So… quite a few weeks ago I had made a comment on Windows Central asking about a software app for Windows 10. My request was to find out if anyone knew of an app that could act as a dashboard for the few collective apps I wanted to view all at once. So picture this… I wanted my various mailboxes (Outlook 2016), Todoist, Skype (SMS messaging), and maybe Word to all come up in the same window, or at the very least the same time with “one” launch.
There was only one suggestion for an app called “Rocket Dock,” but that didn’t quite solve my dilemma after having looked at it. Then I remembered from the “olden days,” using “Batch Files,” a small script you can write that will perform a group of actions with one click. I delved into that for a while realizing this wasn’t the answer in today’s world either. Could have worked if I stayed with it, just too damn archaic.
Well, I’ve found the closest damn thing to perfect I can. I was on one of my favorite websites “TheAwesomer.com” and saw an ad for the app “Mailbird” I checked it out because the discount was quite deep for a “Lifetime Pro” account. So I played with it quite a bit before deciding a day later it would be worth it.
So what does this ONE application Mailbird do for me? It displays all of what I need in one window!
- eMail – multiple accounts – in my case five
- A “Unified” account to see all
- All and any of my existing folders for email organization are all there as well
- Contacts imported from any of those mail accounts
- Google Calendar (GC)– (NO Office 365 Outlook integration)
- WhatsApp – (NO Skype integration)
- And a LOT, lot more!
Now, in order to get this application to near perfection, it took a lot of trial and tribulation on my part. Mostly because I don’t do much of anything in Google at all. I have Gmail and Google Voice, but never really used any of the other functions of Google e.g., Calendar, Tasks, etc. So there’s a bit of tweaking to get things where they need to be. Spent a good part of the whole day blowing crap up to turn around to later fix or make right. But that’s ONLY because I’m a bit anal.
So to bring everything into this one portal I employed a few tools;
- IFTTT – (If This Than That) to have certain Todoist tasks populate Google Calendar (remember I don’t use GC)
- gSyncit – So that events created in my Outlook Calendar (OC) can synch 2-ways with Google Calendar – meaning the IFTTT Todoist applets can populate GC with my todo’s and those get picked up into my OC
Now the only thing is, this is on my desktop at home, so no mobile app version of Mailbird and of course no installing this great tool at work. But all-in-all… that’s O.K. because the home office is where the bulk of my work is done anyway. Took a bit of work, but overall I’m quite happy with this setup as it brings just about everything I wanted together under one roof… er… window!
I have found out that IFTTT and Microsoft Flow are not created equally. When doing projects like this you really need to keep track of if/when these applets/recipes run and whether or not they’re really working. There are some in IFTTT that work well yet the same style/type of recipe in Flow doesn’t work… and visa-verse. So keep track and spend time figuring out which triggers works and which don’t. For me “Create Google Calendar events for Todoist items” using Microsoft Flow works brilliantly in that it sets the calendar event for the correct date and time, whereas the IFTTT version of the same thing worked horribly. So YMMV