The Home Screen is what greets you when you open Spark, giving a quick update on what happened while you were away. It helps you reduce the number of times you open email throughout the day and form better email habits. Home Screen gently suggests you work with your emails only a few times a day to reduce stress, distractions, and boost productivity.
This article will discuss how to set Home Screen according to what works best for you.
Home Screen Overview
We tend to spend up to 3 hours per day managing email, often checking our inboxes multiple times every hour. How much of this time is efficiently spent? Home Screen helps you optimize the way you handle email:
Develop an efficient email schedule
Limiting your email work to 2 or 3 sessions per day helps you be more efficient and free up more time to focus on important things outside of your Inbox.
We recommend 2 sessions daily (9 am and 6 pm by default). You can customize the schedule in Preferences > Home Screen to match your style.
Keep your email checks in check
“Checking email less frequently reduces stress and improves wellbeing” - the University of British Columbia.
Home Screen displays a counter of how many times you check your Inbox each day, helping you do this less often.
Get a summary of new emails
If you open Spark in between your sessions, the Homescreen will give you a handy overview of emails that arrived while you were away. This way you can decide if you need to open your Inbox at all, staying on top of things without email anxiety.
There are two ways you can set the summary: with or without a preview showing the sender, email’s first line, and subject if any.
How to change the Email Preview settings:
- Open Spark Desktop.
- Click the phrase to the right of the search icon in the upper right.
- Choose any of the following settings:
- Hide Preview - get a text summary with a number of new emails based on their categories (People, Newsletters, Notifications).
- Show All - show preview for all new emails.
- Show People - show preview only for emails from the 'People' category.
- Show Priority - show preview only for threads and emails from senders you marked as Priority.
Access the Home Screen settings
Open Spark Desktop and use the ⌘, shortcut (press and hold ⌘ and press , ). Then, open the Home Screen section.
Open Spark Desktop and use the CTRL, shortcut (press and hold CTRL and press , ). Then, open the Home Screen section.
Alternatively, open Spark, click the Settings icon at the bottom left > Home Screen. Or, after opening Spark:
- Click Spark Desktop.
- Select Settings.
- Switch to the Home Screen section.
Show Home Screen After 15 minutes of inactivity
To access this setting, open Spark Settings > Home Screen. The setting automatically enables Home Screen when Spark is inactive for some time, except when you compose or view an email.
You can change the time by entering a new number of minutes, or disable this setting by toggling this section off.
Set Email Focus Schedule
Remember the “Next email session is scheduled to…” phrase on Spark Home Screen? There’s a manageable schedule standing behind. Sticking to a schedule minimizes the number of context switches as well as time spent inside the app, which allows you to preserve your mental energy and get more time to focus on what is important outside of your inbox.
To access this setting, open Spark Settings > Home Screen > Set Email Focus Schedule.
By default, there are three times per day set for working with mail. You can:
- Change the time;
- Disable any of them;
- Delete any of them;
- Tick a handy reminder option. Once you have it ticked, you get a notification when the Email Focus Time comes.
Also, you can set and manage additional Email Focus Time, and reset your settings back to the default ones.
There are certain limitations. It’s not currently possible to:
- Schedule Email Focus Time for certain dates or days of the week;
- Rename the schedule items.
If you don’t find this functionality useful for your workflow, you can disable the Email Focus Schedule suggestions by toggling this section off.
Disable Home Screen
- Open Spark Settings > Home Screen.
- Disable the Enable Home Screen toggle.