In this week’s issue of TidBITS (an incredible Mac resource, by the way–and they just had their 19th anniversary!), Joe Kissell has an article about IMAP, Gmail, and Apple Mail, and how he mixed and matched features and functions to get his email system working perfectly for his needs.
The article is here:
The article is extremely lengthy so steel yourself, but it’s got lots of great info. And for anyone who doesn’t understand what IMAP is or how it works, JK has a full explanation. Plus he’s gone into detail on how IMAP works on Google and Apple Mail, and the limitations of each.
Everybody’s email needs are so particular–so JK’s system may not work for you–but the article highlights the point that each computer geek has his/her own way of dealing with the numerous variations and preferences that can be set up in email.
My own system is finally coming together: I use IMAP to read my work mails at work, and at home, and on the iPhone; I use Exchange to read Ivan’s emails at work, at home, and on the iPhone; and I use PowerMail as a POP client (which I keep meaning to change to IMAP) to read my personal mail at home and on the iPhone. (No personal mail at work; too distracting.) Amazingly the iPhone allows me to use Exchange for one set of mail/calendar/contacts, and MobileMe for another set of mail/calendar/contacts, so the two can live simultaneously.
After working with so many different clients for these few years, I’ve seen that each one has a particular combination of where they need to receive and send email, and who at their organization needs to receive and send to/from which mailboxes.
And this is why it’s so important for us to know, as JK does, which email programs are good and bad at which things. We can’t create a one-solution-fits-all answer on email for our clients. Instead we have tools at our disposal to create a customized solution for each client, using a combo of different options as necessary.