Getting control of email with Newton Mail and Wunderlist

logo_dark.pngA contact from the guys at Newton Mail to tell me that Newton Mail now provides integration with Wunderlist meant I had to investigate as part of my continuing evaluation of Wunderlist.

I’ve always used Apple Mail since I started using the Mac and, apart from a brief trial with Thunderbird, and another with PostBox, I’ve stuck with Apple’s free offering and used Wunderlist’s Send to Mail option to get emails into Wunderlist. The only other tool that I’m aware of that allows Apple Mail to directly integrate with Wunderlist is MailButler – but that only works with Apple Mail (and it’s more expensive than Newton Mail).

Newton Mail works with all email accounts:

All Email accounts

Newton Mail integrates with all these applications (and others are “coming soon”):

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 11.20.51Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 11.22.50

The Wunderlist integration allows you to add an email as a to-do and enables you to chose the list, set a completion date, and a reminder.

Controlling email in GTD

Processing emails in many list managers is just not possible, and as one of the most, if not the most, difficult inbox to get under control, any approach that integrates your email client with your chosen list manager has to be worth a look.

The GTD Setup Guide for Wunderlist, as do most Setup Guides, only gives you two options for controlling email:

  1. Use the email itself as a reminder. This isn’t my preferred approach as it means you have another pair of lists in your mail app to keep track of as well as those in Wunderlist. Something is bound to fall between the cracks.
  2. Use Next Actions Lists in Wunderlist or your Calendar as the Action Reminder. This is the approach I prefer to use as it moves a copy of the email into your Wunderlist Inbox from where you can Clarify and Organise it just like any other Captured item. If, once you’ve moved the email to Wunderlist, you add a Due Date (and optionally a Remind Me date) these will be picked up as part of the Wunderlist Calendar integration (if you’re using that).

But even Option 2 is a lot of work to get an email processed, and it’s just going to fail sooner rather than later.

Newton Mail‘s integration with Wunderlist gives you a direct way of doing Option 2, because it allows you to do the following before you send the email to Wunderlist:

  1. Change the subject (add a verb to say what action is required)
  2. Select which List it goes to
  3. Add an optional Due Date
  4. Add an optional Remind Me date

Installing Newton Mail

Before you go any further, Newton Mail is only available for macOS, iOS and Android operating systems, and not Microsoft Windows yet (but a Windows app is coming Spring 2017).

Go to the Newton Mail website and start the 14-day trial – there are no restrictions on the trial version except the 14-day time limit. It’s $49.99 a year if you plan to continue to use it.

This will take you to the appropriate app store. You need to set up Newton Mail with an email address and password.

Then you need to set up any email accounts you want to use with Newton Mail in addition to email you’ve registered.

Setting up Newton Mail and Wunderlist

Once that’s all done, you need to go to the Settings in Newton Mail. Click on the My Account picture at top right of the screen, scroll down and select Settings and then select Superchargers and then Connected Apps.

Click on Wunderlist (and any other you want to use – I’ve selected Evernote as well as I may want to send an email to Evernote) and deal with any authorisation request that pops up.

Processing an email into Wunderlist

Open an email from your Inbox in Newton Mail. As an example, here’s the Welcome email from Newton Mail:

Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 14.56.50

Note the three dot overflow symbol Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 14.59.15.jpgnext to the address from which the email came.

If the Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 14.59.15.jpgisn’t there, then move the cursor to the left of the address, and it will appear. Click on it and this should appear:

Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 15.02.00.jpg

Select Wunderlist and the ADD TO-DO page will appear with the title of the email and the first part of the description, the three dot overflow symbol and a blue ADD bar.

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If you click on the ADD bar then the email (the whole email, not just the short description) will be added to the Wunderlist Inbox.

But, if you click on the three dots overflow symbol, the ADD TO-DO page will expand to allow you to specify which List in Wunderlist you want to use, plus a DUE DATE and a REMIND ME date and TIME before you ADD.

Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 15.09.01.jpg

Before you ADD you can edit the TITLE (but not the DESCRIPTION) so, as in good GTD practice, you can specify what the Next Action is going to be. In this case. I decided I needed to create a new Project to set-up Newton Mail so I’ve edited the TITLE:Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 15.18.06.jpg

and, further down, I’ve selected the Computer list from Wunderlist, added a DUE DATE and a REMIND ME date and time:Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 15.19.02

Here’s the completed To-Do in Wunderlist:

Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 15.24.49.jpg

It’s as simple as that!

Other Newton Mail features

As well as application integration, Newton Mail can add attachments to emails from Google Drive, Box, Dropbox, OneDrive and iCloud.

Newton Mail handles read receipts automatically but you need to set the option on globally or per email to be notified when emails are read.

You can schedule emails to be sent so that they land at the right moment and you can snooze incoming email and remove them temporarily from the Inbox and get them to come back at a later time or date and even snooze them from your mobile device to your Mac’s desktop.

You can get a sender’s profile by clicking on the round disk (which may have a photograph) next to their name on an incoming email and find more about them such as job title, organisation, location, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profiles and detailed organisational information that they’ve made avaialble.

I’m sure the guys at Newton Mail have other enhancements planned.

Features you won’t find in Newton Mail

If you are an Apple Mail user like me, your may miss things like Smart Mailboxes, Flags, and the ability to import and export mail and rules to control your mail.

But Newton Mail‘s clean and simple approach may win you over, and it’s a real boon to be able, through the integration with Wunderlist to have a real chance of achieving Inbox Zero.

Try it and see!

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