Video tips for iPhone, iPad and Mac

049 - Smart Mailboxes on the Mac

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I don’t waste time deleting or manually sorting my mail into folders. I use Smart Mailboxes instead.

In CrunchyTip 047 I showed you how to use the built in but hidden mailboxes on iOS to help filter your mail. On the Mac it’s a little different and can be a lot more powerful.

In Mail, your standard mailboxes are Inbox, Flagged and Sent. Inbox collects all incoming mail and Flagged is for messages that have been flagged, similar to iOS.

There is a section below called Smart Mailboxes. If you expand it you’ll see it has a mailbox called Today which contains messages received today.

You can add a new Smart Mailbox by clicking the plus next to the Smart Mailboxes title or in the menu under Mailbox > New Smart Mailbox.

My most common smart mailbox is for unread messages.

Simply choose the filter “Message is unread” and name the smart mailbox Unread.

That Smart Mailbox appears in the sidebar and will now always show messages you haven’t read yet.

The other mailbox that iOS had was attachments. You can recreate that with another simple filter, Contains attachments.

There are many other filters you can explore.

For a quick example, let’s say you wanted to see all messages received in the last three days.

Choose the filter “Date received”, with the condition “in the last” and the value “3 days”.

Smart filters are a great way to automatically sort your mail without spending any time sorting.

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