Screencast 15 – email sorcery

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I just published my longest screencast yet. This one weighs in at 32 minutes and covers email management from top to bottom including such subjects as:
1. Pop v. iMap
2. Gmail v. MobileMe
3. Best Practices (managing your inbox and smart folders)
4. Spam
5. Archiving old mail
I put a lot of work into this one and I hope it is helpful. As usual, it is in Apple TV format. So what are you waiting for? Head over to my iTunes feed and download it.

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Jumsoft Mail Stationery Review

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I am one of “those” people. You know … the kind of people that use Apple Mail stationery. Now before the geek storm troopers raid my house and rip my Apple nerd card from my shaking hands, I don’t use stationary all the time. Just occasionally. Like when a friend invites me over for a nice dinner I’ll send a stationary “Thank You” or when sending out an announcement to family members concerning posting pictures to the web. For occasions like this, the Apple Mail stationery fits the bill perfectly.

The problem is I’ve been using the same stationary for a year now and it’s starting to look tired. Just this week, Jumsoft, the same people who make some great Keynote add-ons, released their own pack of Apple Mail stationary.

The stationary pack includes 50 designs that cover just about every occasion you can think of including themes of “Family,” “Congratulations,” “Invitations,” “Emotions,” “Vacations,” “Seasons,” and “Neutral.”

There are a variety of designs allowing you to send a unique e-mail and even dropping in your own pictures if you like. Using this product I made an announcement for about 40 family and friends. It included a custom font, a very nice background, and a snapshot of my family. Everyone was able to read it.

The developer has samples of the stationary on its website. The stationery offered works perfectly for my intended use. Specifically to send a nice card to someone on occasion that goes beyond the typical blocky text.

This product sells for $39. That may be a little high for the occasional stationary user. If you use stationery repeatedly however, it would not be a bad idea to add some new resources so you’re recipients can see something new.

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A Better Leopard Mail Search


MacOSXHints recently figured out that Leopard Mail has some helpful searching tools. Put simply, some of the improved spotlight functionality has found its way into the mail search code.
The three tags that are known at this time are from, subject, and email.

“from:david sparks”

This command would get you copies of all emails from me.


This would return all the emails with MacSparky in the subject line.


This returns all the email from a specific email address (as opposed to the identifying name tag).
The full article is at OSX hints right here. It is strange they don’t include the boolean operators (which you can use to search email through Spotlight). It is also strange, but not unusual, for Apple to include this kind of code and tell nobody about it. Doesn’t it make you wonder that some software engineer might have just put it in for his/her own interest and not bothered to tell anyone about it?

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OmniFocus iPhone Dreams

Ethan Schoonover, one of the Omni folks writes …
For what it’s worth, we at Omni are all very interested in getting OmniFocus content on the iPhone (The Omni Group is pretty much 99% iPhone users, so we have a dog in this fight). Rest well assured that as soon as we have options for doing this in a way that allows reasonable functionality, we’ll be on it.
It just warms my heart. I’ve played with their sync system through Leopard Mail and some of the ingenious scripts that turn your Omnifocus list into a Safari bookmarklet that lets you see your tasks. Neither solution really blows my hair back though. Hopefully the Omni wizards will come up with something fantastic … soon.

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Apple Mail Scripts 2.8


As I continue to fumble my way through Applescript, I stumbled upon Apple’s own Mail script package that has several nice applications.
Apple explains them as follows:
– Add Addresses (Mail): Add addresses found in the selected messages (in the header fields “From”, “To”, “Cc”, and “Bcc”) to the Address Book. This is much more flexible than the “Add Sender to Address Book” available in Mail and provides a convenient way for creating mailing lists.
– Archive Messages (Mail): Move messages from the selected mailbox(es) to an archive mailbox or export them to standard mbox or plain text files for backup purposes or import into other applications. You can select to move all messages or only messages sent within or certain period as well filter messages based on their read and flagged status.
– Change SMTP Server (Mail): Switch between different already defined SMTP servers or define a new one. This is especially useful if you are using your computer in more than one location and have to switch servers for several accounts at once.
– Create Rule (Mail): Create a new rule based on the first of the selected messages. This saves you the trouble of copy/pasting address or other info between the message and the rule window and provides a much quicker way for setting up a rule with multiple criteria/actions.
– Remove Duplicates (Mail): Locate all duplicate messages found in the selected mailbox(es) and move them to a separate mailbox for easy removal (duplicate matching is based on the unique message header “Message-Id”).
– Schedule Delivery (Mail): Allows you to send individual messages at predefined times (this script uses iCal for scheduling message delivery).
– Many additional features.

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email Security


I stumbled upon a great MacWorld article about email security. One of the points they make is how easy it is to run SSL security using and a .mac account. I’ve been using SSL for some time and it does make me breath a bit easier considering how often I communicate with client via email. I’ve also routed all of my mail accounts through my .Mac account so everything is nice, clean and secure.
Anyway, you can check out the article right here.

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