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-   -   Need recommendations for a new email ap... (http://forums.macnn.com/82/applications/385413/need-recommendations-for-new-email-ap/)

 
krx Jan 19, 2009 12:09 AM
Need recommendations for a new email ap...
I have used Eudora for email since email was first invented. It is of course no longer updated by Qualcomm and has not been supported by my University for over a year. They now support Thunderbird. But I didn't like the Thunderbird interface so I shifted over to Entourage 2004 - and I hate it.

Now I'm looking for a better email program. I'm open to anything - if it can do what I need it do.

I keep a LOT of email and use it to keep track of various personal, family, professional and business matters. I have my mail organized into about 20 main folders and another 200 or so subfolders. I need an excellent search feature so that I can find old email messages quickly and easily. Eudora was great for this. I also loved the mailbox pulldown menu on Eudora. It let me see in one window all my primary folders and expanded to show me all the subfolders by simply hovering over the primary folder. I find the Entourage folder menu to be quite primitive by comparison (not pulldown, always open taking up space, have to click folders to see subfolders,etc). And the "rules" feature is total crap compared to how elegantly Eudora worked. It automatically sorted my incoming (and outgoing) mail and opened in a new window the folder to which incoming mail was directed. If I "enable" the "rules" on Entourage it sends my mail to the subfolder without alerting me in any way. How am I supposed to know I have new mail in that folder? If I don't enable the rules then I have to go in and manually enable them every so often, select all the unsorted mail in my inbox (or outbox), and hit the "apply rules" feature - which still doesn't seem to work all that well. For some reason half my email still doesn't get sorted into it's respective folders.

So... I'd like an ap with a pulldown folders feature like Eudora has, an excellent search tool, and filters that work to sort my mail automatically without leaving me guessing where my new mail may be.

Any input GREATLY appreciated!
 
ibook_steve Jan 19, 2009 02:43 AM
Um...how about Mail.app?

There's still an always open mailbox list on the left, but it would do everything else you're talking about.

Steve
 
Spheric Harlot Jan 19, 2009 03:38 AM
Mail.app won't directly alert you to new mail in respective folders other than the inbox (if you use rules to sort it), BUT it will show a little number icon next to each mailbox to let you know how many unread e-mails there are in each 'box.
 
MacNNUK Jan 19, 2009 03:44 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot (Post 3791271)
Mail.app won't directly alert you to new mail in respective folders other than the inbox (if you use rules to sort it), BUT it will show a little number icon next to each mailbox to let you know how many unread e-mails there are in each 'box.
Mail does beep whenever I receive a message, in any sorted folder.
 
Art Vandelay Jan 19, 2009 04:04 AM
You can set a preference for the Dock to show all new email from all folders.
 
Spheric Harlot Jan 19, 2009 06:05 AM
Oooh neat!

It didn't used to be able to do that, and I just never bothered checking again... :)
 
Spheric Harlot Jan 19, 2009 06:11 AM
okay, wtf just happened? :err:
 
OreoCookie Jan 19, 2009 06:47 AM
Echo, echo. (I've deleted the duplicate posts.) Ditto for suggesting Mail.
 
Big Mac Jan 19, 2009 09:43 AM
Wow, many around here used to hate Mail. . .
 
OreoCookie Jan 19, 2009 10:09 AM
Not sure why, it has always been a solid mail client ever since rules have been introduced.
 
JKT Jan 19, 2009 10:21 AM
It is decent enough but it isn't without its issues though - e.g. a tendency to duplicate drafts; smart mailboxes that aren't smart (mine never update until I view them, which completely defeats their purpose for me); no easy way to view mails by a time-based context like in Outlook; alerts don't always sound and the Universal Access preference to flash the screen is ignored completely; etc.

However, searching is very fast and works; Time Machine is supported (though, admittedly, I have found it to be quite flaky to use in practice); filtering works well; integration with iCal and Address Book is good to OK; etc.
 
Cold Warrior Jan 19, 2009 11:05 AM
Mail is really your only other serious alternative if you've already ruled out Thunderbird and Entourage. You mentioned Entourage 2004 though. I've found Entourage 2008 to be better than 2004, but the feature set hasn't really changed. You could download the Office 2008 trial version to check it out, but if you've used 2004 and have major objections, 2008 won't change your mind.

I use Thunderbird. Initially I had some issues that kept me away from it, but I found a theme I like (Silvermel) and a useful extension called 'Change quote and reply format'.
 
turtle777 Jan 19, 2009 12:39 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by MacNNUK (Post 3791274)
Mail does beep whenever I receive a message, in any sorted folder.
Quote, Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot (Post 3791271)
Mail.app won't directly alert you to new mail in respective folders other than the inbox (if you use rules to sort it), BUT it will show a little number icon next to each mailbox to let you know how many unread e-mails there are in each 'box.
Dockstar, FTW.

Customizable alerts for individual folders, incl. sounds.

http://www.ecamm.com/mac/dockstar/settings2.jpg

-t
 
turtle777 Jan 19, 2009 12:43 PM
Oh, and for some serious email processing, may I recommend:

Mail Act-On:
-> using programable hotkeys to process emails

Mail Tags:
-> projects, tags, powerful iCal support, RSS support etc...

-t
 
IronPen Jan 19, 2009 12:48 PM
Mail.app has some great free plugins to alert you when new mail arrives:

The Unread
Mail Unread Menu
GrowlMail

Personally, I use The Unread in combination with GrowlMail. The Unread puts the number of unread emails from my Inbox in the menu bar (you can customize it to look in subfolders if you wish), and GrowlMail will popup an alert on screen, displaying who the message is from as well as the subject. And as mentioned already, Mail.app does have an audible alert upon receiving new email, but it's not something you can customize from the applications settings.
 
64stang06 Jan 19, 2009 04:37 PM
I think I'm probably in the minority here, but after switching from .Mac/MobileMe to Gmail, I've stopped using a desktop mail client and just use the web interface for everything.

I will say though, however, that Mail.app+Dockstar+Mailtags=happiness for me when I used it.
 
besson3c Jan 19, 2009 04:53 PM
The problem with Mail that I can see applying to the original poster's condition is that it sucks complete ass when it comes to processing large mailboxes, it just slows to a crawl and brings your entire machine down with it. Then again, I don't have a recommendation if he/she doesn't like Thunderbird (which is comparatively much better at dealing with large mailboxes).
 
JKT Jan 19, 2009 04:57 PM
Perhaps you ought to tell us what you consider to be a large mailbox so that the OP has a better idea of whether this will affect them or not. My largest is nearly 2000 messages (which isn't massive) and there are no performance problems with that many.
 
besson3c Jan 19, 2009 05:06 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by JKT (Post 3791565)
Perhaps you ought to tell us what you consider to be a large mailbox so that the OP has a better idea of whether this will affect them or not. My largest is nearly 2000 messages (which isn't massive) and there are no performance problems with that many.
I don't know exactly at what point the performance hit becomes noticeable, but our shared mailboxes at work that I used to access with Mail contained hundreds of thousands of messages. When you look at the little activity thing it would constantly say "scanning for unread message counts". I don't know why given that it is limited to only looking for new messages in the Inbox by default that it has to work this hard to do this.

The iPhone is the same bad performer. If you monitor the logs of a mail server when it performs its check it insists on thrashing through every folder. I can't put my finger on precisely what the problems with these clients are since I haven't really tested this thoroughly, but it does seem to relate to its whole system of new message notification, which is odd because as of Leopard it finally supports IMAP IDLE.

Oh well, just my ramblings...
 
besson3c Jan 19, 2009 05:10 PM
Also, if you need multiple identity support Mail is not going to cut it.

I generally say Mail: great interface, really badly behaved IMAP client with weak feature set, Thunderbird: not so great interface, but great IMAP client with plenty of advanced features.
 
angelmb Jan 19, 2009 05:17 PM
I have heard good things about PowerMail.
 
turtle777 Jan 19, 2009 07:57 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by besson3c (Post 3791572)
I don't know exactly at what point the performance hit becomes noticeable, but our shared mailboxes at work that I used to access with Mail contained hundreds of thousands of messages.
That's just ridiculous.

Hundreds of thousands ?

Just archive the old sh!t, and you won't have problems.
Show me ONE client that just swiftly handles hundreds of thousands of emails.

-t
 
besson3c Jan 19, 2009 08:01 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by turtle777 (Post 3791684)
That's just ridiculous.

Hundreds of thousands ?

Just archive the old sh!t, and you won't have problems.
Show me ONE client that just swiftly handles hundreds of thousands of emails.

-t
Thunderbird does, why shouldn't all clients? I'm not talking about hundreds of thousands of messages in a single folder, I'm talking about spread out across several folders.

For starters, in just about every IMAP client I know of except for Mail you can manage folder subscriptions so that you can do exactly what you're recommending and create a new folder, dump old messages into it, and then unsubscribe from it. This is what we've done, but because OS X Mail doesn't understand folder subscriptions without strange hacks it still goes through this entire folder collection periodically.
 
besson3c Jan 19, 2009 08:05 PM
Things missing/broken in OS X Mail:

- folder subscriptions
- the ability to control what folders are checked for new messages (helpful for working with sieve/procmail rules rules)
- multiple identity support
- proper handling of notification of new mail (this is apparent in both Cyrus and Courier IMAP)
 
krx Jan 19, 2009 11:17 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot (Post 3791271)
Mail.app won't directly alert you to new mail in respective folders other than the inbox (if you use rules to sort it), BUT it will show a little number icon next to each mailbox to let you know how many unread e-mails there are in each 'box.
That's true for Entourage as well. But when I imported my mail it listed everything as unread ... and a month later and I still haven't gone through all the folders to "mark as read". If I had done this it would be easier to use "rules" to sort mail and see where it is - but I still would have to scroll thru the list of folders - and I would have to leave all my main folders open so I could see all my subfolders because Entourage doesn't put a number (for unread messages) next to the main folder, only the subfolder. And my list of folders is 200 long. I find this unbelievably cumbersome compared to Eudora's pulldown menu (and how folders opened automatically when new mail was received, so you couldn't miss anything ... you just work through your open folders till there aren't anymore).

Also, the window for folders next to (or above) the window for messages just doesn't work for me. If you have all your folders open, and you have some subfolders within subfolders, then the folder window needs to be a certain width in order to see the numbers for new mail, and sometimes just to see exactly which folder it is. This cuts way too far into the message window. The only other option is to constantly change the width of the folder window so I can check the folders one minute and read a message the next. Total and complete PITA!
 
krx Jan 20, 2009 12:11 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by Cold Warrior (Post 3791356)
Mail is really your only other serious alternative if you've already ruled out Thunderbird and Entourage. You mentioned Entourage 2004 though. I've found Entourage 2008 to be better than 2004, but the feature set hasn't really changed. You could download the Office 2008 trial version to check it out, but if you've used 2004 and have major objections, 2008 won't change your mind.

I use Thunderbird. Initially I had some issues that kept me away from it, but I found a theme I like (Silvermel) and a useful extension called 'Change quote and reply format'.
I haven't so much ruled them out - well maybe I've ruled out Entourage. Thunderbird I didn't give much of a chance. But if it handles folders and filters the way Entourage does I'd have a hard time with it.

Don't know anything about "themes" with TB. Do different themes come w/different functionality?
 
krx Jan 20, 2009 12:15 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by turtle777 (Post 3791391)
Dockstar, FTW.

Customizable alerts for individual folders, incl. sounds.
Quote, Originally Posted by turtle777 (Post 3791393)
Oh, and for some serious email processing, may I recommend:

Mail Act-On:
-> using programable hotkeys to process emails

Mail Tags:
-> projects, tags, powerful iCal support, RSS support etc...

-t
Thank you! These look like great adjuncts to the mail option. Does anyone else have experience with any of these? Are they worth the cost?
 
krx Jan 20, 2009 12:51 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by IronPen (Post 3791394)
Mail.app has some great free plugins to alert you when new mail arrives:

The Unread
Mail Unread Menu
GrowlMail

Personally, I use The Unread in combination with GrowlMail. The Unread puts the number of unread emails from my Inbox in the menu bar (you can customize it to look in subfolders if you wish), and GrowlMail will popup an alert on screen, displaying who the message is from as well as the subject. And as mentioned already, Mail.app does have an audible alert upon receiving new email, but it's not something you can customize from the applications settings.
I don't think the audible message is sufficient for new email. I need it to be visually represented in some way, so I can see it. Not always in a position to respond to every "ding" or "dong" that says a new email has arrived. Need to be able to pull up my email when I can and see immediately what Is new.

Sounds like one or more of these tools would work for this. Which one is best?
 
turtle777 Jan 20, 2009 01:07 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by krx (Post 3791800)
Thank you! These look like great adjuncts to the mail option. Does anyone else have experience with any of these? Are they worth the cost?
I'm using DockStar, it's worth the money IMO.
Act-On is free, and really makes quick sorting emails much faster.

-t
 
krx Jan 20, 2009 01:09 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by besson3c (Post 3791572)
I don't know exactly at what point the performance hit becomes noticeable, but our shared mailboxes at work that I used to access with Mail contained hundreds of thousands of messages. When you look at the little activity thing it would constantly say "scanning for unread message counts". I don't know why given that it is limited to only looking for new messages in the Inbox by default that it has to work this hard to do this.

The iPhone is the same bad performer. If you monitor the logs of a mail server when it performs its check it insists on thrashing through every folder. I can't put my finger on precisely what the problems with these clients are since I haven't really tested this thoroughly, but it does seem to relate to its whole system of new message notification, which is odd because as of Leopard it finally supports IMAP IDLE.

Oh well, just my ramblings...
I may have about 20,000 messages total ... and I can (and should) probably cut that in half with some pruning... But I did notice that it seemed to be taking an extraordinarily long time to download these messages when I tried to import them via mail.

Another point to consider tho is that I just got an iPhone and would like to sync it with my email. I'm guessing Apple's mail app is going to be best for this...
 
JKT Jan 20, 2009 04:42 AM
http://www.hawkwings.net/

It hasn't been updated since July of last year, but that blog has a lot of hints and tips regarding Mail and its add-ons, as well as some coverage of Thunderbird. It also lists all the extensions to Mail though it is possibly out of date now:

http://www.hawkwings.net/plugins.htm

Btw, the API for these plug-ins is not officially supported by Apple (iirc) so they could revoke it at any time in the future, though they haven't done so for a number of years now.

The first synch with Mail is probably taking a long time because you are also caching the content of each mail locally as well as leaving it on the server (assuming you are using IMAP). That includes any attachments. If you don't want to do that, then check the preferences for your account and choose not to created the local copy.

Strictly speaking, it shouldn't matter what client you use in conjunction with your iPhone as it is the protocol (POP, IMAP, etc) that is important. Due to the lack of message status synching in POP, it is going to be awful in any client if you are also using it with an iPhone, so use IMAP if you can.
 
Big Mac Jan 20, 2009 08:36 AM
Eudora went open source and looks pretty good - anyone use it?

http://www.eudora.com/email/features/mac/index.html
 
Le Flaneur Jan 20, 2009 11:21 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by Big Mac (Post 3791888)
Eudora went open source and looks pretty good - anyone use it?

http://www.eudora.com/email/features/mac/index.html
I don't believe that it is in good shape yet -- and it's taking forever.
 
JTh Jan 20, 2009 09:43 PM
This is just an option, please please please don't flame me if you don't like it: Why not think about how you're handling mail? I get a headache just thinking about what you must do for maintenance, debugging rules, and so on. Sounds very Windows-like ;)

Personally, I use Mail connected with Gmail IMAP - to start, is Gmail an option? I don't have any rules setup for my personal email - I don't get that much email and I am pretty quick to delete stuff when it's done. But what I like is mail.app also integrates pretty nicely with Spotlight, so when I need to go looking for something, I just use Spotlight. Likewise, you can use the search feature in mail, and even save the search. I've found that I can find what I need far more quickly than opening/browsing folders.

At work, I'm required to use XP and Outlook, but I still take the same approach - rely less on rules and more on smart searching. I do have rules setup, but I really don't use them.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents.
 
Hal Itosis Jan 21, 2009 02:31 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by Big Mac (Post 3791888)
Eudora went open source and looks pretty good - anyone use it?
Quote, Originally Posted by Le Flaneur (Post 3791986)
I don't believe that it is in good shape yet -- and it's taking forever.
I've been using Mozilla's Eudora 8.0.0b5 offering for a few days now.

It's based on a marriage of Thunderbird and Penelope, and some of Eudora's look/feel/features.
[not anywhere near as AppleScriptable as QUALCOMM's original, but most users won't mind that.]
According to the Penelope page, Steve Dorner and several other QUALCOMM people are on board.

It's not flawless, but i definitely like it so far.
 
nickbirch Jan 24, 2009 09:11 AM
PowerMail vs Mail
I used PowerMail from the arrival of OS X (and the demise of Claris Emailer) but switched to Mail since starting to use IMAP and Exchange (in the 10.4 era).

PowerMail is strong if you use POP/SMTP and have a backup strategy that can tolerate the monolithic compressed mail database. I didn't find it usable with IMAP and is not a good match with TimeMachine.

Mail is much better with IMAP or Exchange and seems to get on with TimeMachine. I find working with Exchange as the mail box approaches 2GB gets slow so have started moving older emails local (e.g. keep about 6-12 months on the server and the rest local).

I have found issues when connecting to Exchange via an unreliable connection (e.g. a using 3G card from a high speed train). However, the iPhone seems to happy doing this (and removes most of the need to do it). NOTE the iPhone is of course trying to synch a much smaller database (the last 200 messages) while my Mail/Exchange inbox is currently around 8000 messages.
 
zro Jan 24, 2009 05:20 PM
Mulberry is still around. Couldn't stand using it much myself, so no idea if it offers much of what you're looking for.
 
turtle777 Jan 24, 2009 08:16 PM
Oh, I just want to say: Time Machine and Apple Mail is just awesome.

My mom just screwed up one IMAP folder, but Time Machine had it all covered. :thumbsup:

-t
 
besson3c Jan 24, 2009 10:27 PM
turtle: I guess TM logs and reverses remote IMAP commands somehow?
 
CharlesS Jan 24, 2009 10:58 PM
It backs up the messages from Mail.app's cache, so if you inadvertently deleted all the messages in the IMAP folder or something, they'd still be in the backup.
 
besson3c Jan 24, 2009 11:03 PM
Yeah, but what happens the next time you sync with the server? Will it upload what you have in your cache?
 
CharlesS Jan 24, 2009 11:09 PM
I'd assume so, although I haven't tried it.

edit: okay, I just gave it a try. What it does is recover the messages to an offline folder called "Recovered Messages", from where you are free to drag them back over to the IMAP mailbox if you wish.
 
turtle777 Jan 25, 2009 12:03 AM
^^ Exactly.

-t
 
Ted L. Nancy Jan 25, 2009 09:13 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by besson3c (Post 3791687)
Things missing/broken in OS X Mail:

- folder subscriptions
- the ability to control what folders are checked for new messages (helpful for working with sieve/procmail rules rules)
- multiple identity support
- proper handling of notification of new mail (this is apparent in both Cyrus and Courier IMAP)
- permanent reply-to
 
Ted L. Nancy Jan 25, 2009 09:13 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by 64stang06 (Post 3791557)
I think I'm probably in the minority here, but after switching from .Mac/MobileMe to Gmail, I've stopped using a desktop mail client and just use the web interface for everything.

I will say though, however, that Mail.app+Dockstar+Mailtags=happiness for me when I used it.
Could this have anything to do with the fact that Gmail has poopy IMAP for Mail.app
 
64stang06 Jan 25, 2009 11:20 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Ted L. Nancy (Post 3794476)
Could this have anything to do with the fact that Gmail has poopy IMAP for Mail.app
Not at all.
 
Cold Warrior Jan 25, 2009 11:23 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Ted L. Nancy (Post 3794476)
Could this have anything to do with the fact that Gmail has poopy IMAP for Mail.app
Gmail doesn't have anything to do with it. Mail.app just has sub-par IMAP interaction. Thunderbird is much better with IMAP.
 
CatOne Jan 30, 2009 11:03 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Cold Warrior (Post 3794526)
Gmail doesn't have anything to do with it. Mail.app just has sub-par IMAP interaction. Thunderbird is much better with IMAP.
GMail's IMAP implementation is totally nonstandard and generally sucks. There is really a lot it has to do with things -- it's totally nonstandard.
 
Cold Warrior Jan 30, 2009 11:44 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by CatOne (Post 3797353)
GMail's IMAP implementation is totally nonstandard and generally sucks. There is really a lot it has to do with things -- it's totally nonstandard.
Perhaps its labeling/tag setup is non-standard, but plug it into a competent IMAP client and it handles perfectly. Never any issues with Outlook 2003 or Thunderbird -- just Mail.
 
besson3c Jan 31, 2009 01:04 AM
Mail's IMAP handling is indeed quite shoddy, and I can prove this. Whether this is the problem here I don't know, but on a more general level Cold Warrior is correct.
 
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