Advertising
Advertising

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

               

              Advertising

               

               

               

               

               

              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

                    Advertising

                    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.

                               

                               

                              Advertising

                               

                               

                              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.

                                  Advertising

                                  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.

                                    More by this author

                                    CM Smith

                                    A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

                                    To Automate or not to Automate Your Personal Productivity System How to Beat Procrastination: 29 Simple Tweaks to Make Design Is Important: How To Fail At Blogging 7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively 6 Unexpected Ways Journaling Every Day Will Make Your Life Better Why Getting Things Done is the Best Productivity System For You

                                    Trending in Technology

                                    1 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2020 2 10 Smartest Productivity Software to Boost Work Performance 3 5 Best Language Learning Apps to Master a New Language 4 11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity 5 To Automate or not to Automate Your Personal Productivity System

                                    Read Next

                                    Advertising
                                    Advertising
                                    Advertising

                                    Last Updated on December 9, 2019

                                    10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2020

                                    10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2020

                                    The success of our day is largely dependent on the quality of our planning. Not to miss out anything in their to-dos, some people prefer to make a list of upcoming tasks in a notebook, while others have long started using digital technology solutions.

                                    Calendar applications are some of the main tools that are worth using to organize our life and plan your time carefully.

                                    Many people have switched to specific tools; however, there are still some who do not use calendars on a daily basis. They may find some applications uncomfortable to use, non-functional, or expensive.

                                    In this article, we are going to check out the best calendars apps to help you stay organized.

                                    1. Cal Calendar

                                      Cal Calendar has recently appeared on the market of mobile applications (Android, iOS). It is the brainchild of the development team of Any.do that features impressive functionality and well-thought-out design.

                                      The application comes with many great features, including support for Exchange and Google Calendar, widgets, voice recording, and many more.

                                      Cal Calendar has direct integration with Any.Do To-Do List, which gives you a unique tandem of two applications.

                                      Apart from its extended functionality, Cal Calendar is easy to use. The creation of events is very simple and fast.

                                      What is more, depending on the name of the event, the application automatically adds contacts and geolocation data to the entry description. You can even import your lists and entries from Any.do.

                                      Cal Calendar is a great option for any type of user. It is very convenient and doesn’t overcomplicate the mode of display.

                                      Another good thing is that this tool is available for free, so you can use it without spending a dime for the software.

                                      Available for iOS and Android

                                      2. Google Calendar

                                        Google Calendar is the official calendar for Android devices that has been tested out by many users around the globe. If you are right now trying to get away from it, consider changing your mind.

                                        Since this application is installed on most Android devices by default, many users think that there is nothing special in this program. They are wrong.

                                        Advertising

                                        Google has been updating its calendar for quite a few years, and now it comes in Material Design with advanced event features, direct integration into other Google services (for example, supports reminders and Google Now), and comes with Exchange support.

                                        The program is super easy and will not cost a dime for you. It is a good thing, right?

                                        Available for iOS and Android

                                        3. Jorte Calendar

                                          Jorte Calendar is one of the most popular calendar applications in the Google Play store.

                                          The program features a wide range of configuration options, with many design alternatives. You can adjust display mode to your needs and view calendar entries sorted by month, week, or day (by hours). It is convenient for quickly picking the desired date, using task bars, and setting reminders.

                                          Apart from its ordinary information storing function, this application can be a special cloud service, Jorte Cloud, allowing you to synchronize calendars, schedules, and task lists on multiple devices. The application also supports data importing from Google Calendar.

                                          For those paying attention to the program design, there is also Jorte Store, where you can buy styles and icons to personalize the calendar. This feature makes Jorte is one of the brightest calendar applications.

                                          A basic version of the app is free of charge, so if you do not want to spend money on a calendar application, it is a good option.

                                          Available for iOS and Android

                                          4. Business Calendar

                                            Business Calendar is geared towards people who use their calendar for work purposes and business task planning. It offers different modes with wide configuration capabilities.

                                            The application gives a default view mode by months, and events can be marked in different colors. Display modes/ sorting can be adjusted to your needs (by month, day, year, or events).

                                            You can also set a multi-day viewing mode to see how things look for the next few days. Scrolling up and down moves you by month, and if you check a few days, they will be shown in a more detailed form.

                                            The day display mode offers hourly scheduling, and the schedule mode provides a detailed schedule for a single event.

                                            Business Calendar is a great tool for planning/ scheduling cases, tasks, and events. There is a support for recurring events, which can be set up in just a few clicks.

                                            Advertising

                                            Having purchased software, you can use it to import and export other calendars, delete, copy, or move several events at the same time.

                                            Android Business Calendar application may seem somewhat chaotic, but it works fine and is easy to work with if you play with it for a while.

                                            A full version of the application is available for $4.99, but you can also find a free version for the app test drive.

                                            Available for Android

                                            5. Calendar

                                              Calendar is a relatively new app. It works as a web app and for both iOS and Android devices. It is an intelligent app that learns your contacts, schedule and tasks. It also helps you schedule and arrange meetings according to your available time slots.

                                              A good thing about Calendar is that it allows you to sync up with other calendars you use such as Apple Calendar and Google Calendar. And so you can manage all the calendars you have in one place.

                                              Calendar also gives you analytics of your meetings, giving you a clear picture on how you can improve your time management.

                                              Available for Desktop, and iOS

                                              6. aCalendar

                                                aCalendar opens our collection of top 10 calendar applications available on the market today. With its appealing design, easy navigation, and great functionality, it is one of the most popular calendar apps in our list.

                                                Some of extra functions include color schemes for each case type (48 colors to choose from), different types of demonstrations, different widgets, moon phases, and much more.

                                                Taking into account it functionality, aCalendar is a reliable calendar application that has an easy-to-navigate interface with three display options. Scrolling from side to side allows you to switch between the display modes of the month, week and day.

                                                When scrolling down and up, you are moving through the calendar at intervals in accordance with the selected display mode.

                                                Apart from its time planning feature, aCalendar synchronizes photos from contact lists or social networks to remind you about birthdays, anniversaries, or any other special dates.

                                                The program also supports data transfer through NFC and full-screen widgets, which eases your work with any data.

                                                Advertising

                                                The program is available for free, but you can also get even more features if you buy the extended version of software for $4.99.

                                                Available for Android

                                                7. DigiCal Calendar

                                                  DigiCal Calendar is very similar to Cal Calendar in the fact that the application focuses on design more than on its functionality. However, this doesn’t mean that the application doesn’t serve the purpose.

                                                  With this calendar application, you can synchronize all your calendars and view them in different ways.

                                                  Along with the basic functions, this program comes with support for Google Calendar, Outlook, and includes some unique and interesting features. You can match keywords to the image or set up a dark theme.

                                                  The app can even show you the weather forecast for three days. There are many other features that deserve the attention of people who really like to use calendar applications.

                                                  Available for Android

                                                  8. SolCalendar

                                                    SolCalendar can be called a universal application. It claims to be an all-in-one digital solution having a basic calendar functionality combined with some other advanced features, such as weather forecast for a specific day.

                                                    The application supports Google Calendar, as well as tasks, widgets, lunar calendar and even Foursquare.

                                                    Those searching for a calendar application to cover just everything in its functionality, SolCalendar is a program to consider. There are a lot of interesting things in this application; the program does an excellent job working in “all-in-one” mode.

                                                    Test SolCalendar – the application is available for free. You can test it out without purchasing the service.

                                                    Available for Android

                                                    9. Today Calendar

                                                      Today Calendar is one of the most hip and edgy calendars in our list. The solution was one of the first ones that really embraced Material Design and remains one of the few that adhere to the neat style.

                                                      Advertising

                                                      The calendar application offers bold colors, simple controls, and great functionality. This is not as heavy an application as many others; it will not eat all the memory of your device.

                                                      If you are not searching for something complicated and over-functional, Today Calendar is what you need. You can always test the application before paying for it – the program is available for free.

                                                      Available for Android

                                                      10. Calendar Widget: Month

                                                        Sometimes people do not need a heap of calendar applications. They would prefer to have one efficient calendar widget.

                                                        Calendar Widget: Month perfectly fills this niche and meets all the needs of a modern user. It has some features of an ordinary calendar, but the real great thing about this software is that it has 80 or more themes in its library.

                                                        The design of the application is great; the themes are perfectly tuned. There are options for almost any theme of your smartphone. The only drawback is the fact that the widget memory is not too large, and you should be ready for it.

                                                        This simple calendar widget was created in the image and semblance of widgets from Yahoo. The widget window displays one calendar month with the ability to go to the previous and move to the next one.

                                                        If you need a simple and affordable calendar to plan your tasks and affairs for one month, this widget is ideal for you. Calendar Widget: Month is so simple that it does not even have Google Calendar support.

                                                        At the moment, it does not have the function of connecting any third-party calendars and services. Developers allow the possibility of introducing support for Google service as an addition to the widget, if users request to have this opportunity.

                                                        Available for Android

                                                        Our Verdict

                                                        Searching for the right application to manage your various calendars and plan your busy day can sometimes turn into a streak of obstacles.

                                                        Most of us need flexible applications that can be easily used to manage our tough schedule. The application should have all necessary time planning functions and be intuitive.

                                                        Stylish design and limitless compatibility also matter. It is not always easy to find such a program.

                                                        The above digital calendar solutions fall under the category “worth” of being used. They are modern, multifunctional, easy, and easy. Pick the one you like!

                                                        More Productivity Apps

                                                        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                                                        Read Next