Mail rules / smart mailboxes

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by mrjosh, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. mrjosh macrumors regular

    Mar 5, 2009
    Hi all,

    I'm trying to organize my mail by sender (if anyone has better organizational ideas other than deleting mail, let me know).

    Right now, I have rules so all new emails are directed towards various inboxes (family, friends, etc.). However, this means I need to go to a bunch of different folders to read my email.

    Is there a way to set up a rule so that mail gets routed according to email address after being read? I just want to go to my primary inbox, read a message and have it routed accordingly. I feel like I might be missing something very basic here...

    Any help would be appreciated. In case you can't tell, I'm new to the world of mac. Now that I don't spend all my time fighting with a pc, I actually have time to try and organize my life...
  2. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    Do not apply the rules automatically. Let your mail come into your inbox and once read, then use the apply rules command.
  3. mrjosh thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 5, 2009
    Thanks rdowns. I'll check the rules when I get home and apply correctly.
  4. krx macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2009
    Will this actually work? Don't you have to check the box next to each rule first in order to "apply" it? And if the box is checked I believe mail is sorted automatically when it arrives. If so, for the recommended method to work, you'd have to go in and check all the boxes next to each rule, then apply rules, and then go back in and uncheck all your boxes so that new mail doesn't get sorted automatically. If you just three rules then maybe. But if you have a hundred or more rules to apply as I do then this is not a practicable solution.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong cause this is the primary reason I have not switched to Apple Mail.
  5. DJPD macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2009
    I'm having the same problem and thinking of changing to another mail software. You can't even add a folder to put read mail in :mad: Or am I just missing something here?

    Why in the world would apple remove such a basic feature:confused::confused:

    can anyone recommend a different mail software?

  6. krx macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2009
    To my knowledge there is no email app available today that handles rules/filters in an efficient way - at least for those with more than a small handful of rules/filters. The old Eudora was fantastic at this: once filters were created mail was sorted automatically upon sending and receiving. Mail folders receiving new mail opened automatically which made it (at least for me) very efficient to work through the open folders, saving those that needed a response or that I otherwise needed to come back to in the dock. All pending email was on my desktop or in my dock - I didn't have to remember it or scan through a list of 100+ folders to see if anything jarred my memory (as I do now).

    I tried Eudora 8.x but as far as I could tell it didn't keep this filter/folder management method. I am currently using both Entourage 2004 and Apple Mail, trying to decide which is better (Mail has a better interface and probably syncs better with the rest of my Apple apps but completely screwed up the import of mail from Entourage). So far it seems to me each handles rules/folder management the same way. I have all my rules activated so mail gets sorted automatically as it comes in. Then I scan the folders to see which are in bold and have numbers next to them. It's a ridiculously inefficient way to do it, and i've found no way to keep track of what's pending (suggestions?), but I've found no better way to date.
  7. swiftaw macrumors 603


    Jan 31, 2005
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Instead of creating a folder (mailbox) for each sender then using rules to move the messages to each folder (mailbox), why not leave the messages where they are and create a smart mailbox for each sender?
  8. krx macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2009
    Smart mailboxes are great for archiving mail but how would this resolve the mail processing problem? New mail comes into my inbox (assuming I'm not using rules and instead using smart mailboxes to organize my mail). I could then just look at the inbox as my pending email folder, which would be great. Except once I've processed an email I would need to move it out of the inbox - otherwise the inbox will become massive and therefore inefficient very quickly. It doesn't work to look at in inbox full of hundreds or thousands of messages and have to scan through to see what needs processing. But if I delete the message once processed than it is no longer saved in my smart mailbox - it is gone. So then I'm back to having to set up rules to save the email in another folder.

    I suppose though, come to think of it, that I could just create one massive "archive" folder which holds all processed email that I need to save, and use smart mailboxes to organize all of it. Then maybe to keep this single folder from getting too big I could break it down into years. I could then use the inbox for processing all messages, then move them manually to the current archive folder. Hmmm... This may actually work.

    So the idea is this:

    1. Use the inbox as the "Pending Email" folder. All new email comes here first, to be processed and, once processed, either archived for future reference or deleted forever.

    2. Archive all email that needs to be saved in annual folders - which in my case will hold on average about thousand emails each. These folders will function primarily as physical (digital?) repositories for all saved email, since smart folders are virtual folders and don't actually hold anything.

    3. Create smart mailboxes to organize all extant (archived and pending) email.
  9. swiftaw macrumors 603


    Jan 31, 2005
    Omaha, NE, USA

    Exactly, you have two real mailboxes. The inbox, which contains mail you haven't dealt with, and another one, for arguments sake, lets call it the Done mailbox which contains mail you have dealt with.

    Then, you create as many smart mailboxes as needed which essentially index all the mail contained in Inbox and Done. Furthermore, if you color each mail in the Done box then when browsing the smart mailboxes you'll be able to tell the difference between Done mail and Inbox mail.
  10. krx macrumors member

    Aug 10, 2009
    I will give this a try. My only problem now is figuring out how to get all my mail from Entourage into Mail. I used the import tool in Mail but it screwed up the dates and left some messages empty - and that's just the problems I know about. So...

    Anybody know of a better way to transfer just my email - with the metadata (ie, dates) intact? I don't need filters or accounts or anything else.
  11. justin052 macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2009
    I'm unsure if this is a similar problem (or request) but what I'm trying to do is keep emails from going into the master inbox. I want a separate folder for emails from a certain person, that when they come in, they go directly there, and i don't see them unless I go to that specific folder. Is this possible?
  12. swiftaw macrumors 603


    Jan 31, 2005
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Yes, create a Rule that moves emails from specified people to a different mailbox.
  13. Cynamine macrumors newbie

    Nov 21, 2011
    Email addresses and rules for one smart mailbox folder

    I need a mailbox folder that will pick up multiple rules in different messages.
    For instance:
    I want all messages that come from either,,, and so on to all get filtered into one smart mailbox folder.
    The issue that I seem to be running into is that unless all the email messages are not from or contain or whatever all of them then they will not get sorted. I can't seem to find a way to sort A, B or C if they email me separately into one smart mailbox folder. Does this make sense?
  14. dianeoforegon macrumors 6502a


    Apr 26, 2011
    Create Smart Folders:

    Received Today

    Even if you have rules that move your messages, these two smart folders will allow you to easily view your mail regardless of where it's filed.
  15. nacnack macrumors newbie

    Dec 17, 2012
    Not Working??

    I have been all over the internet for days trying to find a solution for either smart mailboxes or smart mailbox folders (rules) with no avail. I'm using Mail 5.3 with my Mac Air OX 10.7.5. No matter how I set these up they just do not move messages to the appropriate folders and I cannot find a solution anywhere on the internet.

    I have a folder for my Avis reservations:

    Smart mailbox settings

    Contains messages that match "all"
    Any Recipient - Contains -
    Any Recipient - Contains -
    Any Recipient - Contains -
    Any Recipient - Contains -

    include message from Trash
    include messages from Sent - both checked

    Smart Mail Folder Rules

    If "Any" of the following conditions are met

    "Any Recipient" - Contains - Same settings are above

    Perform the following Actions:

    Move Message - to mailbox - Avis Car Rental

    NOTHING WORKS- - Please Advise

    and my smartboxes set up the same way to see which one will work. I did set them up individually and not at the same time, but they will still not capture the mail coming from my in-box.
  16. dangerfish macrumors 6502

    Aug 28, 2007
    For your smart mailboxes, you've told it that the email must contain ALL of those Recipients in order to be put into the smart mailbox. Avis is not the recipients; they are the Sender. Delete all those rules and put in 1 rule that says "From, Contains, Avis". I bet that will work.

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