#175 new

Unified Inbox & Smart Mailboxes in Sources

Reported by infotexture | August 3rd, 2011 @ 01:16 PM

The Unified Inbox approach is nice, but sometimes it's useful to focus on one account (like Work) while ignoring another (_Private_).

Since there's no (visible) way to disable the default Unified Inbox, the only way to focus on one account is to select it under SOURCES in the sidebar (and collapse the MAILBOXES group).

Unfortunately, the smart folders for all saved custom searches are created by default under the MAILBOXES group, even if they are only related to a certain account.

It would be nice to allow the user to specify the location where each smart folder should appear in the sidebar, and/or add a preference to disable the Unified Inbox presentation (as many other mail clients do).

Comments and changes to this ticket

  • benny

    benny August 3rd, 2011 @ 02:13 PM

    • Assigned user set to “benny”

    The unified Inbox should have a child for each account. Are these children not available to you or am I misunderstanding that part of your request.

    Drag'n'drop placement of smart mailboxes is possible, but unfortunately it is currently somewhat buggy (main problem is that the smart mailboxes do not always stay where you put them after a restart). I'm looking into that.

    Thanks for the feedback.

  • infotexture

    infotexture August 3rd, 2011 @ 02:59 PM

    The Inbox children for each account are available, but with many accounts this view is quickly cluttered, so I don't find it very useful and prefer to view each account separately.

    While I can collapse the MAILBOXES group and view a single account under SOURCES, whenever I switch between Thread | Correspondence | Search views, the MAILBOXES group auto-expands to show All Messages, so this gets tedious quickly.

    I was not aware that smart mailboxes could be relocated via drag-and-drop, thanks for pointing that out.

  • infotexture

    infotexture September 20th, 2011 @ 01:35 PM

    I think the main issue here is that the MAILBOXES group insists on expanding whenever I switch views.

    If I collapse the MAILBOXES group and view a single account under SOURCES, when I switch to another mailbox via Go to Mailbox (⌘T), the MAILBOXES group expands, even if the target folder belongs to the same source as the current folder.

    After switching to various mailboxes via Go to Mailbox, more and more folders in the MAILBOXES group are expanded, and since they never auto-collapse, the tree appears cluttered quickly and there's no way to restore order without collapsing and hiding things again by hand.

  • Malte Tancred

    Malte Tancred January 24th, 2012 @ 10:10 AM

    I wonder if it would be possible to introduce a feature to temporarily limit what sources are used?

    Let's say I "Focus on ", then all unified mailboxes would consider only messags from the specific source .

  • bsag

    bsag February 18th, 2012 @ 04:05 PM

    I would love a feature such as Malte suggests. Unified inboxes seem to be popular, but I'd really like to be able to "focus" one source at the time, to prevent distraction while at work and to avoid stress while not working :-)

    I don't know if you are familiar with the "Focus" feature of OmniFocus? That kind of scenario would work wonderfully well here. You could create a 'Focused View' (really just a filtered view of your mailboxes and email) by selecting one or more sources. Then the UI would completely hide the other source (the source hierarchy itself, the inbox, sent, and any contents of smart mailboxes containing mail from the other source), as well as muting any notifications for that source. If you set up one perspective for Work and one for Personal (perhaps more than one source in each), you could effectively ignore the other, while still maintaining the ability to switch to it quickly if you need. It's important to have some visual indication that the view is 'focused', so that the user is reminded which view they are in. OmniFocus does that by appending "(Focus: Personal)" to the window title.

    That would be an incredibly useful feature. I don't think I'm the only person who wants to have all their mail in one client, but also wants to police their work-life balance and avoid distractions.

    You could take it to an even more sophisticated level by allowing the user to select sources AND mailboxes/smart mailboxes for inclusion or exclusion in a Focus group. That way, I could exclude my work email source when on holiday, but create a special smart mailbox for emails only to me from my friend at work, who I am happy to hear from at any time. Or when at work, I could exclude my personal email source, but include a smart mailbox to catch a notification email about an important parcel being shipped. You get the idea... But just switching from focusing on one source or another would be terrific.

    Sorry for the long comment - I've wanted this feature in an email client for years!

  • infotexture

    infotexture February 19th, 2012 @ 04:06 PM

    Postbox does this with what it calls "Account Groups"

    Accounts can also be organized into Account Groups, so you can keep your work and personal messages separate. Add as many accounts to a group as desired. Then, select a group to get a unified view for messages within the group.

    Works quite nicely there, would be a nice solution for MailMate too.

  • bsag

    bsag February 19th, 2012 @ 04:13 PM

    I've used Postbox (I must have used pretty much every email client for Mac at one time or another!) but from what I remember of the feature it didn't really allow you to hide the accounts outside the account group. However, it has been a while, so perhaps you can get it to work like that now. What I would like is sort of the opposite of a unified inbox, not different ways to unify subgroups inboxes, if that makes sense :-)

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