsoft Visual Studio
                                    • Maya
                                    • Microsoft Word
                                    • Microsoft Publisher
                                    • Operating Digital Cameras

                                    4. Software and Hardware Design and Development

                                    The Software and Hardware development, in simpler language, means designing, implementing, and testing the computer software/hardware applications. It is the most profitable computer skill, with a different job opening, including Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software programmer, Hardware configuration, etc.

                                    To be capable of developing and testing the software and hardware, you need to peruse your users’ needs and build an application that hits their pain points. You need to work with different web and mobile app coding languages for gaining the attention of your audience, some of which are:

                                    • HTML
                                    • C/C++
                                    • Java
                                    • Python
                                    • XML
                                    • UI/UX
                                    • LINUX
                                    • CISC and RISC architecture
                                    • Embedded Processor Hardware Design
                                    • Memory Management
                                    • PCB Layout
                                    • SQL

                                    5. IT Troubleshooting

                                    Working on computers is one thing and having a knack of looking into the associated issues and resolving them in real-time is another. There are various employees and graduates who work with computer systems in their daily lives, but get confused when it comes to dealing with frozen programs and performing routine maintenance.

                                    So, if you are familiar with the basic anatomy of computers and machines and know the tricks to perform such tasks to streamline the working process, enter the IT support arena. The prime IT troubleshooting skills one needs to work upon are:

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                                    • Backup management
                                    • Diagnostics
                                    • End User support
                                    • Client-Server management
                                    • Installation and configuration
                                    • Issue tracking system (ITS)
                                    • System administration
                                    • Tech support

                                    6. Enterprise Systems

                                    Many Enterprises have their own enterprise solutions like PeopleSoft for managing their data and operations.

                                    Becoming a master at using the enterprise solutions mentioned in their ‘Requirements’ area can also lessen the barrier to get a job.

                                    The Roadmap to Excel Your Computer Skills

                                    Now that you know the 6 most popular computer skills in the market, the first decision, you need to take is which computer skill you want to work upon. All the skills are equally considerable for making a career ahead. So, choose one as per your interest.

                                    Once done, look forward to the following resources for boosting your computer skills and getting a reputed, handsome job.

                                    Depending on the computer skill you opt, here are the online courses you can turn to for elevating your career opportunities:

                                    1. Become a Spreadsheet and Database Ninja

                                    a. Microsoft Excel Training Online Course – Basic & Advanced

                                    Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at working with spreadsheets, this online course has something new for everyone to become excel efficient users.

                                    Divided into 48 interesting lessons, the course empowers you to learn the technique of using mathematical, statistical, logical and text functions, sorting and filtering the data, creating Pivot Tables, building macros, finding a value with VLOOKUp, and much more.

                                    b. Excel- Online Courses, Classes, Training, Tutorials on Lynda

                                    This is another impressive course to unlock the power of Excel. Designed for people from all walks of life and familiarity with Excel tools. This course helps you gain in-depth knowledge from the experts about this data-analyzing tool and make the magic in spreadsheet creation and management process.

                                    c. SQL & Database Design A-Z™: Learn MS SQL Server + PostgreSQL

                                    Build a successful career in the data analytics world with this online course.

                                    Revolving around the two top databases, MS SQL and PostgreSQL, this course will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the working of the databases and understanding of all the related elements, including how to create, update, organize, and safeguard the data.

                                    2. Rule the Social Media World

                                    a. Free Social Media Course by HubSpot

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                                    Introduced by the top experienced inbound professors from Hubspot, here you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Social media marketing.

                                    From understanding how to build relationships on different social media platforms to creating a perfect strategy to engage them, leveraging the benefits of social advertising, and analyzing your social media ROI, this course will bring out the best out of you.

                                    b. Write Professional Emails in English by Coursera

                                    This online course will be the right weapon to look into the differences and similarities between different email styles, improve your English writing skills, write effective subject lines, maintain the formality tone in emails, and more to make a powerful impact on the receivers with your email.

                                    c. Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

                                    Founded by Udemy, this online course will excel your skills to build a masterpiece everytime you write.

                                    Here, you will get the guidance from the editors of the top newspapers and websites, and understand what kind of words and tone to use for leaving a spellbinding impact on the readers.

                                    3. Launch Your Own Software or Hardware Equipment

                                    a. Hardware and Software Courses by Coursera

                                    From Big Data to IoT, Sensor Circuit Design, Embedded Software and Hardware Architecture, and Motor Control Circuit, this course will give you a glimpse of all the hardware devices, equipment, and programming languages to build wonders.

                                    b. Free Software and Web Development Certifications Online by Alison

                                    Become the software developer market demands with Alison’s Java, C#, Python, R, PHP, or MySQL database course. From backend to frontend development and software testing.

                                    The course helps you to learn how to design, develop and test software and working in a team while contributing to the team success.

                                    c. Free Online Software Development and MOOCs Course by Class Central

                                    The Class Central online course will make you a master of software development. Here, you will learn the basic concepts of development like Agile, Design Patterns, and Version Control with Git, along with gaining experience of working with the top programming languages.

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                                    4. Live and Breathe Creativity

                                    a. Udemy: Introduction to Graphic Design

                                    It is a top-rated program for the new learners and designers to explore the Graphic Design world.

                                    From the history of communication to the design principles, the course will help the students to learn everything specifically and implement in the real world.

                                    b. Canva Design School

                                    From a beginner to advanced level, this course will provide you with an elaborated and comprehensive knowledge of graphic design. In the form of 4 modules, this course will help the interested graphic designers to try out their skills at Graphics, ranging from fonts to colors, backgrounds, images, shapes, and layouts.

                                    c. Microsoft Word – Basic & Advanced

                                    62 personalized lessons, premium video tutorials, and unlimited tests and quizzes – this certified course has everything that will make your entry to the business world easier.

                                    d. Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Access Productivity Bundle

                                    The course will make you productive in Word, Excel, and Access through video lectures, articles, and various other supplemental resources.

                                    Besides, it will offer you exclusive tips and tricks to enhance your skills at using Microsoft office.

                                    5. Raise Your Reflexes to IT Troubleshooting

                                    a. IT Troubleshooting Skill Training by Udemy

                                    IT Troubleshooting Skill Training will upgrade your logical concepts over technical components to find and repair faults.

                                    It will provide you with a methodological approach to learn the basics of troubleshooting, practice them via exercises and drills, and enhance your IT troubleshooting intelligence.

                                    b. IT Help Desk Online Course on Lynda

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                                    The Lynda’s IT troubleshooting online course will train you how to respond to the issues related to Windows 10, Office 365, JIRA software, and more, from a local as well as a remote location.

                                    Mobile Apps and Websites to Enhance Computer Skills

                                    The aforementioned online courses will undoubtedly train you for a successful career ahead. But, in case you want a long-term support, turn towards the following websites and mobile apps:

                                    • Duolingo – Duolingo app will improve your spoken and written communication skills in different languages. With the magic of gamification added to the study, the app will make learning a fun and addictive task.
                                    • Hemingway – Hemingway app defines the length, complexity, and common errors associated with the sentences. In this way, it helps you to write effectively and go ahead in the career.
                                    • Udemy – The Udemy, with its 2000+ courses, is a great platform to master new skills, advance your career and explore the newer technologies and programming languages. Enrol a course as per your budget and make a brighter future.
                                    • eDX – eDX is yet another commendable platform you can look forward to. The platform offers you the best of the tutorials prepared by the business professionals and technology experts, ensuring a great boost in your computer skills.
                                    • Excel Easy – Excel Easy, as the name depicts, will make working with Excel easier for you via their detailed tutorials and 300+ real-life examples.
                                    • GCF LearnFree.org – It is a one-stop platform for accelerating your future in the computer world. From graphic design to Microsoft Office, resume writing, enhancing adaptability, and much more, the top experts will guide you with everything on this platform.
                                    • QuarkXPress – The QuarkXPress will aid you to add soul to your design with its unparalleled collection of font style, size, and typography. The best part is that it is avails all the options in different languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian to name a few.

                                    Bonus: Tips to Accelerate Your Approach For a Better Career Ahead

                                    Though these resources will make you stand out from the crowd and get hired at once, you need to focus on various other things, such as:

                                    1. Practice, Practice, Practice

                                    It is common to forget what we learn. To ensure that you do not miss any opportunity just because you forgot, keep practising.

                                    Make it your routine. Polish your computer skills and you will surely end up getting an offer letter from a recognized firm.

                                    2. Work on Your Efficiency

                                    Remembering what you learned is not enough; practice to enhance those skills to do better.

                                    For example, if you take around 50 minutes to create a design, target for 40 minutes.

                                    3. Look for Shortcuts

                                    Smart work rules over hard work more often. So, look forward to learning shortcuts to do any task. This will increase your chances to crack an interview and get selected.

                                    4. Apply for an Internship

                                    Last but not the least, apply for an internship to see what’s trending in the market and how much you are ready for it. While doing an internship, pay attention to your weak points and work on them. This will ensure a success when you apply for your dream job.

                                    By the late, it’s never too late to be an intern or grab whatever opportunity to learn something new! Here’s how:

                                    How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                                    The Bottom Line

                                    Seeing the current market scenario, it is evident that having computer skills is a boon for a better career ahead.

                                    So, rather than struggling with thousands of other things and trying to crack interviews, focus on the computer skills mentioned in this article. Utilize the resources and experts’ tips shared and look forward to having a successful and prosperous future.

                                    Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

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