Friday, 11 January 2013

8 Great Mac Mail Tips & Tricks

One could think that email is just a tool to send someone a quick message. We’d be wrong. Most of us utilize our accounts solely for the exchange of messages, not taking advantage of the tools that could make our lives easier and more productive.

Mac Mail doesn't fall in that category. With its simple moniker and signature interface, Mac OS users have long known it’s a robust, powerful program. 

Here’s a list of five easy tips or tricks that can maximize your use of Mail.

Customize Where to Send Attachments

It’s not unusual to open an attached file and not know where it’s been saved. This is especially annoying after making changes, knowing you hit SAVE. The email has the original attachment, but there’s no apparent sign of those vital edits.

Where’s your stuff?

In Mail, downloads are stored in a Mail Downloads folder. You can change the destination by opening your Mail/Preferences, going into General/Downloads and selecting the folder of your preference.

Smart Folders

Smart folder capability provides true convenience in Mail. It doesn't contain messages, but a profile of collected messages. Any mail corresponding to that smart folder’s criteria will automatically appear in it. You could sort mail by family, business and even people you’re not ready to remove or block but can certainly set aside.

Perform a Mail search normally, using specified criteria. You can delineate things like From, To and Subject. Once the search is done, save it. Give the smart folder a name if desired and choose if you want Mail to include Trash and Sent folders.

VIP within Mountain Lion

Distinguish priority email, cut back on scanning lists of unimportant posts and minimize Mail alerts by filtering individuals with the Notification Center’s VIP status. Select an email from that person and click the star next to their name. Mail will not only place all future messages from these individuals in a VIP folder, it won’t alert you for every single new receipt.

Access Other Mail Accounts

You can access the likes of Hotmail, Gmail and Yahoo! directly in Mail. Integrate the powerful features and your customization without opening an additional browser. For Gmail you’ll need IMAP access. Yahoo! will require Mac Free POPs installation and that the freepopsd is running. Hotmail can be integrated using POP.

Go into Mail/Preferences and access the Accounts tab, clicking the ‘+’ sign to add your preferred email to the accounts list. From there, follow the prompts, precisely entering the proper information such as full addresses and servers. 

Notes and Reminders

Mail creates notes, lists and reminders without using iCal. You can even mail a note to yourself or anyone else. Notes are viewable in the Reminders window. Anything from a task to an appointment can be recorded with an alarm, due date, priority ranking or attachment. It’s an easily used feature that doesn't require you stop what you’re doing. Just click the Note icon on the Mail toolbar. You can make it quick, or fancy it up with fonts and colors. Icons for send as mail and adding attachments are right there.


Click the Show Stationery icon in the top right corner of the Mail window. There are a number of categories to choose from. Favorites will contain stored templates. Find a template to your liking and get a preview. The message can already be completed. Mail will simply drop the template behind it. You can leave it as is, edit background colors or add personal images using Photo Browser.


Compared to other programs, the latest version of Mac Mail is radical. With its strong integration to other email accounts, upgraded search and smart folder capabilities and display of entire conversations, it allows user customization that cannot be equaled elsewhere.


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