The search for a mail client that will enable us in new ways to Get Things Done continues unabated. The current favorite which is only available on the iPhone is Dispatch and for good reason. Although only available for the iPhone and currently not the iPad, which the company is considering, does provide a wealth of functionality that can really turn on the productivity engine. This has been well thought through top to bottom.
Starts with a Good GTD Based Foundation
Dispatch leans heavily toward the principle of David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” model as do a lot of the new email systems such as SaneBox, Mail Pilot, Mailbox etc. However, Dispatch takes email GTD to a whole new high.
Described as a program that “ruthlessly deals with email” I wouldn’t take it that far at all. In fact, the way dispatch deals with email, although being very efficient is also extremely considerate of the email.
Often when we get an email we just leave it in our inbox until we can figure out what to do with it. Not so with Dispatch. The idea with Dispatch is to action the email like any good GTD program. What differentiates Dispatch though is the variety of ways you can handle mail.
Process Then and There
Dispatch really should be a GTD’rs delight. Not only do you process your inbox in the truest sense of email by say:
- Erasing the correspondence
- Taking it on as an activity if not a piece or part of a project
- And so on
To take on more of the advanced functions that might be involved in the email, you will need your own method. If you’re already a GTD’r this will come to you immediately. You’ll know exactly what to do.
So the idea with Dispatch is multi-fold. In essence though, you are going to do precisely what the name implies and dispatch activities by generating actions. This is very powerful software
At the Simplest Level
So at the simplest level, you can get yourself to a point where you quickly process your mail by:
- Filing for action or not
- File for reference
- Generate a whole new project
- And on it goes
Many people just read and handle their email extremely poorly. When they require some level of assistance because the whole thing seems very chaotic help or getting buy-in from potential players could prove challenging. At this point the person might\get desperate and revert to say Voodoo if it makes them happy as what can it mean when they say they would like the answer Monday morning (yes this Monday morning not the Monday morning in the next century).
Dispatch is Rather Unique amongst the New Current Breed of GTD Programs
Dispatch goes beyond any email program I’ve seen in its GTD implementation. Not only does it allow you to deal with mail effectively in the here and now but it provides a mechanism to draw in other resources to deal with an issue. Dispatch talks to 31 apps. In this mode it can generate rapidly information to another program which in turn can generate the response be it just a query say for critical information or something as complex as a project.
Dispatch goes even another step. It is thoroughly integrated with Text Expander so all the expansions you’ve created for text expander will be there.
Finally, Dispatch supports its own snippets. Email can be focused on, responded to rapidly with the snippets aid, triaged to the point even a project gets generated and you can remain a part of the whole ;process from beginning to end.
Dispatch is what i’d refer to as a gem of a program. Sometimes, as we transition to the new, it can be bring on a sense of being lost. Dispatch, on the other hand, is there to fully support your efforts.
As far as an iPhone email app, this one cannot be beat. It’s the email program I recommend for the iPhone without reservation. What of course though would be nice is an iPad implementation of Dispatch. It’s a bit of a drag to have to access your iPhone to do your mail when you have your iPad in your hands. However, honestly that is exactly what I do because Dispatch is that good.