How do I pair Apple Mail across two different Macs?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Apple!Fre@k, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. Apple!Fre@k macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2006
    Here's the situation: I'm hiring an assistant next week and already have a brand new 20" iMac setup for her in the adjoining office, but was wondering how I can match sync my Apple Mail e-mail across both my 24" iMac and her 20" iMac in the other room, both on the same network, so she can handle my e-mail on the 20", whilst I can as well on my 24".

    Essentially what I want is to be able to work on the same e-mail within Apple Mail on both machines and then automatically update with each other. For example, if she sends an e-mail, right after she clicks sends I'll be able to go into my sent box on MY machine and there it is. And if she flags an e-mail in my inbox on the 20", it will show up as flagged on my 24". And vice versa.

    Is there any way to cross sync e-mail across two Macs like this?
  2. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    MobileMe is one option albeit expensive just for syncing mail accounts. I'm not sure of any others but Im sure there are other options available.
  3. macsnail macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2008
    If you have IMAP mail retrieval facility on your mail account (as opposed to POP), then that would take care of your syncing for you.
  4. Apple!Fre@k thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2006
    I have GMail so I believe it has IMAP. I've never used IMAP before, only POP. How exactly does it work?

    Also, I do already have a MobileMe account, I've just found it extremely unreliable and spotty. (MobileMe, so far, is probably the worst Apple product I've ever experience.) I need something reliable every time.
  5. macsnail macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2008
    in the settings section of your gmail account webpage, you need to turn-on IMAP. Then you can set it up in fairly easily by selecting IMAP from the dropdown list during setup. If you wish to enter all info manually, then Gmail has info on how to do that (I think there's a link next to the IMAP section in settings)
  6. Apple!Fre@k thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2006
    Just read about it here:

    It looks like it would work well to synchronize my mail account across both machines, but what about formatting? Wouldn't I loose formatting such as flagged e-mails and Mail Tag data such as notes attached to each e-mail, and color coding of the subject lines?
  7. Apple!Fre@k thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2006
  8. madog macrumors 65816


    Nov 25, 2004
    Korova Milkbar
    Tagging works, albeit a bit differently. In Google's preferences where you enable IMAP/POP there is a link for a useful help file that will explain all about it. I remember reading that it can be set up to function with the iPhone and Mac Mail and be similar to tags on Gmails site, but just a bit different.
  9. Apple!Fre@k thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2006
    Can't find the link. Can you please direct me?
  10. madog macrumors 65816


    Nov 25, 2004
    Korova Milkbar
    No support for tags. While some MUA and webmails now migrated from folders to tags or labels, IMAP still uses folders, so for instance in Gmail I have "Projects" and "To do" tags, if a message has both labels, in IMAP it is physically duplicated. Sorry for the confusion.

    When you've enabled IMAP and set up your client, sign in to Gmail through the client and watch your messages arrive. You'll notice that all of your custom Gmail labels will appear in your client as folders, with your labeled messages inside. While we'd like to make your IMAP experience match the Gmail web interface as much as possible, some Gmail-specific features and terms, such as conversation threading and stars, won't appear in your client. Don't worry; you can still perform all the usual Gmail functions, just in a slightly different way. The IMAP behavior chart shows you how to perform common functions on your IMAP client.

    After you perform certain actions in your IMAP client for the first time, you'll notice a few new labels when you next log in to Gmail's web interface. For example, sending a message in your client creates a 'Sent Messages' label in Gmail, indicating which messages you sent through your client and not through Gmail's web interface.

    Some actions that will result in new Gmail labels are: creating drafts, sending and deleting messages, moving messages to a junk mail folder, and creating new folders in your client. Note that the specific names of these new labels will vary depending on which client you're using.

    If you create folders within folders in your client, Gmail will treat these as separate labels. Gmail indicates which folder is a nested folder by adding a '/' before the corresponding label in the web interface.

    Please note that some folder names are 'reserved' as special system folders in the Gmail web interface. If you attempt to create a folder name that conflicts with a reserved folder name such as 'Chats' or 'Sent,' these folders will display with an '[IMAP]' prefix ('[Imap]/Chats').


    Action on mobile device/client (e.g. iPhone/Outlook/Mac Mail) // Result in Gmail on the web

    Open a message // Mark a message as read
    Flag a message // Apply a star to the message
    Move a message to a folder // Apply a label to the message
    Move a message to a folder within a folder* // Apply a label showing folder hierarchy ('MainFolder/SubFolder')*
    Create a folder // Create a label
    Move a message to [Gmail]/Spam // Report a message as spam
    Move a message to [Gmail]/Trash // Move a message to Trash
    Send a message // Store message in Sent Mail
    Delete a message in inbox** // Remove the message from inbox**
    Delete a message from a folder** // Remove that label from the message**
    Delete a message from [Gmail]/Spam or [Gmail]/Trash // Delete the message permanently

    ** Personal note: these actions do not actually delete a message. It acts similarly to archiving a message in Gmail (shown as "[Gmai]l/All Mail" in Mail application). As noted above, deleting a message from outside Gmail using IMAP simply "removes the label". Move messages to the trash folder which will then be deleted by Gmail's rules (default 30 days I believe). From an iPhone, "deleting messages" moves them to the trash on Gmails side (as what you would think would happen within Mac Mail). At least it did before.

    If you use multiple email accounts with Mac Mail, the Gmail side will have its' own "section" with its own folders (labels) from the other accounts that are stored "On Your Mac".

    If you only use Gmail with Mac mail, and have never previously set up Gmail to use with POP in it, then it won't be awfully confusing as when I did and got multiples of everything.

    As far as Mac Mails Notes, if you go to Preferences, Composing, you can tell it to store Created Notes to the Gmail account, and the notes will basically get pushed to your inbox. Color settings are probably only reflected in Gmail but I don't know.
  11. Apple!Fre@k thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 25, 2006
    Thanks a bunch, maddog. Very informative post!

    I'll let you know if I have any more questions when I go to implement.
  12. LowEnder macrumors member

    Aug 17, 2008
    Philadelphia, PA
    Madog rules!!!!!

    Your post has to be the best,most imformative, and precise reply I have seen!

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