Customize and Optimize Your Inbox: How Paul Uses Fastmail

Email is not a one-size-fits-all solution: everyone has a different way of working. There are plenty of Fastmail features you can use to customize your workflow. Learn more about Paul, a graphic designer and entrepreneur, and why he loves using color, folders, data syncing, and aliases.

What are your favorite Fastmail features, and what purpose do you use them for?

My inbox used to be a complete mess before I switched to Fastmail, but now it is well organized.

I love how Fastmail has cool and convenient features, which help to make my workflow smooth and easy. My favorite features are Folders, Custom Themes, Snooze, Rules, and, last but not least – the ability to sync data across various devices. Here is how I use them:

Folders help me create a clear visual structure for my entire mailbox that is easy to navigate. Even when accessing my inbox via smartphone, I can quickly find the email that I need. I change the color of my folders depending on what kind of information is stored there. Some folders change color temporarily until a project is completed, and others stay the same color forever. I create rules to automate my folder usage. For instance, an email coming from a certain person or related to a particular event goes directly to a specific folder upon arrival.

I Snooze emails when in a rush. I also use Snooze if I’m busy and just don’t know what to do with the email at a given moment. This is how I turn chaos into order without forgetting to reply to someone later.

The Restore function is very useful. Messages I’ve deleted by mistake or didn’t think I needed to return to aren’t immediately erased.

How do you maintain your workflow?

Data syncing enables my productive workflow. I can access my calendars, contacts, and emails from literally every device I have. It allows me to work from any device I have. I can create events when I’m on my PC and then check my schedule when I’m on the go. The same applies to contacts – when meeting people, I add their contact information to my phone contacts app. Later, when I want to email them, I can easily do that when I’m on my computer.

I set up the “Move to” rule to sort things. If I decide to move an email after reading it, I click on the “Move to” button and then pick a destination folder. In addition, I often use the “Archive” function.

I have created a couple of aliases, and I’ve been using them to sign up for websites or services I don’t find reliable in terms of data security. If necessary, I can just delete an alias and create a new one, thus avoiding the risk of getting bombarded with spam.

How do you use color in your workflow?

I apply colors to folders depending on what type of information I store there. My work folder is green, and emails related to health and medicine are stored inside blue folder. I mark important folders with red color. Subfolders, in my case, have the same color as parent folders.

I also use color when creating Calendar events! I designate a few colors to distinguish my calendars: personal, work, and important dates (like birthdays, anniversaries, etc.). I love the ability to switch any calendar on or off when I need to focus on only one side of my life or work.

I created a custom theme that reminds me of the Roland Garros tournament: the header is light grey and the accent color is clay (orange). I like it! Next, I’ll probably change the color to my favorite football team’s colors.


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