Chapter in this post:
I have to admit that I am a complete denier of third-party email programs. I've only been using Apple Mail on all of my devices for ages and usually find myself with the quirks (see for example ., ., . and .) of the program.
However, since I am missing one or the other feature in Apple's mail client, I try to help myself with so-called plugins, with which you can expand the range of functions of the mail program here and there. For example, I use the spam filter "SpamSieve“Who learns quite successfully which emails are junk and which I want to read.
In addition to a decent spam filter, which I have now found with SpamSieve, there is one or the other thing that I would also like to use in Apple Mail. One feature is the delayed sending of emails, so that I can send emails to customers at 3 a.m., but they are actually only sent the next morning at 8 a.m.
A second is a standard delay in sending each email of approx. 5 minutes so that I can correct any errors after pressing the send button.
You know it ... you write in the mail that you have attached document X or Y, finish typing the mail and click on Send. And while Apple Mail is sending the email, it occurs to you that you forgot to attach the document.
A third feature that some readers would like to have in Mail besides me is that Tracking the receipt and opening of a sent email. Apple Mail on the Mac does not offer an option for this either.
I know there are solutions like Thunderbird Mail, Spark, Canary Mail or Airmailall of which more or less map such features, but for me there is a clear disadvantage of these mail programs: They are not nearly as well integrated in iOS and macOS as is the case with Apple Mail - of course they cannot, because Apple simply has more technical options here than the developers of the other mail clients.
For example, if I search for a person on the iPhone, iPad or Mac, addresses, emails and phone numbers that Siri or Spotlight found in the emails are automatically suggested. That's just one of the advantages of using Apple Mail. If I switched, I would think of ten other things that I would miss. For this reason, I prefer to stick with Apple Mail and try to expand its functions to my liking.
After several plugins that have "copied" one or the other feature of my wish list, I was not really happy with any plugin. Either they were big crap from the user interface or they caused Apple Mail to crash. Some didn't even run with the latest versions of macOS.
You can see that there is a lot of chaff and little wheat on this subject. But in the end I found the good grain: Mail butler. This “productivity suite” for Apple Mail is ultimately “just” a plug-in with a connected external server solution, but it has so many helpful features and such a good operating concept that I've been using it for years - and I'm happy with it.
The following video gives a brief overview of how you can use Mailbutler to improve your daily workflow when using Apple's mail program:
Yes, I don't want to hide the fact that the software costs money. At first I was even a bit “surprised” how expensive a mail plugin can be, because the “cheap” but usable “Professional” version costs almost 10 euros per month.
There is also an “Essential” plan that is free, but it eliminates some functions that are really useful if you do a lot with Apple Mail on your Mac in your everyday life. You can find the current price overview from Mailbutler ..
I took the tool with me back then the free trial period I looked at it and then it was clear to me that the increase in convenience when processing emails is definitely worth the money.
If you are self-employed, this is actually not worth considering anyway, because if you save working time with 10 euros a month, you usually have the costs out several times - especially since you can also deduct the investment. As a private person, however, I don't know whether I would spend the money on it. From my point of view, it is only worthwhile if a lot revolves around Apple Mail every day.
In my opinion, what puts the subscription price into perspective is the fact that the plugin is being developed by a team from Berlin. As a paying user, you not only get German-speaking support, you also benefit from the fact that the plug-in is actively maintained.
Updates to Mailbutler arrive relatively regularly and in the past there were not only new functions, but also a facelift of the whole look.
And last but not least, billing via a subscription is due to the technical implementation, because many functions are implemented via Mailbutler's servers, which do the evaluations in the background, enable sharing for teams and take care of tracking.
Mailbutler is quite a comprehensive service and function package and the list of functions differs between the “Professional Plan” (which I use) and the “Business Plan”, which is more aimed at entire teams and companies.
Just one example of how you can use Mailbutler with teams: Notes and tasks can be stored for each contact that are shared within the team. There is also the option of sending emails in the BCC directly to CRM systems or you can use task lists, notes, communication histories and more together. So all things that are helpful when a complete team is in contact with customers via email.
These things are less important to me, but there are still some functions that I no longer want to miss in everyday life with Apple Mail:
You can set that each e-mail is only sent after a freely selectable time window. For me this is 5 minutes. This feature has already saved my bottom several times when I sent emails to the wrong people or with unfinished content, but only noticed it after pressing the send button.
Most of the time I notice such things a few seconds later, but my 5 minute limit is quite suitable for everyday use. Should an email be sent immediately because it is urgent, this can be done with one click.
Another classic is sure to refer to a photo or document in the mail that you want to attach. It is not uncommon for one to forget this in the heat of the moment and the other person is amazed at the lack of an attachment.
To prevent this from happening, Mailbutler checks the content of the emails and sees whether there are keywords such as "attachment", "attached" and the like. If this is the case and there is no attachment to the mail, Mailbutler throws a message and asks whether you have forgotten the attachment, whether you want to add an attachment or whether you can still send the mail. You can even expand the triggering words yourself.
This function is also helpful from time to time. You can specify when the mail should be sent. Mailbutler will do this when the time comes. There are practical default settings so that you can simply select “Next working day”.
"Delayed sending" is a relatively new feature that evaluates when the recipient has usually opened his mail. If you now select "Optimize delivery", the mail will be sent at a time when the other person is usually reading his mail. Mailbutler can of course only collect the data for this from previous conversations with this person.
As already mentioned, Mailbutler can also be used to track whether a mail has been opened by the other person. This is done with a small tracking pixel that is built into every email. When the recipient's mail client now displays the mail, the transparent graphic is also called up, which Mailbutler then registers.
All mail programs that offer read receipts work in this way. I could imagine that Apple would not want to support this type of tracking and that the function is therefore not natively available in Apple Mail. To make matters worse, Apple, with the upcoming macOS Big Sur and iOS 14 filtering out such tracking pixels in the mail program and the function will then no longer work with receivers who work with Apple devices.
Another additional option is the tracking of clicks on links in the mail. This can also be activated to determine whether a recipient has clicked on a certain link in the email.
This is helpful, for example, if you provide customers with urgent data as a download and then want to know whether and when they actually downloaded it. Of course, the function can also be used for marketing emails to see how successful certain versions are the mail are.
Another feature that Apple Mail lacks is the ability to create fancy signatures with graphics, photos, formatting, and colors. There are some services that can be used to create such signatures and then copy and paste them into Apple Mail, but the mail program itself offers no more options than the creation of simple text signatures.
Mailbutler enables the creation of such business signatures without any knowledge of HTML. You can create a number of them and choose a different one depending on the email address or application.
If you get the same questions regularly and want to predefine answers, you can Mail templates with Mailbutler create. These can contain placeholders that Mailbutler can fill with data from the contact database. In this way, individualized emails can be quickly created, sent - and even evaluated according to their success.
I don't use this feature myself, but I have made several mail templates for the typical Mac questions. That way I could answer many of the readers' questions faster and would have more time for blog articles.
The snooze is a function with which you can put a mail to sleep for any time. After the time has elapsed, Mailbutler will show the mail again and you can edit it.
From my point of view, this option only really makes sense if you use a zero inbox strategy, because the mail is chronologically arranged where it was originally. For me, that means that I can no longer see them above because I display my emails chronologically.
With over 27.000 emails in my inbox, I'm obviously not a fan of the zero inbox, which is why I don't use the snooze feature. I tend to work with the markings from Apple Mail because I can quickly assign them to the iPhone and iPhone.
With this feature, e-mails can be provided with a resubmission. At a selected date including the appropriate time, this email will be highlighted again so that you can see that there is still something to do here.
If you have taken care of the resubmission, you can tick the box and mark the follow-up as "done". These follow ups can even be incorporated into various productivity tools such as Trello, Asana, Todoist and others.
I don't use Mailbutler's resubmission in practice. Over the years I have "FollowUpThen“I'm used to the fact that I keep doing follow ups with this service.
Of course, you can also search for emails from specific senders with Apple Mail without a plugin, but I also enjoy the contact overview that can be called up via Mailbutler every now and then. This is where all the information about the corresponding email address is summarized and you can also see data such as the "response time" of the contact, when he reads the emails or you can directly see the subject lines of the emails that you sent to Person sent.
I find it a bit confusing that the Mailbutler website is currently only available in English. Sure, the target group of entrepreneurial people also speaks English, but at first glance it gave me the impression that the Mailbutler plug-in is also only available in English - but this is not the case.
The plug-in is completely integrated into Apple Mail in German and leaves nothing to be desired in terms of translation - this is certainly also due to the fact that the development team is based in Berlin.
Mailbutler also has an iOS app in the App Store. I installed it once, but it basically offers an overview of the mails with subject and contact name, status (read or not), notes, tasks, contacts and a list of recent activities. However, if you want to call up an e-mail, you jump to the Apple Mail program using a button.
I understand why this is the case, but to me using the iOS apps makes little sense. For this reason I only work with Mailbutler on the Mac. Nevertheless, for the sake of completeness, there is a reference to the iOS or iPadOS app.
[appbox appstore id1461320466]
If you log into the Mailbutler dashboard, you can see your complete inbox as a list with the recipient and subject of the mail. This made me suspicious at first, because I thought that all my mails are now going through the Mailbutler service and can now be viewed in both the inbox and the outbox. However, this is not the case.
In practice, Mailbutler is like Apple: You don't want to save as little user data as possible. But you can decide how much you want to "reveal". The contents of the mails are generally NOT read in by Mailbutler.
Only the recipient name and subject of the mail are used to manage the dashboard display, follow-ups and slumbered e-mails. But if you don't want to disclose this either, you can choose not to share any information with Mailbutler.
This note can be found in the settings:
This setting affects how information is displayed in the dashboard, activity feed, and real-time notifications.
Recently, data protection for companies has once again come into focus, as customer data can no longer be shared with companies in the USA due to the repeal of the Privacy Shield Agreement. I may be shortening this, but that's basically how I understood the news of the past few weeks.
With Mailbutler you are on the safe side as a company, as the little customer data that Mailbutler stores for the administration of its functions ends up on German servers and not somewhere in the USA.
As a German company, Mailbutler is fully GDPR compliant.
In German: Yes, the use of Mailbutler is in accordance with the GDPR. If you want to read a little more about the GDPR and Mailbutler, you will find it . the corresponding subpage of the company.
Unfortunately, after switching to my M1 Mac, I have the problem that Mailbutler no longer wants to run. Basically it works well under macOS Big Sur, but unfortunately it doesn't work on my Apple Silicon Mac. I'll find out why. In any case, the possible solution is to uninstall the plug-in and reinstall it.
Unfortunately, this didn't work for me either, so I asked support how to remove Mailbutler by hand. The instructions for doing this are as follows:
Open your Finder and select "Go" -> "Go to Folder ..." in the menu bar and remove the following folder: ~ / Library / Application Support / Mail / Plug-ins / Bundles / Library / Mail
The blog post is by no means sufficient to introduce all of Mailbutler's functions. I use a maximum of 30 to 40 percent of it anyway. But even these few functions make my day-to-day work a lot easier.
Due to the subscription price, the Apple Mail plugin is certainly not affordable for everyone, but those who spend a lot of their day with Apple Mail on their Mac should benefit from the plugin and the service behind it.
Since you Try Mailbutler for 14 days for free my recommendation is to simply check out the service.
Effectively for free: iPhone 13 Mini and iPhone 13 deals with top conditions at Otelo - Advertisement
Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He appears as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with problems of a technical nature. In his free time he drives electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with his iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions for current bugs.