Gmail & Mail.app Labels/Filters Configuration

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by sealed, Mar 27, 2010.

  1. sealed macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    #1
    I'm using Gmail with Mail.app on my Macbook and my iPhone. I want to filter emails for shopping, entertainment and utilities into folders without having them all in my main inbox or a Gmail "All Mails" folder. Does anyone have a good solution for this?

    A little background:

    I have my Gmail account set up with Mail.app currently. I have several folders set up on my Mac, and I have filters set up to send certain messages to certain folders. For instance, emails from ebay.com go to an eBay folder.

    I got an iPhone earlier in the week, and this setup has created some problems. Once an email goes into a Folder with Mail.app, I can't find it using my iPhone and that is very frustrating.

    I have looked and looked online for a solution but couldn't find one. Any help is appreciated.
     
  2. dyn macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    .nl
    #2
    Using filters in Mail means they are locally and only on your machine. The same thing goes for your email and folders if you've set up a POP3 Gmail account. If you want it to work properly with things like an iPhone, you'll have to change quite a lot.

    First you need to stop using POP3 because this is the reason why you can't find mails on your iPhone. When using POP3 stuff is stored locally so you need to look in Mail on that particular machine to find the mail. Your iPhone will never find it. By using IMAP the email stays in the server as do all the folders you create (which is similar to what Gmail calls labels). You'll have to create a new account manually, do not use the automatic account creation wizard. In Leopard it created a POP3 account and I believe that was changed to IMAP in Snow Leopard, however, by doing it manually you're making sure it's IMAP. More information about IMAP with Gmail and how to set it up properly in Mail can be found in Gmail's help centre: IMAP. After setting up this IMAP account you can drag 'n drop the folders you already had in Mail to the new IMAP account. This will put everything in the IMAP account on the server. It can take a while, depending on the amount of email and its size.

    Next you need to log into Gmails webinterface at gmail.com. You need to set up all of the filters you had in Mail in the Gmail webinterface because just like most other webmail those filters work serverside. Now email will be filtered serverside and put into the corresponding folders which both the iPhone and your Mac will be able to access. I have it set up this way and it works perfectly with my iPhone and other clients. It certainly makes things an awful lot easier.

    If you've set up Mail to cache each and every email including attachments and you use Time Machine (or some other file backup utility) you can backup your email.
     
  3. sealed thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    #3
    Hi Dyn,

    Thanks for the thoughtful response. I currently use IMAP. I'm actually pretty puzzled about the current interaction between my Mail.app filters and Gmail. Filtered mail is sorted into my folders in Mail.app, but they are actually still on the Gmail server. But, the only way I can find these messages in Gmail is by using the Search function.

    With regards to setting up filters in Gmail, it sounds to me like all filtered mail will still be visible in the "All Mail" folder. Is this the case? I want to avoid this if possible.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  4. kasakka macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #4
    I recommend you simply use Fluid with the Gmail webapp. This way you don't have to deal with the crappiness of Mail and have everything that the webapp offers, from easy labels to nicely threaded replies etc.
     
  5. JuanGuapo macrumors 6502a

    JuanGuapo

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #5
    This is one of the big(er) gripes people have with the IMAP implementation of Gmail.

    The best solution I've found is if you have Adv. IMAP Controls enabled in Labs, go into Labels and hide the ALL Mail folder from IMAP to save space in Mail.app. Second, when setting up the filter, tell it to Archive it immediately (skip the Inbox).
     
  6. sealed thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    #6
    If I go ahead and do this, how do I view the new messages I receive that don't receive a filter? Or, do I just set up a separate filter to label every incoming message?
     
  7. JuanGuapo macrumors 6502a

    JuanGuapo

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #7
    You'll want to use Filters for anything you don't want to show up in Inbox. For instance, let's say I have an eBay filter...

    The filter is set to automatically filter anything from @ebay.com, skip the Inbox, and archive it. When you log into Gmail's website, you'll see the filter on the left side (like a folder) with an unread count next to it. When you open Mail.app, you'll have an unread count both in the EBAY folder, and in All Mail (unless you hide All Mail from IMAP like I described earlier).

    Keep in mind that Gmail's IMAP implementation is not a standard one and you might have little glitches here and there when it comes to filtering and filtered e-mails showing up correctly.
     
  8. dyn macrumors 68030

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    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    .nl
    #8
    That's a bit odd. I've set up some filters to put certain email into folders. I have a filter for emails from US-CERT to go into a certain folder. I've set it up that it skips the inbox (archive it), applies a label (aka puts it into a folder) and never send it to spam (because obviously this isn't spam). Whenever I check the folder I put it in, it shows up on both my Mac and my iPhone (being captain obvious: they're both set up for IMAP). Like other people already told you, you only need to set up filters for email you want to put into some folder. Email that does not match any filter will be put in your inbox.

    Yep, correct, that's how the "all mail" folder is supposed to work. It holds all email, so email in your sent folder, in your drafts, in your inbox, etc. (apart from trash). The "all mail" folder is a great folder because if you ever loose an email (you forgot where you've put it) it will always be in this folder and thus you'll always be able to find it.

    Be sure to read the link I gave you because it will give you some details on how Gmail's IMAP works and how you should set up both the iPhone and your Mac to use it properly. The only problem is the way Gmail works. Gmail uses labels which are the same thing as tags, it doesn't use folders. IMAP on the other hand only knows folders and doesn't recognize things like labels and tags. This can cause some confusion and other strange problems with some IMAP mailclients. A lot of people are actually using the webinterface because of this.
     
  9. JuanGuapo macrumors 6502a

    JuanGuapo

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #9
    dyn is right, and has posted really good advice. I think you should be ok.
     
  10. sealed thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    #10
    Let's say I have 4 filters, and I do not want any filtered messages in my Inbox. But, the "All Mail" folder in Gmail is, effectively, the Inbox. Is the only way to accomplish this to set up a 5th filter (lets call it "New Inbox") that will apply a filter to every message not filtered by the other 4?

    Then, I would simply not show "All Messages" in Mail.app.

    Is that correct or is there a simpler way that I am missing?
     
  11. macgrl macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #11
    what do you need to do so that incoming messages are filtered into an assigned label / folder and also appear in the box. It is easier for me to notice new messages in the inbox on mac mail than seeing the unread message count in a folder :)
     
  12. dyn macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    .nl
    #12
    Create the filters as I described but do not check the option to archive it. The archive option will remove the inbox label from the email and replace it with the all mail label (in other words it moves the email from the inbox to the all mail folder).

    Alternatively you can do it a bit nicer by using the unread mail count on the dock icon (the badge on Mail's dock icon). Simply set up the filters and use the archive option in the filters so it moves the email out of the inbox (set them up like I initially explained). Next you'll need to set up a smart mailbox in Mail on your Mac. Create a new one, tell it to match any of the following conditions and create a new condition for every folder you want to check for new email. Use the "message is in mailbox: condition and select the folder you want. After saving the smart mailbox you need to tell Mail to check the smart mailbox for any new messages. You need to open the settings and select the smart mailbox for "dock unread count". If you want to change it afterwards simply edit the smart mailbox.

    I wanted my Mail to notify me about new emails in my inbox and some other folder. I couldn't find any possible way of doing this but I noticed I could select some smart mailbox I created. I figured I could create a smart mailbox with just those two folders (inbox and the other one) and use that smart mailbox and it worked :)
     
  13. abby.mac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    #13
    Skip the inbox

    You seem to know how to use filters well in Mail. How do I set up mail so that certain messages skip the inbox and go directly to the folders that I indicate?
     

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