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Advice on Living with Direct Push


Filter your Inbox

After the initial rush of excitement when you finally get Push Email to work, you'll soon tire of being distracted by unimportant emails you don't want to read, arriving on your mobile device and generating an alert.
These include low priority emails such as newsletters (which you do still want to read but at your leisure on a PC) and auto-replies.

Desktop Outlook allows you to set Rules to move emails, from certain people or with particular words in the subject line, to separate folders.
When Outlook is linked to an Exchange server these Rules are stored on the server itself and therefore continue to operate when Outlook is closed.
Only emails that make it through to your Inbox get pushed to your mobile device, so an email that is diverted by a rule doesn't trigger an alert.

You can add, modify and delete these server rules from within Outlook Web Access although, as with most things in OWA, it's not quite as convenient as doing it from within Outlook itself.
If you prefer to use a different email client to Outlook on your Desktop which uses IMAP to sync with the Exchange server, you can still make use of server-side rules by setting them up in OWA.

Every Arrowmail Exchange Mailbox account comes with the pre-setup Probable Spam rule to move email with:-
***SPAM*** Score/Req:
in the subject line to your Junk E-mail folder.
These are emails that our Spam Filter has rated as "probable spam" with a Spam Index of 5 to less than 20 (20 and over and the email is deleted).
You should check the Junk E-mail folder, perhaps once a day, for any false positives.
Our server is set to automatically delete emails in your Junk Email folder more than 7 days old.

Currently Exchange can only manage 75 rules per mailbox and has a maximum of 32kbytes per mailbox to store Rules. There's more about Rules here.



Selecting Which Folders to Synchronise

By default, these are the only folders that are synchronised on your Smartphone:-
Inbox,
Calendar
Contacts
Tasks

You can enable extra email folders to be synchronised, but remember that the more folders you choose, the more data allowance you'll be using up, especially if the contents of these folders change frequently, and the more storage you'll require on the Smartphone.

One folder I like to add to the synchronising list is Sent Items so you can be sure that an email you send from your Smartphone has actually been sent.
To synchronise extra folders open up Mobile Outlook on your Smartphone and click:-
Menu - Tools - Manage Folders…
and put a tick in the folders you want to keep synchronised:-


In Pocket Outlook select the extra folders that you want to keep synchronized  


There are some related settings you might also want to check as they can affect which emails are synchronised as well as your data usage:-
Open ActiveSync and select Menu - Options
Select E-mail then Settings…


 
Additional email synchronising options  


Minimising Data Charges

The cost of sending and receiving data from the Internet onto a mobile device is still remarkably high compared to other Internet connection methods such as dial-up, Broadband and WiFi Hotspots.
£2 per megabyte is the standard charge inside the UK and £5 to £8 per megabyte if your mobile device is "roaming" in another country.
This can lead to some horrendous and unexpected bills

During my first month using Push email my device transferred a total of 38mb.
It was my first month so there was a fair bit of messing around plus watching BBC News's video feed but since then, even with using the tips in this section, it's never got below 25mb per month.

If you intend to make serious use of Direct Push email you have to accept that there will be a monthly fee of, at least, £5 to pay for mobile data, which is more than you'll be paying Arrowmail for your push-enabled mailbox.
I'd guess that in 3 years time, mobile data costs will have halved.

We recommend that you take out a package with your mobile phone operator that includes at least 25mb of data plus whatever call and text allowances are appropriate.
If you are a company you can buy a monthly allowance that is shared between various users.
If your monthly data consumption averages out at 28mb then it's probably cheaper to buy a monthly allowance of 25mb and pay the extra £6/month than to upgrade to a 50mb package.

If you want Push email when overseas remember that any monthly data allowance you may have only counts from within the UK and "overseas" data is a minimum of £5/megabyte and can often be much more.
Vodafone do a roaming data package for £95/month with a minimum subscription term of 6 months which allows 100mb of data per month but this excludes some countries such the US.

Using WiFi Instead of GPRS/3G
If you find that in many of the places you work you have free access to a WiFi Internet connection then why not flick to the WiFi connection and so save on mobile data costs?
I tried it for a while but it was too much bother. If you go out of range the GPRS kicks back in and stays connected when WiFi access is restored.
With WiFi turned on, battery life is reduced so unless the WiFi connection never drops out as you move around, it's probably not worth bothering to save on data costs this way.

Setting Off-Peak Push Times
On you Smartphone's ActiveSync setting you can set the times and days when Push will be in operation. Enable it for the shortest amount of time you can, perhaps 8.30am to 7.00pm, Monday to Friday and turn your Smartphone off overnight to save battery and to be absolutely sure it's not transferring any data.
If you're On Call or need to react quickly to emails outside of these hours then, of course, it would be a false economy not to leave your phone on and Push active.

Roaming Overseas
As we said, this can run up some enormous data bills but, going on an overseas business trip is also expensive and if Push email means you're more effective during the trip, the extra expense, perhaps equivalent to breakfast at the hotel, could be well worth it.
Just warn whoever approves your mobile phone bills to expect a big one.

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