I am about to own a Mac for the first time in 25 years. Has much changed since then?
March 27, 2007 6:31 AM   Subscribe

About to become a Macbook owner. Please help me manage tasks and e-mail.

I am about to receive a Macbook, and I don't know what to do with all my e-mail.

I am a pretty hardcore Outlook user (using the ClearContext Plug-in). I currently in my inbox have a folder called archives where all my old mail that I need for reference gets categorized and dumped. I have another folder called "Topics," for projects I am working on. I also love how easy it is to simply drag and drop e-mail to the task/calendar/contact/topic folder.

I know that some of this is coming in Office 2008, but I do not want to buy Office twice in a year, so what do I do until then? Right now, everything email, calendar, and task related is in a PST file. Also, I would really like whatever I do to sync with my Treo 650.

As always, thanks for your help.
posted by 4ster to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
Response by poster: Also, if anyone has used http://www.littlemachines.com/ and can comment on it, that would be great.
posted by 4ster at 6:37 AM on March 27, 2007

Response by poster: oops:

posted by 4ster at 6:38 AM on March 27, 2007

Response by poster: Outlook2Mac
Sorry for the multiple posts. No caffeine yet today.
posted by 4ster at 6:39 AM on March 27, 2007

I haven't used the Outlook2Mac program, but you should be able to do this on your own.


OS X mail will import messages stored in the mbox format, but I don't believe it can read .pst files directly. On your pc you can do the conversion using mozilla. Here's a tutorial that explains the process. Unless you're planning to use Microsoft Entourage on the mac skip the last step.

Once you've got your mail in mbox format, it's a pretty straightforward procedure on the Mac. In the Mail program:
Open "File->Import Mailboxes..."
From underneath "Import data from…", select "Other"
Navigate to your mbox file
Repeat as necessary

I'll follow up w/ instructions for contacts and calendars...I'm not certain about tasks though.
posted by timelord at 7:24 AM on March 27, 2007

Transferring your email address book from a Windows computer to your Mac.

Outlook2iCal should handle your calendars/appointments.

Here's a method for synchronizing contacts & calendars over the web.

Finally, here's an alternative method to transfer messages.

iCal has some limited support for "to do lists" but I'm not sure there's an easy way to synchronize w/ outlook.
posted by timelord at 7:34 AM on March 27, 2007

Outport appears to support task exporting.
posted by timelord at 7:37 AM on March 27, 2007

While I'm at it, I'll try to answer a few of your other questions.

To sync w/ your Treo 650, you'll have to buy a copy of The Missing Sync.

The built-in OS X productivity apps (iCal, Mail, and Address Book) replicate much of the functionality of Outlook, but not all of it. On the plus side Mail is one of the best email clients I've used (mostly because the search features are incredibly handy). A lot of the drag and drop stuff works (you can drag a contact onto the calendar from either the address book or a message header, but you can't drag the message itself).

On the other hand I find iCal's interface a little tedious. This isn't a big problem for me 'cuz I mostly use it to sync w/ my phone. And the built in publishing support is pretty cool.

Entourage is the closest equivalent to Outlook on the Mac, but as you probably already know...it's only available with Office.
posted by timelord at 8:04 AM on March 27, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks to everyone. This is quite helpful.

Thunderbird's ability to have nested folders, might be exactly what I need. Does the Mac version (or for that matter, Mail.app) work that way as well?

Thanks again.
posted by 4ster at 12:29 PM on March 27, 2007

Thunderbird on the Mac does have nested folders. It's very much the same on all platforms. I prefer it over Mail.app because TB has the shortcut keys I'm used to (and I still haven't found a "next new message" shortcut for Mail), but it is noticably slower than Mail.
posted by anadem at 1:01 PM on March 27, 2007

I use thunderbird for email for two reasons - 1)it looks the same as the linux client and 2)Mail.app sucked and sucked hard for imap accounts until sometime fairly recently.

For email storage I admit I've gone a little overboard and used macports (formerly drawinports) to install dovecot and run it as a local imap server. Everything gets eventually sorted and filed into subfolders within that local account and the backend maildir gets rsynced offsite daily.

MissingSync is not only necessary for your treo but actually a pretty good solution.
posted by mce at 10:57 PM on March 27, 2007

I still haven't found a "next new message" shortcut for Mail

Amazingly, you have to resort to AppleScript. I use the following, and run it with a Quicksilver trigger (sorry to drift off-topic):
tell application "Mail" to try
   tell message viewer 1 to set selected messages to {first message of beginning of (get selected mailboxes) whose read status is false}
on error
end try

posted by jack_mo at 10:41 AM on April 1, 2007

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