…in which my phone tries to organise me

By | August 13, 2018
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I’ve said it before, but one thing I’m pretty sure I know about you is that you use email.

Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this, err, email!

And today I’ve got two things about email for you.

First, I don’t know if you know about the spam or junk folder.

Your email program probably has various folders to keep your emails organised. The inbox, where new emails appear, is a folder. There’s one for sent emails, ones you’ve written to other people. There’s probably a deleted one (or trash) and maybe a drafts folder.

You can also create your own folders to file emails in for later.

And the other one you probably have is spam or junk. When you get emails that your email app thinks are junk, it’ll put them in there so you’re not deluged with thousands of offers for fake handbags or suchlike.

It’s usually pretty good at only puttting the emails you genuinely don’t want in there. But not perfect.

Which brings me to my point: if you’re ever waiting for important emails, make sure you check the spam or junk folder. The emails you’re waiting for could have gone in there.

And don’t leave it too long – in some cases any emails in there will be automatically deleted a little while later, unless you read them and click on “not junk” or “not spam” (which will move them to the inbbox).

I had an issue with it recently – I’m selling a car on the Autotrader website (a yellow Lotus Elise if anyone’s interested) and when someone contacts me through Autotrader about it, Autotrader send that contact on as an email. Which goes straight into my junk folder because outlook thinks it’s spam, rather than a real email I do want to get. If I don’t spot that’s happened within 10 days, the email gets deleted and I can’t get it back.

So if you’re waiting for important emails, do keep an eye on that folder!

My phone tries to keep me organised
There are lots of ways you can use your phone or tablet to help keep you organised. To-do lists, calendars, whatever you like.

But my phone has recently started trying to organise me off its own bat.

You see, I use Outlook for my personal emails and I have it set up on my phone. And recently I’ve started getting emails from “Microsoft Outlook Calendar”. If you use Outlook you might have had the same happen to you.

Now, although I use Outlook for emails, I don’t use the Outlook calendar. So you might think they wouldn’t have much to remind me of. But it works in clever ways.

For a start, these emails start with a weather forecast for the day. Admittedly it’s a forecast for Redmond in USA, because that’s where Microsoft are based and they don’t have my address in Outlook, so it’s not as useful as it could be… but if I told them my address it would be more useful.

Then although I haven’t put anything in the calendar in Outlook, it still knows some things about what I’m doing… by reading my emails.

Before I get into privacy issues (we have a whole book about that), when I say reading, I don’t mean a person is reading my emails.

What’s happening is their computers that pass the emails on to my phone are checking them to see if any are standard emails that they recognise. in my case there was one from Amazon saying I was getting a delivery of a new chair for home.

Microsoft’s computers recognised it as a delivery email and found the delivery date in it, so Outlook added “Today you’re getting a delivery of such and such a chair from Amazon” to my calendar.

If I used the calendar for appointments and so on, it’d work even better, to have all these things in one list for the day. Clever stuff.

Don’t forget, if you have a Doro phone…
If you have a Doro phone, we’ve just finished bringing out a version of my smartphones one step at a time book for Doro, cunningly called Doro Smartphones One Step at a Time. The printing company have nearly finished printing it (should be later this week) – read more here. (If you don’t have a Doro phone, best ignore this!)

One thought on “…in which my phone tries to organise me

  1. William McMurran

    Been having problems, and am not sufficiently ” techwise” to resolve them myself.
    Hopefully, the problems have resolved themselves.
    Firstly, I couldn’t get onto the Inner Circle, by the way I was used to. I rang and spoke to Jade.
    I got here by scrolling down on a Tim 2018 comment.
    I didn’t have to use the password. Baffling.
    Secondly, I attempted to send an e-mail to Laura. This ended up in the Drafts folder as had a previous one I had tried to send to a relative. WHY?
    After trying again, the ” Laura e-mail” has appeared in the Sent folder. Double baffling.
    Perhaps you would check if it has arrived?
    Will McMurran.


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