Adam Tow has just released MsgFiler, an absolute must have add-on for Mail.app users that file messages. Trust me, this puppy will save you serious time every day. Go download it now, then come back here and read more of the back story.
Back in 2004, I was so fed up with Mail.app that I tried switching to Thunderbird. The switch didn’t last too long, but I was told about QuickFile, an extension for Thunderbird. Even though it didn’t do everything I wanted, when I went back to Mail.app I really missed QuickFile.
Luckily, I have some smart friends. Adam had recently learned pretty much everything there is to know about Mail.app and AppleScript while writing Soybo, so I asked him if he could cobble something together that could simulate QuickFile. He could and did.
I’ve been using MsgFiler for over a year now – I hinted about it nearly a year ago – and I can’t imagine using Mail.app without it. When I first got my MacBook, Intel incompatibility with MsgFiler rendered me unable to file e-mail on the MacBook for several days. It was just too painful without MsgFiler.
In a nutshell, this is how it works:
- Have an e-mail open or have one or more e-mails selected in the message list in Mail.app
- Hit Cmd-9
- Type a few letters – for example to bring up my ‘Tasks Pro Support’ folder I type ‘pro su’
- Hit the down arrow to select the folder in the list
- Hit enter
So much faster than dragging the mail into a nest of collapsed folders and trying to get them to open in a way that I can reach the one I want.
Adam has some screenshots and a little intro video on the web page, so you can see how it works there too. Now go forth, spend a few PayPal dollars on this little gem, and learn to love (or at least not resent) Mail.app again. 🙂
Have you tried Mail Act-On?
It is free. It requires a little setup, but it is very powerful and easy to use. You can do more than file, you can apply rules or applescripts, etc. I also like MailTags (be sure to try the beta) which works with IMAP.
I’m right behind Kerim … I use Mail Act-On for this functionality. But I also don’t nest folders, and nesting folders would keep MA-O from scaling well [since all the rules are, as best as I know, one-character-only, so … you have limitations].
Anything that requires setting up rules/maintenence/etc. is losing or has lost a place in my toolbox. Tools like MsgFiler and LaunchBar (or QuickSilver) don’t require me to set anything up to work well – I much prefer that. Especially since I use multiple machines.
I’ve tried all the Mail.app add-ons, this and Mail Template are the only ones I’ve found to be good enough to keep.
I see that this is for 10.4.8. Can it work with earlier versions i.e. 10.3.x?
Fair enough. Again, it goes back to mail filing policy: I have a very small number of collection points to file to [four], so this isn’t going to work for me. But it sounds like you segregate far more hardcore than that and also add collection points as necessary, so I can see why something that intuitively adds collectionability [yeah, it’s early] is preferable.
Doug – MsgFiler currently works on Tiger only. If there’s enough interest, I might look into supporting Panther.
Yeah, Kerim and Geof, Mail Act-On is great for the occasional rule, but when you’re talking about filing mail into 100+ folders, it just isn’t the right tool; when I once tried it, I actually thought to myself, “I’m trying to use a screwdriver as a saw here!” MsgFiler has now changed my life — I’m actually jealous that Alex has had access to this for over a year and never let anyone else in on it.
Well, I’m with Merlin on this one: what benefits do you get from having 100+ folders?
Trust me, I used to be there myself, back in the days when I ran Eudora on a PC in college.
[That said, this question is best answered at the link above.] Undoubtedly, what Adam’s done here is excellent if that’s how you’re managing email. Two thumbs up.
The reason why Google got web search to work again was because it takes lots of input (links) for search terms. So if you search for a synonym, you find what you’re looking for. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work when searching through e-mail. You have to search on exactly the right term to find what you’re looking for. I find my mail search tools woefully inadequate and find it is often faster to browse my filed messages.
Another benefit, on IMAP, is that many smaller folders are much faster than a few big ones.
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