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Optimizing Mac Mail Rules in an iOs world

Macintoshian Achaia - Ars Technica OpenForum - arstechnica.com
Just did a clean install of high Sierra and decided to see if I could optimize how I do certain things

I'm a heavy user of Mail rules, in combination with groups in my address book, I have my mail sorted nicely. This works great, or rather worked great before I started using my iPhone more extensively. As some of you know, once you apply a rule to sort something to its own mailbox, it disappears from the IMAP server completely, meaning it disappears from your iOs devices. And I don't see a way to create subfolders under iCloud's IMAP inbox and have the rules sort things to the cloud and not locally on my Mac. Usually this isn't overly bad, as once I read it on my Mac 98% of the time I no longer need it on my phone.

I have more mailboxes than available flags. Can one increase the number of flags?

I could make a copy instead of moving the mail to those other mailboxes, that would keep things available on my phone, however it isn't like I've got everything sorted 100%, so I couldn't just delete everything older than a month and keep my inbox lean... sort of defeat the purpose of sorting in the first place.

I guess I could flag the original inbox message as it gets copied by Mail rules, and two weeks later use a non automated rule to delete those tagged inbox messages. But I really hate the idea of doing these halfway automations that end up occupying my time later. I rather have a solid automation that I don't need to think about. There are no time based rules in OS X Mail right?

Also the rules apply only to new inbox messages, so that if I read something on my phone first it also doesn't get sorted on my Mac... I can't have some rules apply regardless of that, which is another problem. Yes I do occasionally manually apply rules to deal with those orphans that would normally have been sorted, but so inelegant.

Also one thing that does bug me about these mailboxes is that they don't include my sent mail, not a problem as long as I'm keeping the mail on my Mac, and these days with ever generous drive sizes I'm unlikely to need to archive portions to a backup drive, but if I ever wanted to I would need to get my sent messages properly archived with what was sorted to that mailbox. Example, all my conversations with the insurance adjustor after Sandy, I have no need to keep it on my Mac, but were I to archive it I'd need my sent communications as well.

Curious how any other heavy user of Mail rules has dealt with these issues.
Date: Jan 10, 2018   


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