Making eMail excellent: A long-overdue rethink and a much anticipated application

Email client applications are all much of a muchness; some do more than others with tagging, highlighting and rules, but in the main they ultimately allow you to read email.

From a ‘Getting Things Done‘ (GTD) perspective, email has been the one ‘inbox’ (in the sense of GTD) that has been incongruous to the rest in my system; I’ve found it really difficult to smoothly integrate emails in my inbox into my GTD workflow.

Update March 2015: Since writing this post I have experimented further. You can see my latest thoughts in this blog post.

Wanted: Mailbox activity tool


I’m hoping that someone out there can help me find a tool or script that can show me ‘mailbox activity’.

In a nutshell, what I want to be able to do is:

  1. ‘Tell’ the script/tool which mailbox I want it to scan.
  2. The script runs and provides a histogram (or table – not fussed) of activity over time, so I can see where there have been more (or less) emails in and out that I’ve filed in that mailbox.

Environmentally, I’m interested in having this for Apple’s Mail application, running on an IMAP mail box. (So the script would probably have to talk to the IMAP server, as not all emails are necessarily available on the computer.)

I’ve tried a web search, but ‘mail activity’ tends to bring back a lot of noise and no substance.

Can anybody out there help me? Please leave a comment.


How To: Migrate Mac Mail RSS Feeds

I’m in the process of moving all my work from a MacBookPro onto an iMac. For various reasons I couldn’t do a transfer of all data (in fact, just didn’t want to as there’s lots of other stuff on the MBP that I don’t want on the iMac) and so have been doing it piece-by-piece, which has been long-winded, but relatively easy.

One of the final things I needed to do was transfer the RSS feeds that I have in Apple’s Mail application. Again, I could have simply copied the whole of the Mail settings across (as described in this article) but, well, I’d got this far and decided I’d carry on. Plus I couldn’t find anything definitive on the ‘net about it so figured it would be a good exercise.

Here’s what I did:

  1. Copied ~/Libraries/Mail/RSS folder and contents across (using Dropbox). (~ = your home directory; /Users/YourLoginID.)
  2. Started Apple Mail on the target computer. ‘RSS’ should now appear in the left hand list, if it wasn’t there already, and the feeds should appear in there when you expand the ‘RSS’ item.
  3. At this point the RSS feeds don’t (appear to) work. So I selected each (or all, using multiple selection) of the feeds in the left hand list and selected ‘Mailbox -> Rebuild’ from Mail’s menu, and they all repopulate.
  4. At this point I ended up with loads of unread messages, so I again selected all the feeds, right (control) clicked and selected ‘Mark all Messages as Read’.

I hope this is of use to someone out there. If you have found a better way, then please share it, as I couldn’t find anything else.