Week 3: Email on the go

20 May

According to the Australian Mobile Phone Lifestyle Index, 60% of Australian mobile phone users use their phone access emails at least once a week[1]. So there’s a fair chance that if you have a mobile device you’ve already set up your email and checked it occasionally. But as I discovered this week there is much more to mobile email than the email client your phone comes with. If nothing else I encourage you to download and try some of the email apps out there – after trying the Gmail app I won’t be going back to the iPad email app again!


  • Look in your phone/tablet settings to enter the details of your Gmail or other email address. (Note: you may need some extra information to attach your work or home email eg. POP or IMAP Email server settings and ports)
  • Try sending an email to a friend
  • Take a photo and email it to yourself (note take the photo first and from the camera roll you will have an option to send it via email)


  • Check out some of the email apps out there – often they have better interfaces than your default phone app. Here’s a list of recommended apps for iphone and for Android.
  • Consider whether you want to receive “push” notifications (ie pop-ups for new emails) or whether you would rather check your email at a time that suits you.
  • Check out 23MobileThing’s Email Pinterest board for more tutorials and ideas


  • If relevant, find out your workplaces policy for loading work email onto personal devices.  Consider the pros and cons of always being “available” via email.  If you do want to access work email on your device how will you keep it secure?
  • Do you use email to alert staff to roster changes and library activities?
  • How might your clients accesses your services via email on mobile devices?
    • Does your library provide email notifications and reminders for events, overdue items and reserves?
    • How easy is it for your clients to email themselves article citations and catalogue records?
    • Special/corporate librarians: it’s likely that many of your clients will read any “current awareness” emails you distribute on their devices before they get to work[2].  Does the format you use work on small screens?
  • Event booking systems like Eventbrite use email reminders for people attending events.  You can also schedule extra emails and send out a feedback survey via email after an event.

1. Mackay, M (2012). “The Australian Mobile Phone Lifestyle Index (8th ed)”. Sydney, NSW: Australian Interactive Media Industry Association, p30. Accessed 6/5/13, http://www.aimia.com.au/enews/AMPLI/AMPLI%202012%20Report_FINAL_upd_Oct.pdf
2. Moore, L (2011). “Legal Professionals and Mobile Devices”.  Sydney, NSW: CCH. Accessed 6/5/13, http://www.cch.com.au/AttachmentLibrary/MarketingPromo/cch_whitepaper_mobile_devices_20110329.pdf

From Kate: That fantastic introduction was written by @Linda_Moore.  Keep an eye out for this week’s email, which will have all the details of our interactive activity this week- hint: it is based in Facebook, but will probably slide over into Twitter as well!

This post is a remix of 23mobilethings.net Thing 3.


12 Responses to “Week 3: Email on the go”

  1. Susannah PK May 20, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    I have three emails constantly on the move on my tablet and smartphone.

  2. Dorota May 20, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

    our clients are selective when reading emails, and so are librarians

  3. Multifarious Librarian May 20, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

    I don’t have access to my work email on my mobile, and I don’t have push notifications for email on my mobile. They would just drive me insane. I’ve also unsubscribed from a heap of unessential newsletters to make keeping up with email on the go more manageable for me.

    • Wendy Butcher June 24, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

      The newsletters seem a really good idea when you initially agree to subscription and probably still are when you sitting at a desk and feeling worky or focussed, but on the go they are too hard to read on a small screen and seem less important. I end up just leaving them on the server and looking at them later if they pop up when I am roaming.

  4. Jodie May 21, 2013 at 12:16 am #

    Have got personal email linked up to tablet/phone but I actively avoid checking work email on devices, unless working offsite, as I do feel it’s important to maintain boundaries between work and home. Except clearly those boundaries are not working today as I follow up on 23things at 10pm on a Monday evening!

    • Robyn Collins May 22, 2013 at 8:57 am #

      I like to keep that work & home boundary too Jodie … so juggle 3 emails across various devices though only 1 is for work. Like that I can access work emails by webmail on iPad … but when I choose or need to. Great for quickly skimming inbox and deleting unwanted emails! Would go mad if I was connected to it every second on my phone. Find I do most personal email via the iPad now … and have really cut down on email subs. Using feeds, diigo and now Pinterest to manage stuff I want updates or constant access to. Otherwise I chase stuff up as needed. 😀

      • Jenny May 22, 2013 at 9:48 pm #

        I would have to say I am a bit of an ’email on the go’ fan, although it is hard to switch off from work. I do find if I can keep an eye on things when I am away from the office I can deal with urgent stuff when I need to and also be aware of what else is happening. I do try and use an auto reply when I am on leave but am still a bit naughty by checking mail but at the same time almost feel anxious when I don’t…..mmm life work balance?

  5. Mei May 23, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

    We have just moved house and we currently don’t have the internet so I’ve been checking emails on my phone. While it’s handy, I’ve also realised how much I don’t miss the internet! Being mostly part-time, I receive most work emails to my personal email anyway, especially regarding rosters and shifts which I find handy.

  6. Vicki May 23, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    I have a work iPad. And I know other colleagues who check work emails from home or when they are on leave. I use my work iPad for work but if I am on leave or at home I don’t check emails. We need to disconnect at times and balance life out.

    Having said that, the iPad has been amazing for work purposes. If I am working away from the library (like at another campus or at a conference), it’s really useful.


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