Thursday, December 08, 2005

Mail.app and Imap

TUAW have a posting about replacement email clients for Mail.App as they are having problems with it for high volume IMAP based email. In response, I found a while back that mail.app was choking a little on the size of my imap mailboxes. This is the solution I went for:

  1. I created two folders - "Archive" for all personal mail and "Work" for all work mail. I get far more mail from work than personal so work is actually a folder containing lot's of smaller mailboxes
  2. Every three months the "current" work folder is renamed for the time of year (e.g. Oct05-Dec05) and a new "current" folder is created.
  3. I have a smart folder in mail.app for All work email which basically groups together all of the smaller work folders - this smart folder currently contains about 9000 emails.
  4. In addition I have a "last week" smart folder which shows all the mail in "All Work" which was received in the last 7 days.
  5. I have a "last fortnight" smart folder which shows all the mail in "Archive"
  6. In conjunction with MailTags and Mail Act-On I can press two keys to archive mail into the correct work or personal real folder on my IMAP server - Mail.App will still see the email in the smart folders.
Using this mechanism I tend to use only virtual folders to browse and search for all of my email. I very, very rarely go into the actual IMAP folders. My INBOX is also kept empty most of the time.

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