Macmath17's Recent Posts
Caye has said it in a nutshell, and things have only improved since I wrote my review of the previous version (below Caye's). Many of the items mentioned in the reviews below have been addressed (such as seeing how the viewed email is going to look). This is not the Mac App Store; give it a test drive.
In the last two updates, MailMate has added functionality that is simply incredible, so it is time for me to write another review. If you have not tried MailMate in the last 2 months, it is also time to run it through its paces again in the light of this functionality. I process a lot of email in a day with something at least 40 emails going out and 60 or so coming in (not counting spam or emails that I don't wish to read). Since I like a clean inbox, and I like to organize what I see coming in, that volume of mail could be very time consuming. However, with MailMate I am able to read and organize my email and keep a clean inbox with little effort and without the time-consuming hassle of moving emails to folders. This is possible because MailMate has added Tagging, and because its search functionality and its extremely smart SmartMailboxes. Some email goes with a particular project, which I tag with the project name; email which is critical but which can't be immediately answered gets a tag of 'critical' (and a tag of its project name, if it goes with a project); email which I've responded to but which I will need to move along further after I receive a reply back is tagged 'followup' (and a project tag, if relevant). Once the email is tagged, I archive it and it is no longer in the Inbox. Tagging is very quick (perhaps a keystroke) as is removing an old tag and adding a new one. Emails are now categorized by some tag of relevance and some tag of what level of reply is needed. I have a smart mailbox for Critical mail and Followup mail, and for some important projects. MailMate can organize the mail within a smart mailbox by any criteria by which you can search: header items, tags, dates, subjects, contacts, the mailer used to sent the message..., the list is almost endless. So, when I look into my Critical smart mailbox I can see all the critical mail organized within folders by Project. I can have another Critical smart mailbox which is organized inside by what day or what month the email arrived (some things are more critical than others ;-) ). So if I can put some organization behind the smart mailbox with essentially no effort. The search capability is amazing due to the ability to search by all those same items as mentioned above, as well as the nest the searches. It is next to impossible to lose any email if you remember anything about it at all. Viewing your emails is also very convenient. There are a number of layouts available, and it is possible to write your own layouts as well. My favorite is "Correspondence" in which while you're reading an email you can see (in another pane) a header each for any other email correspondence with the sender. Another layout that I use sometimes shows at a glance the relationship between each email in a thread (which was a reply to which). I don't know what others use, but I now have any functionality that I used in other email clients, and then some. [That is not to say that MailMate has every functionality of Mail (for instance), but I am sure that it has some that Mail does not] Within MailMate, it is possible to write using markup language, and not only that but it has a WYSIWYG view pane below so that you can see how it will be seen by the people reading the email. It is also easy to place pictures inline in your emails (drag-and-drop while writing as a MarkUp email). [Drag-and-drop also works from an email that you are reading to your desktop.] After writing your email you can also set a time when the email will be sent. I don't know what more I could ask it to do. I want for nothing, and I have a lot more time back since I left Mail almost 3 years ago: both because it is some much easier to use while keeping on top of your mail load, and because it is more spry in handling my 90,000 messages over 3 IMAP accounts. I am sure that I missed some items, but the review is too long already. The developer is very responsive, and that is one of those things that can't be bought (except through a license fee to this developer :-) ).
I find OmniFocus to be indispensable to my daily life. It permits me to keep track of a host of individual duties together with as much associated information as I would like. The information is quickly entered, particularly as the information can be input via contextual menu from other applications. These duties can also be scheduled regarding start- and due-dates, to reoccur or not, and how long they are expected to take. The resulting task-data can be sorted and viewed in many different ways, and these ways can be saved as 'perspectives'. These can be synced among computers at different locations, iPhones, and iPads by various means. I am more productive and with such less stress because I no longer have to hold future responsibilities and their timetables in my head. I won't attempt to review its features further because it has enough facets that to describe them any further would be information overload. A few more things I will say: (1) it will become more useful to you as time goes on because you'll learn how to use it better. This is a testimony to the capabilities of the application rather than to design flaws. Watch it on twitter and visit its forums occasionally after you've started to use it and you'll soon become a power-user. Give yourself some time to learn more about it. (2) Yes, it is expensive, particularly if you also get an iPhone and an iPad version. However, you usually get what you pay for and with Omnifocus you certainly do. I work at a university and like many people have to watch my budget. I could have gotten an educational license for $50, but I paid the full $80 because I appreciate things that are done well. My wife wouldn't like to hear that I paid $30 more than I had to, but I still consider it to be an excellent purchase. (3) You might have noticed that the ratings of both Things and Omnifocus have been falling. Any application of this type takes awhile to learn how to use, and the fact that you need such an application means that you don't have a lot of free time to spend in that way. Also, in order to fit the needs of many different people it has to be designed very well and equipped with a multitude of features. This will add to both the learning curve and the price-tag. Neither are cheap. (4) I once tried Things and The Hit List alongside OmniFocus, and OmniFocus felt more truly organized to me. I like tagging, but there comes a point when you've over-tagged to the point of scattering your focus. With OmniFocus I felt that more structure was available to me, and that it had capabilities that would be there as my needs increased and my tasks grew. I was correct about that. A mitten and a glove do the same thing, but the with the glove one is so much more nimble. OmniFocus is the glove. (5) We're all individuals and the style of some will be matched better by Things or The Hit List. Vive la différence! We can express our appreciation of our favorites without lambasting the others (or without going to their MacUpdate pages and posting negative ratings).
I've always liked Mail.app, but in the past year or two it has become slower than I'd like and it doesn't work with GMail as well as I'd like. So I've been on the lookout for another email application when last summer I saw MailMate. I tried it a bit and although it was a work-in-progress, by September I had purchased a license. It was shortly after the first of this year that I finally went to using MailMate full-time and leaving Mail.app closed, but I wish I had made the switch earlier. The email applications that I've been using all these years, have essentially the same paradigm. Now that I've been using MailMate full time I found that I've been moving away from that paradigm to a more efficient way of viewing, writing, and navigating my email. Every now and again I'll discover something new and useful about MailMate and become yet more efficient in how I do things. Some day when I have a better bird's-eye-view- of MailMate, I'll come back and write a better review. For now, I'll just touch on a few items that have really made a big difference with me. 1) Layout. This is under the View menu and lists various layouts for your main viewing window. You can even customize them to make your own, but I haven't done that. My favorites at present are "Correspondence" and "Thread Arcs". Correspondence adds an additional small pane which lists all emails (not just those in that 'conversation') between you and the person whose email you are currently reading; it is unobtrusive, but really convenient. Thread Arcs indicates which emails in a 'conversation' have been sent as a reply to which of the other emails. Very handy sometimes. 2) (nearly) Automatic Search. As you're reading an email, suppose you want to find others with from the same sender (or to the same recipient). Just double-click on their name and instantly a search will be performed on that and you'll be shown all those emails. Now suppose you want to see all those with that subject; just double click on the subject and a sub-search will be done. Astoundingly useful. 3) Fully Logical Searching. You can search on any item (in the header, subject, body, email client, anything else imaginable) using ANDs and ORs in any combination. Incredible. Full flexibility! At least I have not been encumbered by it yet. From the keyboard you can navigate between all the buttons and fields to search on 'Subject' either 'Contains', 'is', etc, as well as choosing ANDs/ORs. This alone nearly makes labels and sub-mailboxes unnecessary. These searches can be saved as Smart Mailboxes. 4) Smart Mailboxes. Much smarter because of the flexibility of the search. 5) Edit as new message. Permits you to take a previously written email, and get a 'New Message" window set up with that email in it. It is all ready for you to edit/adapt how you want and send it on. The author (who is a responsive as they come) adds thoughtful features from a fresh view and does them well. Then he moves on to another feature and gives it a fresh look. So MailMate might not have all of your favorite features yet. Some of those will be coming over time, and some you might find will be replaced by a better (but different and related) feature he'll add.
The search capability from the viewer window is roughly similar to the capability within Mail.app's "Preferences:Rules", only finer. The list is too extensive to write here, however it is easy enough to access. Besides searching on any header item (including on some MailMate assigned virtual header items), one can also search on when you last viewed it and how many attachments (it will suggest how many attachments in a pull-down list, and I think its suggestions come from what is in your mailboxes). It is all very fast. You're right. It is similar to 'Send Again' in Apple Mail; I'd never used that capability before and was unaware of it. (sorry). I suppose I'm not such a good judge on Mail.app's full capabilities.