Polymail

I’m super excited to write this blog post. I’m always interested in new mail clients (I miss Mailbox). When I found out Polymail dropped for both iOS and Mac, I jumped on it. Apparently so did everyone else, which lead to some problems.

If you’ve never heard of Polymail before, don’t feel bad. I didn’t hear about it until super recently, myself. Polymail has a super slick UI that doesn’t waste space with stuff you don’t need. It features killer email delegation and reminders (remember when Mailbox let you put off an email until a date in the future?), get information about the person you’re talking to, and keep all this organized and synced between all your devices.

Triage

Let’s talk about the follow-ups, first. I’m a huge fan of triaging tasks. If it’s not time-sensitive, it doesn’t need doing right now. Granted, if there’s nothing else that needs doing, that logic doesn’t apply. This is super helpful for those with noisy business inboxes where everyone and their grandmother is clamoring for your eyeballs to absorb their textual essences. Sorry grandma, I’ll take a look at that chain letter tomorrow at 4:30 PM.

You can choose to follow up on a conversation using one of the preset dates, be super noncommittal and say “read later”, or pick an arbitrary date in the future, because you’re a master of your schedule and you know you have sixteen time slots open right now between today and Christmas 2018. Those voids of sadness need filling!

On the flip side, you can remind yourself to follow up with someone else if they don’t read your email. This is a neat feature, but be careful. You can very easily become “that person” that everyone in your office hates. You know which person I’m talking about: “hey did you get my email?”

With great power comes great responsibility. Can I trust you to not abuse it?

Following Up

When you’re writing your digital prose to the person on the other end your email exchange, knowing who the heck they are is important. It’s even more important in cases like candidate screening or figuring out if the person is real, or not. Next time you get resumes for a job application, use their information Polymail will glean about them on your behalf.

The Downside of Cloud Sync

While writing this quick review and even attempting to use Polymail, I ran into two problems that I think are worth noting.

First, cloud sync is a very dangerous territory to enter if you’re not prepared. In the case of Polymail, I don’t think they were. The sign up process requires you give them access to your email accounts, which is fine. The problem here is, they do everything through their servers. The emails don’t go straight from gmail.com or outlook.com or your O365 account to the client. Nope. That’s too easy (or hard). I found this to be true when after about six hours, Polymail claimed I didn’t have new email. If only that was *really *the case.

Hi all! 👋 Initial mail syncing may take a little longer due to high traffic right now, but we're working on it. Thanks for your patience! 💌

— Polymail (@PolymailApp) July 21, 2016

That’s the tweet Polymail posted about the delays. Given I haven’t received more than one round of emails, I’d say it’s more than a delay.

My second problem is moving email accounts from one Polymail account to another. I wanted to use Polymail for work, too, so I created a work Polymail account. I also wanted to get my work email on my personal devices using Polymail. My routes were to use my work Polymail account everywhere else or move my work email to a personal Polymail account. I opted for the latter but ran into an issue.

My work email address is stuck in some sort of “account will be deleted” state that won’t progress. I didn’t think it’d take hours to delete an account, but I guess so. In the mean time, no work email via Polymail.

End of the Day

Originally I was pretty hesitant to jump in because of cloud syncing issues. This morning, I checked on it and everything seems to work well now and I was no longer getting the error in adding my work email account. So with all that being said, I’d definitely recommend Polymail.

You can pick up Polymail from polymail.io for the Mac and the App Store for iOS.


Swifty

I’m always looking for new ways to learn how to code. Up until recently, I had no idea where to really start with Swift, the language used to craft iOS apps and games that mades its appearance in iOS 8.

A few days ago, I came across Swifty, a free app (with a couple in-app purchases) that teaches you the basics of iOS programming. I recommend you go check it out on the App Store. It’s a great way to get started and with no cost for entry, if you don’t like it, you’re not out any money. It’s available for both the iPhone and iPad.


Hands on with GAget

Recently I wrote a couple blurbs about an iOS app and OS X notification widget called GAget. I received the opportunity to get some hands-on time with it and now I’m ready to share with you my experiences.

iOS App

First let’s start with the iOS version, simply because I have my phone in front of me. When I first wrote about GAget, I had an iPhone 5. Now I have an iPhone 6. The app isn’t optimized for the iPhone 6 and 6+ but no matter as it still looks pretty dang good. 

Setting up the app is dead simple. You’re asked to go in to a Google account (ideally one that has access to Google Analytics) to get started. You’re taken to a Google sign in page where you’re instructed to enter your credentials. If you have two-step authentication enabled on your account like I do, you’ll have to take care of that, as well.

Upon verifying your credentials and accepting the app’s request to view your Google Analytics data, you’re taken to a wonderful home screen.  All the essentials you need to keep track of visitor history is right there. This app isn’t for those who want to have super granular campaign data or do whatever they do with behavior tracking. That’s not what this app is about. GAget is for those who want the basics and they want it without fuss.

You’re presented with a line graph of historical data regarding visitors, and are shown the most recent entry, which should be the same day. As you scroll down, you get to see things like overall stats for the last two weeks including visits, unique visitors, and total page views among said visits.

Next is you’re given some nice circle-based metrics (a.k.a. a pie chart) showing more visit and exit percentages. Follow that up with some averages and a detailed traffic breakdown and you’re on your way! Need a refresh? just shake.

The app is lightweight, super smooth, and supposedly comes with the ability to use your site as a background. I was unable to get this to work, however, but I imagine it looks good, too. 

GAget will allow you to view multiple sites, if you have more than one present in Google Analytics. All you need to do is swipe left and right to move through them!

OS X Widget

The widget that sits in the OS X notification center functions a lot like the iOS app in that it shows you a lot of the same information, only if you request it. The widget sits in the Today section and by default only shows you your visits for the day, but when clicked, expands to show recent history, as well. It doesn’t have the same granularity in terms of sources of traffic but everything else seems to be present. 

The widget is really meant for a quick glance at the action taking place on your site and how many millions of people you have coming to see your wares. It’s ok if you don’t have millions. It don’t, and it works for me, too.

Both the iOS app and the OS X widget are priced well, at $1.99 and $2.99 each. The iOS doesn’t have a free option nor does it have any kind of ads present, so it’s really one of those pay-once-enjoy-forever deals that I personally really like. 

I’ve spent a week with both versions  and I like each in its own way. They make glancing at your data easy and painless and for the price, you really can’t go wrong with that much more convenience. For the price of a cup of coffee, you can have both apps. For the price of a vending machine snack, you can have your Google Analytics data in your phone without the fuss.

Update: I received an email from the App developer and clarified a couple points in the article.


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