Apple Mail w/ multiple accounts
February 10, 2013 11:23 AM   Subscribe

I use Apple's Mail app with three mail accounts and I would like somehow to differentiate emails other than the tiny little label they show.

So it does say "Inbox - Account A", etc, but that's a tiny little label. Can you color each item according to its account? Any tips/tricks/hacks?

posted by xmutex to Technology (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Sure, you can use Mail app's Rules to assign colors to messages based on their account.
  1. Choose Mail > Preferences, and then click Rules.
  2. Add a new rule by clicking Add Rule.
  3. Set the conditions for a message to be colored. In this case, you choose "Account" from the first conditions pop-up menu, and the name of an account from the second conditions pop-up menu.
  4. From the “Perform the following actions” pop-up menu, choose “Set Color of Message,” and then choose “of background”.
  5. Choose a color from the pop-up menu, or choose Other and use the Colors panel to select a color.
  6. Click the OK button.
Repeat the above procedure, adding a rule for each account, assigning each a different color.
posted by RichardP at 11:35 AM on February 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

I do what RichardP does. One thing to note: this will affect only new messages, unless you select your old ones and use Message > Apply Rules (or option-command-L). If you do that, it will change the color of old messages, as well as apply any other rules that you have active.
posted by brianogilvie at 4:19 PM on February 10, 2013

And to add on: my rules are more specific, because I set color depending on whether the email was sent to me specifically (i.e., my address is in the To: or Cc: line in the header) or whether it's a mailing list or Bcc message. That way I can tell at a glance not only which account received the message but whether it was intended for me personally.
posted by brianogilvie at 4:21 PM on February 10, 2013

You can also view your mail using separate inboxes for each e-mail account.

In the left-hand column of Mail, click the little arrow to the left of the word "Inbox" to expand it. You'll see a list of "sub-inboxes," one for each of your e-mail accounts, with labels corresponding to the name of each account.

Click on the sub-inbox labeled "Account A" and you'll see a list of e-mail from Account A only. Click on the sub-inbox labeled "Account B" and you'll see a list of e-mail from Account B only. And so forth. You can always tell which account you're looking at, because it will be highlighted in the left-hand column.

I use Apple Mail with multiple e-mail accounts too, and this is the way I always view my mail. The unified inbox just doesn't work for me.
posted by snowmentality at 1:29 PM on February 11, 2013

Apple Mail is still my client of choice, using tons of accounts from multiple providers simultaneously. I use a combination of all of the above. Sometimes I look at my combined Inbox, sometimes just the individual ones. I use rules to color code some things and sort things into various IMAP folders automatically, all based on what's important to me during a given period of time (say, a project, or researching a purchase, or a year, or whatever).

I've got every account's old contents and every bit of mail (of any value) I've sent or received since 1997 in there, and it's all searchable and pretty easy to access and use. My only lament is that it's hard to handle my approach on the iPhone. The fact that it automatically expands your entire IMAP folder tree to scroll vertically makes some of my larger, older accounts impossible to navigate without forever-scrolling.

What I'm trying to figure out right now is, once I upgrade to Mountain Lion and lose RSS in my mail client, what am I going to read feeds with? Yes, I know, I'm a dinosaur. ;)
posted by trackofalljades at 1:59 PM on February 17, 2013

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