Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

Wish List: Multiple flag colors in Mail on iOS

Note: This story has not been updated for several years.

Multiple flag colors in Mail

Flagging messages is one of my secret joys. Because I use my inbox in Mail as a de facto to-do list, keeping track of messages I need to respond to, refer to, or otherwise take action upon is critical. For a long time, I’ve used flagging as a way to denote this status, and I particularly like that more recent versions of the app allow me to quickly filter for flagged messages. (Previously I used a Smart Mailbox to surface those messages, but the filter feature is much more efficient.)

Recently, however, I’ve found my system to be straining a bit at the seams. I’ve got a lot of ongoing projects in the next year or so, including a wedding to plan and a book to put out, so I’ve taken to using Mail on the Mac’s ability to flag messages in different colors to more easily categorize my lists: blue for wedding tasks, red for publishing related messages, orange for Six Colors queries, green for messages related to my game show Inconceivable!.1

Sadly, Mail on iOS doesn’t have this same multi-color functionality. All the flags there are the same boring orange they’ve always been. This is a bummer when the feature already exists on the Mac. it’d be great to at least see mail flags of different colors in Mail on iOS, and I’d really love to be able to assign different flag colors. I realize that’s a little more complicated than the current flagging interface in iOS, but hey, this is the kind of place where 3D Touch could legitimately be useful: multiple flag colors is a feature not everybody needs, but those who do will actively seek it out.

Maybe I’m the only person out there using flags in this manner, but somehow I doubt it. Mail on iOS is in need of a bunch of enhancements, to be sure, and this might be the least of them—but it’s definitely some place to start.

  1. A game of nerdery and nonsense, etc. etc. 

[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at or reach him by email at His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is now available for pre-order.]

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