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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

Questions about Mail & Macs


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improver

 
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Hello

I work online and currently use a windows pc and windows laptop and I am considering making the move over to mac. But there are a number of things I want to clarify first and am looking for some advice on what set up I should go for as well so if anyone can answer any of my questions that would be great.

1. Can mail have sub folders, for example I have a folder for my employees called Team and then within that folder I have a folder per member of staff eg one for Fred where emails from Fred are automatically filtered to and another for Sam where emails from dean are automatically filtered. I need to be able to have at least 4 layers of folders deep so a folder within a folder within a folder within a folder. Can I do that in mail?

2. Can I create an unread folder that shows all the unread email from ALL folders? This is usually what I work from. I believe I can and I believe this would be called a ‘smart folder’, I would also like to be able to have this folder be at the top of my list of folders as is the folder I use most often.

3. Can you write an email in mail and schedule it to send at a later date?

3. 1 I am not simply talking about turning off the send of Any emails as I might still want to be sending some but there may be others that I want to schedule for a later date. Please clarify if this is possible in Mac Mail?

3.2 I would also be interested to know if it is possible to schedule recurring emails, so that an email is sent on a set date each month reminding someone to do something for example (I suspect if mail cannot do this then maybe the mac automator robot app could do it using mail?)

4. Is there a limit on the number of rules / filters I can set up in mail? In outlook for example there is a limit of 300 which I pass very quickly.

5. In Mail if I have multiple email accounts (which I do) when I reply to a message will it automatically reply from the same email address?

6. I would ideally like to have all my emails in one place but be able to use them from all devices so that any email sent from any device (be that laptop, pc, iphone or ipad) goes into the same email thread. This would mean:
i. When I view my sent folder on ANY device I would see the same sent email.
ii. I would have access to ALL past emails from any device.

6.1 Currently I use thunderbird portable which is installed on a 500GB remote drive, this means I can work from any pc or laptop that I connect it to as all of my emails are stored on that device. However If I reply to an email from my iphone or ipad then the sent email is not seen in my thunderbird portable. Hence I am looking for a better solution that allows all of my devices to send and then all see what has been sent as well as see all past emails (back in time forever). It seems that when used daily either the remote drive OR Thunderbird (I don’t know which ) becomes a little unstable as now after only 6 months use it crashes and freezes on a regular basis losing any emails I am mid way through writing which wastes my time so very annoying. Hence I am looking to move away from the remote drive solution but want an improved solution.

6.2 I cannot change from my email provider spamarrest as it offers the best spam protection and I cannot afford to be without that. I have checked and Spamarrest only allows a 1GB inbox see Spam Arrest - Help and I can tell you that since I set up thunderbird portable in June 2012 I already have over 30GB worth in its folder!

6.3 Maybe some kind of online solution would be best but I don’t know what as I am not prepared to move away from spamarrest (I used to waste the first 2 hours of my day dealing with spam and I really don’t want to go back to that).

6.4. One option I was hoping for would be to be able to set mail up so that I could have all mail saved to a home server then when I view mail on ipad or iphone etc I will have access to all of my past emails. Is this an option with Mac mail? If so what setup would I need?

7. Is there a simple ‘snippet tool? By simple I mean super fast, using snippet in windows I can very quickly take a screen grab of exactly the part of the page I want to talk about and highlight or draw on it. I use this feature daily to feedback to staff as it means I can quickly show them specifically what I am seeing on a certain part of a webpage without any fuss opening another program to crop a screen shot.

8. I have heard that macs come with windows in them too so you can still run all you windows programs is that true?

8.1 Assuming that is true then will I be able to install my adobe CS4 suite straight onto it or would I need to buy a version for mac?

9. Is there a quick and easy way to make clips? Showing just part of the screen? I understand quicktime on a mac that has mountain lion allows you to make a movie of the entire screen but if I understand correctly, it does not allow you to edit it? Ideally, I would want to select the area of the screen to make a clip of first and then press record rather than create the movie and then HAVE to edit it later. This is handy for when I create training clips for example.

sorry for so many questions and thank you for reading and any help you can give.
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pigoo3

 
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YIKES…"human" bites please!!!

I think that I need $20 bucks upfront before tackling this one!

- Nick

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- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
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improver

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
YIKES…"human" bites please!!!

I think that I need $20 bucks upfront before tackling this one!

- Nick
lol thanks for your reply. I know its a lot of questions, but I need to know I will be able to work on a mac before I make the investment and buy one. I was thinking a good place to start may be a mac mini or maybe I would need the Mac mini with OS X Server.

But one of the things that attracts me to mac's is the simple fact things just seem to work. My ipad is great, my old iphone is great too (so much so I just bought a new 64gb iphone5). The only things that go wrong are the no apple apps. So I would prefer if possible to use mail, but I need to know it can do what I need from an email program as I would be using it all day every day (my entire job is email orientated).
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by improver View Post
I was thinking a good place to start may be a mac mini or maybe I would need the Mac mini with OS X Server.
What's really your main concern?…the Apple mail program…or which Macintosh computer to purchase? It would seem to me that switching to a Macintosh computer would be a bigger deal than the e-mail program (new hardware, new software, new OS).

I'm sure that there is a e-mail program that will do what you want it to do…and besides…I'm 100% sure that there are folks just like you…doing exactly what you do…using Mac computers & Mac e-mail programs…and are "happy as a clam"!

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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improver

 
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Hi Nick

Thanks for the reply, I think my main concern is If would be able to do everything that I need to do on a Mac. There is no Apple shop where I live but there is a shop that just sell's Mac's and when I asked the guy in there my questions he couldnt answer them (although in fairness he did ask that I email him so he could find out and let me know). But it worried me a little, if someone asked me these same things for a pc I could answer them all. The 'solution' he showed me for using instead of snippet for example was basically to take a screen shot and then open another program to crop it, that is clearly far slower than the way I do things on my windows machine I am looking for more efficent and faster not more long winded.

It has taken me a long time to get my windows pc's doing 'almost' what I would like them too. I dont want to have to have a big step backwards. I want to be able to buy something new knowing that it will improve things and help me be more efficient.

I know when my ipad crashes it is usually running a third part app (well or safari that crashes too). But generally apples own software seems pretty robust hence my focus on mail as I have tried outlook and that isnt up to what I need, thunderbird does seem to be but is now starting to crash. So clearly I need to change something.

Sadly the 'techies' we have here are generally linux through and through but I have seen their machines and how they work and that is not for me. I want simple and effective not program it myself.

I am starting to wonder if there is anyone out there doing exactly what I am lol. If I could find that happy as a clam person and get them to show me how they do it all that would be great.
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improver

 
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Once I know that the software can do what I need then the machine is a much easier choice to make (I like the look of the macbook air too although it seems to have hardly any storage). £925 for only 125GB clearly to use that I would need to be keeping all of my files on something else (hence me thinking along the need for a server lines).
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chscag

 
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Everyone (including me) loves the look and feel of the MBA, however, we need to think in practical terms. Side by side, the MBA 13" and MBP 13" machines are almost similar in size and weight (do the math). But the MBP 13" sports a larger hard drive and its memory is user upgradeable. Not only that, but there's always the option to remove the optical drive and replace it with an SSD using a data doubler kit. (Kit is available from several on line resellers.)
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improver

 
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@ chscag great advice thanks. :-)
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by improver View Post
It has taken me a long time to get my windows pc's doing 'almost' what I would like them too. I dont want to have to have a big step backwards. I want to be able to buy something new knowing that it will improve things and help me be more efficient.
One "snake pit" a fair number of folks switching from a Windows computer to a Macintosh computer fall into is...thinking (or wanting) everything on their new Macintosh computer to look & work just like their old Windows computer. In some way things will be similar and a "no-brainer"…and then other things may seem totally foreign.

I'm not saying that you cannot or will not be able to do with your e-mail on a Macintosh want you want to don But if you're saying that…"It has taken me a long time to get my windows pc's doing 'almost' what I would like them too."…this is on a system that you fully understand!!

So to be fair...it may take at least as long (if not longer) to get the e-mail working on a Macintosh the way you want it. On the other hand…maybe some Macintosh e-mail programs have features not available on Windows e-mail programs don't have.

Please forgive my speaking in generalities rather than specifics. It sounds like you have e-mail requirements/needs well beyond my own…thus I don't want to suggest anything that may not be correct. What I am saying is (after years & years of seeing & answering other folks questions…including folks switching from a Windows computer to their first Macintosh)…is do expect at least some sort of "learning curve".

And since your e-mail needs are rather specific…it may be difficult for anyone to address them all…before your new Mac computer purchase.

Good luck,

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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chas_m

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by improver View Post
1. Can mail have sub folders
They are called Mailboxes in Mail, but yes. I doubt very much you will ACTUALLY need to go four mailbox levels deep once you discover how to use the program.

Quote:
2. Can I create an unread folder that shows all the unread email from ALL folders?
Yes. This would be called a Smart Mailbox, which is actually just a "filtered search view" of email that meets a criteria you set, eg "all unread email from the last seven days." As soon as you read an email from the Unread smart mailbox, it will naturally "disappear" as it no longer meets the conditions. However, the actual email itself never moved -- it was in your inbox (or whatever mailbox it got filtered to) and it is still there.

Quote:
I would also like to be able to have this folder be at the top of my list of folders as is the folder I use most often.
You can put Smart Mailboxes anywhere you want.

Quote:
3. Can you write an email in mail and schedule it to send at a later date?
No.

Quote:
3.2 I would also be interested to know if it is possible to schedule recurring emails, so that an email is sent on a set date each month reminding someone to do something for example (I suspect if mail cannot do this then maybe the mac automator robot app could do it using mail?)
You'll probably want a third-party emailing program to do this, though I suspect you could make an Automator script that automatically mails out all Drafts at a specific time ...

Quote:
4. Is there a limit on the number of rules / filters I can set up in mail? In outlook for example there is a limit of 300 which I pass very quickly.
No, but again you probably won't need as many rules in Mail.

Quote:
5. In Mail if I have multiple email accounts (which I do) when I reply to a message will it automatically reply from the same email address?
By default, yes. You can change sending addresses manually in a reply if you want to.

Quote:
6. I would ideally like to have all my emails in one place but be able to use them from all devices so that any email sent from any device (be that laptop, pc, iphone or ipad) goes into the same email thread. This would mean:
i. When I view my sent folder on ANY device I would see the same sent email.
ii. I would have access to ALL past emails from any device.
You want iCloud or GMail then. Given your volume, perhaps GMail. But in either case, you definitely want IMAP and not POP.

Quote:
6.3 Maybe some kind of online solution would be best but I don’t know what as I am not prepared to move away from spamarrest.
I do not know if spamarrest works with Mail or not, that's something you'll want to check into.

Quote:
6.4. One option I was hoping for would be to be able to set mail up so that I could have all mail saved to a home server then when I view mail on ipad or iphone etc I will have access to all of my past emails. Is this an option with Mac mail? If so what setup would I need?
Why not just use IMAP?

Quote:
7. Is there a simple ‘snippet tool? By simple I mean super fast, using snippet in windows I can very quickly take a screen grab of exactly the part of the page I want to talk about and highlight or draw on it.
No. But you can easily mark up screen captures using preview, we use it here for screenshots all the time.

Quote:
8. I have heard that macs come with windows in them too so you can still run all you windows programs is that true?
It isn't. Wherever you're hearing that from, I would retire that "news" source. It is possible to buy and INSTALL Windows on a Mac, either natively (using Apple's Boot Camp, Win 7 only) or a virtualizer (any version of Windows). You can run all the Windows programs on that setup. Google Parallels or VMWare or VirtualBox to learn more about virtualizers, visit Apple to learn more about Boot Camp.

Quote:
8.1 Assuming that is true then will I be able to install my adobe CS4 suite straight onto it or would I need to buy a version for mac?
You could, but you will WANT to upgrade to CS6 (or Creative Cloud) and use the Mac version, as this will pretty obviously run a lot better. Call Adobe and they will sell you the upgrade to the Mac version (and bring you up to date) for the same price as the Windows upgrade.

Quote:
9. Is there a quick and easy way to make clips? Showing just part of the screen?
Is shift-command-4 quick enough? That will save a PNG or JPG of the selected area of the screen. If you want a video, you'll probably want to invest in a third-party program like Camtasia or Screenflow for that.
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improver

 
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@ Pigoo3 - Thanks Nick I do totally understand wher eyou are coming from and I am totally prepared for their to be a learning curve as there would be in learnign anything new, I just want to ensure that after all the learning (and spending of money to buy hardward & sofrware) that it will end up doing what I need.



@ chas_m - Wow what an excellent reply, THANK YOU SO MUCH! I really do appreciate you taking the time to do that and answer so clearly.

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by improver
1. Can mail have sub folders

They are called Mailboxes in Mail, but yes. I doubt very much you will ACTUALLY need to go four mailbox levels deep once you discover how to use the program.
The reason for the 4 layers deep of folders (or Mailboexes) is as follows:
I will have a top layer folder that is a company name within that I will have folders relating to different aspects one of which will be Team within that I will then have one folder per member of the team (eg folder called Sam) and then if that person has more than 1 email address that they email me from I will have a sub folder under Sam for that. When ddealign with vast volumes of incoming emails I have found this to be the best way to organise them (for me). I hope that makes sense.

Quote:
Quote:
6.4. One option I was hoping for would be to be able to set mail up so that I could have all mail saved to a home server then when I view mail on ipad or iphone etc I will have access to all of my past emails. Is this an option with Mac mail? If so what setup would I need?

Why not just use IMAP?
My understanding is that IMAP will simply leave everything on the email hosts server (so spamarrest for example) the problem is that spamarrest has a 1GB limit and I have recieved over 30GB of emails in the past 3 months. So I think what I really need is some kind of home server that downloads all my emails that I can IMAP into from my other devices, then from time to time create a back up / archive of older emails to prevent my home server getting full. Hence why I liked th eidea of a Mac mini with OS X Server.

Quote:
Quote:
3. Can you write an email in mail and schedule it to send at a later date?

No.
Oh well that is the same position I am in now on a pc. It just seems like such an obvious feature to add to me. I have some people emailing me and when I reply they reply instantly, what they are emailing about may be 'important to them' but is extremely low on my list of things to worry about so if I coudl write a reply and have it set not to send for 1 or2 weeks I could effectivly 'slow down' the conversation and not waste as much time.

Maybe this is just a flaw in the way I work (which is to mark emails I have not yet dealt with as unread). I did try making emails different colours but once marked as read I still tended to forget about them which meant things went undone so I went back to my workign from unread system. Although that is not a mac issue thats more of a workflow issue but any suggestions would be welcomed. :-)
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Which is why I keep mail in my Inbox and manually move it into my folders at that point when I have dealt with it.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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improver

 
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Quote:
Which is why I keep mail in my Inbox and manually move it into my folders at that point when I have dealt with it.
I used to do that long ago, but the volume of emails I recieve mean that I would miss important or urgent ones if I used that method now. It is not uncommon for me to turn my email on in the morning and have 30 to 80 new emails come in over night, clearly I need a way to see which ones are from important sources, like team members so I can process those first.
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I would gouge my eyes out if I got that many.
It's hard enough to deal with 20-25 a day and simultaneously do the work I'm suppose to do.

I still tell everyone, if they need something from me "now", you best pick up the phone or it ain't happnin'.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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Do you really need folders 4 layers deep? Why not use smart mailboxes (see post from chasm, item 2) and set up smart mailboxes in each area of interest?
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