7 practical tips and rules for Apple Mail

Apple Mail is an app that is available free of charge for macOS on the Apple Mac. The mail client helps to manage e-mail accounts, create mailboxes, receive and sort e-mails, write them yourself and more. But not every useful function is obvious at first glance. For some, it takes a little guide to fully understand them. That's why I've summarized 7 practical tips and rules for Apple Mail that will benefit your workflow. Whether private, professional or both - you can use the following tricks usefully everywhere;)

You can find 7 practical tips and rules for Apple Mail below. Step-by-step instructions on the Apple Mac for organization, overview and automation in the mail app.

You can find 7 practical tips and rules for Apple Mail below. Step-by-step instructions on the Apple Mac for organization, overview and automation in the mail app.

1. Saving attachments to an email: It's quick and easy!

Images, texts, PDFs and the like - I have to deal with attachments almost every day. Instead of clicking on them individually or marking them all and only then choosing commands for the system, I at least make saving easy for myself. My tip for you: move the mouse cursor to the dividing line between the email header and the text area. The symbols for trash, replies, forwarding and the like then appear there. Just click on the paper clip icon and then choose Secure everything if you want to save all attachments to an email at the same time.

Saving e-mail attachments on the Mac is easy if you use the symbol between the mail header and the message preview.

Saving e-mail attachments on the Mac is easy if you use the symbol between the mail header and the message preview.

2. Delete attachments from emails to save storage space

Attachments that you have saved from received emails or that you have sent yourself are usually on your hard drive. Therefore there is hardly any need to waste them in the mail folder or on the provider's server (if you use free providers like GMX, you only have 1 GB of storage available). If you want to delete an attachment, several attachments or the attachments of several mails, first mark the message (s). Then click on in the menu bar E-Mail and in the drop-down menu at the bottom Remove attachments.

To save storage space, you can delete attachments from received and sent emails.

To save storage space, you can delete attachments from received and sent emails.

3. Use colors to identify emails at a glance

If you use Apple Mail with the standard settings, you will likely see emails from Apple highlighted in color in the overview in the mailbox. You can turn this off on the one hand and use it for your own email traffic on the other. To assign a color to certain senders, proceed as follows:

  1. Opens Mail so that the program is the active window
  2. Click in the macOS menu bar Mail and then on Settings ...
  3. Select the tab in the window that opens Regulate
  4. Click the button Add ruleto create a new rule
  5. Under "If ... the following conditions are met" you determine the factors of the incoming mails; under "Perform the following actions" you choose Set the color for the e-mail
An Apple Mail rule can be used to determine which color should be used to highlight certain messages.

An Apple Mail rule can be used to determine which color should be used to highlight certain messages.

4. Highlight emails that contain your own name

In team work, projects on the job, voluntary work, in a book club or in a club - you often get different group emails and messages from different mailing lists. It is sometimes tedious to read through everything only to find that the information conveyed is of no use to you. But there is a simple solution in two steps: 

The first step is to inform all teams, groups, associations and projects that information specifically addressed to your own person should also be written in this way in the mail (for example with "for name", "@name", "to name", etc.) .). 

The second step is to define an Apple Mail rule that filters out mails with your own name or the agreed phrase and links them to a specific action. You can z. For example, you can use the color from tip 3, but also a hopping of the dock symbol, an acoustic notification or the execution of an action defined yourself with AppleScript. To do this, you go over the path again Mail -> Settings -> Regulate -> Add rule.

If an e-mail is to be filtered according to its content and if certain factors trigger a reaction, you can also define this as a mail rule.

If an e-mail is to be filtered according to its content and if certain factors trigger a reaction, you can also define this as a mail rule.

5. Sort e-mails into folders to keep an overview

Either manually (if there is little traffic) or automatically (if there are a lot of daily messages) - it is definitely worth creating folders in the mailbox for an overview. To do this, click in the mailbox list (on the left in the program window; if necessary via presentation -> Show mailbox list activate) either under "Mailboxes" with the right mouse button on a mail account and then on "New Mailbox". Or further down in an existing mailbox list on the "+" to add another folder. 

Mailboxes or folders help to sort e-mails by sender, subject, job and leisure time, subject area and more.

Mailboxes or folders help to sort e-mails by sender, subject, job and leisure time, subject area and more.

Which folder structure is the right one for you depends on the use of the mail app (private, professional, mixed) as well as on other sorting measures (e.g. colors as described under point 3). If you mark all clients with a different color for the self-employed activity, then perhaps one “work” folder is sufficient for all of them. If you get a lot of emails at work, it can also be worthwhile to create a separate folder for each sender. In return, private mails are more likely to be in a folder, but to be arranged with colors ...

6. Forward emails automatically

Is there information that only you get but that also concerns others? Then there is the option of automatically forwarding these emails to the other people to be informed. For this you also need the rule overview described several times above, which you can access via the mail settings. For example, if you want to forward invoices directly to the accounting department or the tax advisor, to forward information about room rental for the class reunion to the planning team or something similar, then you proceed as follows:

  1. Opens the mail rule settings as described above
  2. For example, select "Subject" + "Contains" for the fulfillment and "Invoice" (own entry) in the text field
  3. Then define the action "Forward e-mail" + mail address (own input) + "Text ..."

If you click on the "Text ..." button, you can specify a standard text for forwarding the mails filtered with the rule. Here's an example:

Dear tax man,
I hereby automatically forward an invoice for the booking to you. If the email is not relevant for accounting or tax purposes, consider it to be irrelevant. This mail was automatically forwarded due to the recognition of the word "invoice" in the subject.
Mit freundlichen Grüßen

With Apple Mail, emails can be forwarded automatically. You can also specify which messages this should apply to and where they must be sent in the settings of the app.

With Apple Mail, emails can be forwarded automatically. You can also specify which messages this should apply to and where they must be sent in the settings of the app.

7. Deactivate automatic email preview

Deactivating the e-mail preview - i.e. the display of text, image and attachment content when clicking on an e-mail in the mailbox - can have several advantages. On the one hand, you are not distracted when sorting the mails. On the other hand, you can sort out spam emails that you can already recognize by the sender and subject, unseen. You can hide the preview with just a few clicks:

  1. Bring the app window to the foreground so that it is active
  2. Click on "View" in the macOS menu bar
  3. Click on "Show page preview" to deactivate it and remove the checkmark
The appearance of the Apple Mail app can be extensively customized. If you want to sort emails without distraction, then switch z. B. the preview.

The appearance of the Apple Mail app can be extensively customized. If you want to sort emails without distraction, then switch z. B. the preview.

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5 comments

  1. Uwe says:

    Thank you, I was not aware of the first tip, for example.

  2. Michael says:

    Thank you, learned something again.

  3. Norbert says:

    Many Thanks! From my point of view, it would be good to write a regular update for the tips.

  4. Ulrich G. says:

    For some time I have been looking for a solution to an actually banal problem in mail, maybe someone has a solution here:
    I would like to use a rule to move mails to a specific mailbox. There these mails should be marked as unread at the same time, in case I have already marked them as read by clicking on them.
    I can add the "mark as read" function to a rule in Mail, but I haven't discovered the counterpart yet ?!

    Someone an idea?

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Ulrich! Yes, that's right. Does not work for me either. But there is the option "Execute Apple Script". Maybe something can be done with it? Unfortunately, I'm not well versed in Apple Script, but that could be an approach.

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