Top 10 Mac Productivity Enhancements: Page 3

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3) Mail Act-On

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Apple’s Mail, once derided as woefully inferior to “real” email clients, has matured into a respectable and well-rounded program, even for heavy-duty business users. Sure, it still has its faults, but most of those have been overcome by clever third-party software.

Take Mail Act-On, for example. My favorite Mail add-on by far, it has made mail filing as simple and efficient as it should be. I have lots of rules to sort messages into various folders, but a lot of it still ends up (intentionally) in my Inbox. I want it to stay there—so that I remember how important it is—until I’ve dealt with it. At that point, though, dragging the message to the right spot in my complex hierarchy of hundreds of folders is just that—a drag.

Enter Mail Act-On. After installing it and setting up some special new rules, I can apply any particular single rule (such as “move this to my Family folder”) with a couple of keystrokes. And, since rules can have numerous actions, I can move a message, mark it as read, change its color, and send a canned reply all with the same set of keystrokes. Better yet, you can set up Mail Act-On so that a single keyboard shortcut triggers a series of rules that simply “does the right thing.” For example, “look at all the messages I’ve selected, and move those from Bob into the work folder; delete the ones from a Hotmail address; and send all the rest an out-of-the-office reply.” If you use Mail and want better control over filing tons of email, you need Mail Act-On.

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