Tips to help you become an iOS 7 Mail power user

We're connected. We're mobile. And we work harder than ever, grabbing our iPhone to check incoming messages first thing in the morning -- how can we make this time effective? Mail has several features that may help.

Tips to help you become an iOS 7 Mail power user

Managing project emails

You may already flag important messages, but it's still easy to mislay them, so here is how to create and use your own project mailbox:

Step one: To create an email box

  • Launch Mail app
  • Check your Mailboxes list
  • Select the account in which to create a project Mailbox
  • Tap Edit
  • Select New Mailbox
  • Name that Mailbox and Save
  • You now have a project Mailbox in an email account.

Step two: Add the created Mailbox to your top directory

  • Launch Mail app
  • Check your list of Mailboxes
  • Tap Edit
  • Scroll to the bottom of the Mailboxes list and tap Add Mailbox…
  • You then select the account containing the created project Mailbox
  • Select that project Mailbox and tap Done.
  • The project Mailbox will now be available in your top-level directory.

The interesting thing about this step is that you can also enable several hidden smart mailboxes within iOS 7: Flagged, Unread, To or CC, Attachments and All Draft boxes already exist, but must be enabled for use.  To enable these tap the empty circle to the left of the mailbox name (so the circle becomes blue), and select Done. In future you'll be able to dive straight into Mail's hidden smart mailboxes when you open Mail.

Step three: Using your Project Mailbox          

When you receive a project-related email in any account, simply store that email in your project archive.

  • Select the message and swipe from the right
  • A More and Delete/Archive dialog appears
  • Select More
  • Select Move Message…
  • Select the Account your Project Mailbox is created within
  • In the next display, select the Project Mailbox and your message will be moved to that box.

When you launch Mail, any messages inside your Project Mailbox will be easily accessible by selecting that box from your top level Mailboxes dialog.

To move the Mailbox to a different position in the list, tap Edit and shift the box up or down by selecting the three-line icon to the right of the Mailbox name.

Get smart

Never miss an important project-related message with iOS 7's VIP feature.

  • Select a message from the contact(s) you wish to monitor
  • Select their email address at the top of the message
  • In the next box tap Add to VIP.

In future, messages from the contact(s) will appear in your smart VIP Mailbox folder. You can then archive these.

Quick access to draft emails

You might be working on a complex response, but it's fiddly reaching your Draft emails (unless you've enabled the smart Draft mailbox as above). Even if you have, the simplest way to access draft emails is to tap and hold your finger on the New Mail icon at the bottom right of the Inbox screen. You'll see all your draft emails across all your email accounts.

Search me

Mail's built-in Search tool lets you search mail on your device and on most mail servers by content and name, but you can also use keywords, including:

  • From
  • To
  • Yesterday
  • Last week
  • Flagged

Search "yesterday" to find all yesterday's emails, or the name of a month to find those you received then. You can combine terms, so you can seek "Unread last week from:XXX@icloud.com". These keywords can be real time-savers.

I hope these tips help you make better use of Mail on iOS 7. If you have great mail tips of your own, please share them with others in comments below.

Explore more iOS 7 tips

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