Dispatch review: a productive way to get to inbox zero

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Email client apps are all the rage this season. There have been some amazing developments in the functionality that is offered from various electronic correspondence apps.

Dispatch: Action-Based Email is an app that, at its simplest, is great at helping you quickly empty your inbox without having to worry about too many choices…


This app is rich in gesture-based features to make it easy for you to perform tasks like archiving and deleting emails with a swipe and a tap. The design is flat. The colors are white with subtle hues of orange, gray, and red. The font is gray and red and looks like it will be a compatible fit with Apple’s upcoming iOS 7 font design.

To access the menu, tap the icon in the upper left corner of the screen. To write a new email, tap the New Email icon in the upper right corner of the screen. Switch between full inbox, only unread messages, and starred emails by tapping the corresponding icon at the bottom of the screen.

While reading your email, you can send information to another app, like Evernote, or Send to Due. Tap the “Share” icon and a list of available options will appear in a popup window. If you want to set a reminder, tap the Reminder app. If you want to save a link to read later, send it to Pocket.

If you want to create an event, tap the date in the email. You’ll be able to create an event, or see the event in your Calendar app with one tap.

You can also scroll between emails by tapping the up and down arrow icons, save the message as unread, and archive it. If you want to keep it in an important file, tap the star to save it in your “Starred” folder. This will keep special emails in one spot at a glance.

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App Use

The first thing to do is enter the account information from all email accounts that you have. I was able to successfully add my Gmail and Yahoo email accounts and I believe this app supports all manner of email clients.

After you’ve logged in, you will see your inbox messages in the feed. Unread messages have a red dot next to them. Starred messages have a star. To begin the process of getting to inbox zero, simply swipe a message from the right to the left. An action bar will appear in gray. This action bar lets you mark an email as unread, star it, archive it, mark it as spam, or delete it. Tap the icon for the option you wish to activate.

If you just want to archive a message, you can easily do so with a single swipe. In the inbox list view, simply swipe from right to left, but using a longer swipe, until the orange banner appears. It will automatically send the email into your archive folder. If you tend to delete more often than you archive, you can change the long swipe (AKA: Quick Action) feature to trash messages instead.

Once you’ve performed your quick clean, you will only be left with a handful of important messages. To read an email, tap it. This will open up the body of the email so you can perform the next task. If you receive an email with a link that looks interesting, but you don’t have time to read it now, tap the Share icon at the bottom of the screen to call up your options. Dispatch can communicate with 18 different apps. Any compatible app that is already installed in your iPhone will automatically be connected. For example, if you want to get directions for an address that was sent to you in an email, you can open it in Google Maps, instead of it automatically opening in Apple’s Map App. If you want to add a project to your to-do list, you can send it to OmniFocus.

You can also set the app to automatically open web links in browsers other than Safari. This app is compatible with Chrome, Dolphin, and 1Password. You can also save web addresses for later reading in Instapaper, Pocket, and Readability.

If you receive a message from a new contact, you can add it to your iPhone’s native contact list with one tap. You can also call someone on FaceTime or Skype right from within the app.

Of course, responding to an email is also an option. When you tap the respond arrow at the top right side of the screen, you will have the option of replying or forwarding. When you reply to an email the text window becomes the full-screen view. Dispatch automatically inputs a salutation that reads “Hi [name].” However, you can change the greeting option, or remove it entirely if you don’t want an automatic header included in your email.

Dispatch also features email Snippets. Snippets are premade sentences that can be added to your email. If you use a particular phrase on a regular basis, add it as a Snippet and you can drop it in whenever you need to with a tap. If you tend to regularly send form emails, create a template so you can send an entire email without having to type a single word.

When you are ready to send an email, pull down on the screen to access the address bar. Tap the “Send” icon in the upper right corner and you’ve completed another email task.

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The Good

I am pretty good at keeping my inbox clean. However, lately, I’ve been slacking. I have emails that I keep meaning to get back to, but have not yet made time for them. This app helped me clear out a bunch of emails that I’ve wanted to process because I was able to communicate with other apps in my iPhone, which helped me perform the tasks I needed to finally get rid of a message. It really does help you get to inbox zero efficiently.

The Bad

Dispatch is not an email workhorse. It is missing a lot of very important features that you need in your daily life. There are no tags, no folder archives, and no labeling options. You can’t access any email that is not in your inbox. It does not include a unified inbox feature for viewing all email inboxes in a single list. The app does not send you notifications when you receive new mail. If you are looking for a full-featured mail client, this is not for you. However, it works great for quick responses, tossing out the garbage, and making your feel like you’ve accomplished some work.


Dispatch costs $4.99. While it might seem a bit pricey considering all of the missing features, what makes this app so special is how easily it communicates with other productivity apps in your iPhone. Because you can easily share, send, and save email information in task-based apps, calendar apps, and other time-saving programs, it makes the three dollar price tag much more reasonable.


If you are a big fan of the inbox zero method of productivity, this app will be your best friend. It makes clearing out your inbox practically a game. You’ll be looking at a blank screen in no time at all. If you are more interested in an app that includes the bells and whistles of a full-featured email client, you may want to skip this one. It is designed to help you act on your emails, not organize them. Download it in the App Store today.

Related Apps

Mailbox is an email client that makes your inbox easier to keep track of. Evomail is a great email client for the iPhone and iPad which supports Gmail, Yahoo, iCloud and IMAP accounts.

Do you use a third party email client, or do you just use the native iOS mail app?