Now it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty: working with Postbox day-to-day or, more importantly, making Postbox work for you.
The Accounts Pane is one of the most important, and unique, user interface elements in Postbox. One key feature is the “All Accounts” group, which enables you view messages from several accounts simultaneously.
Within All Accounts, each of your accounts will be listed individually according to the account name used when Postbox was first set up. You can change the account name by going to Preferences | Options > Accounts > [your account] and entering a new name in the field labeled Account Name.
Accounts can be reordered within the All Accounts group by simply dragging and dropping them to the desired location. The top-most account is the “default” account. Thus, when you compose a new message with the All Accounts selected, the “from” account will default to the account positioned at the top of the Accounts Pane (unless a different account was selected as default in Preferences | Options).
When you first install Postbox, all of your accounts will be grouped within the All Accounts group. However, you can create as many new Account Groups as you like. For example, one Account Group can be dedicated to your work accounts, and another for your personal accounts. To organize accounts within different groups, just drag and drop them to where they are needed.
Closely associated with the Accounts Pane is the Folders Pane, which will display special folders such as the Inbox, Sent, Drafts and Trash along with any storage folders you’re subscribed to.
The contents of the Folder Pane will change depending on which account or account group is currently selected in the Accounts Pane. When an Account Group is selected, special folders are combined into one view. Storage folders are listed below the special folders and grouped by account name.
For IMAP accounts, you can customize which folders that display in the Folders Pane by selecting Subscribe from the File menu. This can be especially useful if the IMAP server has a number of mailboxes or folders that you don’t need to see, but still want to keep around for archival purposes.
To make efficient use of your workspace, the Accounts & Folders Pane can be closed so that only the message list and preview panes are visible - perfect for when you are in a power triaging mode. Click on the open/close toggle in the Favorites Bar, or go to View menu > Show > Folder Pane to show or hide the Accounts & Folders Pane.
One of Postbox’s most unique features is the Focus Pane, designed to help you break your Inbox into more manageable chunks. In a nutshell, this pane lets you focus on just the messages you need to support your immediate workflow. Filter messages by Favorite Topic, Favorite Contacts, dates, or attributes such as attachment status and unread. Toggle the Focus Pane open and closed by selecting View menu > Show > Focus Pane, or by using the slider button at the bottom of the Folder Pane.
The Focus Pane works in harmony with Topics to show you just what you need at a glance. While there is no limit to the number of Topics you can use in Postbox, the Focus Pane is reserved for “Favorite Topics,” or the ones you wish to use most often. To assign a Topic as a Favorite, right-click the Topic and select Favorite or through Preferences | Options > Display > Topics. Reorder Favorite Topics by dragging and dropping them to the desired location. Additionally, you can assign a topic to messages by dragging and dropping then on top of a Favorite Topic.
Favorite Contacts lets you filter your message view by contact - just click on a Favorite Contact to only see messages from that person. Combine Favorite Contacts with the Show All Folders selector to see every message from that contact across all mail accounts and folders.
To make a contact a favorite, either click on the contact name in the message header envelope and check the Favorite Contact checkbox, or drag the contact name from the message header to the list of Favorite Contacts area in the Focus Pane. Reorder your Favorite Contacts by dragging and dropping them by the priority that is most important to you (hint: you may wish to put your boss at the top of the list). To remove a Favorite Contact, right-click the contact in the Focus Pane and select Remove from Favorites from the context menu. Alternatively, click on the contact in the message header envelope and uncheck the Favorite Contact checkbox from the Contact Pop-up.
You can use the ctrl/cmd-click keys to select multiple items in the Focus Pane. When selecting items across groups such as Favorite Topics, Favorite Contacts, or Dates, ctrl/cmd-click acts as an AND criteria. Ctrl/cmd-clicking only within Topics acts as an OR search criteria, e.g. “show me all messages that contain Topics: apples OR grapes.”
The Inspector Pane, available via the View menu > Show > Inspector Pane menu, provides quick and easy access to a wealth of information that may be hiding within long email threads. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profiles, as well as any links, addresses, package tracking numbers, etc. contained in the email are easy to find and readily available for you to take action on.
These are just a few of the interface features in Postbox that help you manage your email day-to-day. Which features do you rely on the most?
Posted by Sherman Dickman
You’ve entered your account information, you’re sending and receiving email in Postbox: now what? Time to set up and customize the more advanced aspects of Postbox! Unlike some email programs, we’ve designed Postbox so you can configure virtually every aspect of your email experience.
Customizing the Toolbar
Like many OS X applications, Postbox gives you the ability to customize the toolbar, adding the buttons you most frequently use and getting rid of the ones you don’t. By default, Postbox’s toolbar has buttons for the most common features, including Reply, Reply All, Forward, Archive, Delete, Compose and Evernote.
The latter is a quick and convenient way to save and archive an email to Evernote. When you select this option, the email you’re currently viewing will be sent to your default Evernote notebook, complete with any formatting. Even better, the note in Evernote will contain a link to the original email in Postbox, letting you quickly view it in its original context.
To add even more functions to the toolbar, right-click it or select Customize Toolbar from the View menu. From the available options, you can choose buttons to quickly Mark an Email, Assign Topic, Print, Run Filters and more. Simply drag and drop the buttons to the desired location on the toolbar.
You can also customize the Composition toolbar using the same View Menu > Customize Toolbar command when you have a Composition window open.
Mac OS X Options - Monochrome vs. Color Icons
On the Mac, Postbox supports by default a monochrome icon theme that closely mirrors the look and feel of Mac OS X:
Alternatively, you can select an iWork-style color icon theme:
To change your preferences, select Customize Toolbar from the View menu and select one of the following configurations:
- Monochrome Icons and Text
- Monochrome Icons
- Color Icons and Text - Small
- Color Icons - Small
- Color Icons and Text - Large
- Color Icons - Small
By default, Postbox uses a vertical layout, similar to Apple Mail. If you prefer the more traditional horizontal layout, go to the View menu and select Layout > Classic View.
In Classic View you can select which columns display by right-clicking any header and selecting the different data types. Rearrange the columns by dragging and dropping them to the desired location, then click any of the columns to sort them by ascending or descending order.
In Vertical View, right-click the header to choose the criteria to use when sorting your mailbox, then click to sort in ascending or descending order.
The Favorites Bar is directly below the Toolbar. You can use this to quickly access accounts, mailboxes and folders. This is a great way to have access to nested folders without having to navigate through your mailbox hierarchy.
To add a folder to the Favorites Bar, right-click it in the Folders pane, then select Favorite Folder from the pop-up menu. To remove an item from the Favorites Bar, right-click the item and select Remove From Favorites.
Whatever your preference, Postbox can be customized to your liking. So what do you like? Are you a Vertical or Classic user, default toolbar or customized?
Posted by Sherman Dickman
Note: This post is the first in a series to help you get the most out of Postbox. If you are new to Postbox, this initial post is for you!
Benjamin Franklin famously said: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Like many things, email works best when it’s properly set up. To help you do that, here are some tips to make installation and setup within Postbox a breeze.
Setting Up Accounts
Account Migration vs. Clean Install
Once you install Postbox, you are first greeted with the Account Migration Assistant. If you previously used other email clients such as Thunderbird or Apple Mail, Postbox can import your accounts and preferences automatically.
Alternatively, you can click the Cancel button within the Account Migration Assistant, which will initiate a “clean” install. Whenever possible, we always recommend a clean install. This ensures that each account will be setup with the most current settings, and that message files will be downloaded directly from the server (avoiding any file corruptions that may currently exist on your hard drive). The Postbox Account Wizard will walk you through the setup process. Simply enter your name, email address and password and Postbox will recommend the settings for your particular account. Postbox knows the proper settings for many popular email services, such as iCloud, Gmail, Outlook.com and others, as well as many hosting providers like HostGator or Bluehost.
If you have any trouble connecting with your mail servers, please be sure to check with your ISP or IT administrator on the correct settings to use.
Choosing between IMAP or POP
By default, Postbox will attempt to set up your account using the IMAP protocol for incoming mail. While there are pros and cons for both protocols, IMAP is best suited for use with multiple devices. This means that if you check your email on your phone, tablet, or on multiple computers, any changes made on one device will automatically be made on the rest of them.
Additionally, IMAP stores all of your email on the server. This means that there is an online mailbox for each of the mailboxes you are accustomed to seeing in your email client. Most importantly, IMAP provides an online backup of your mail in case your computer is damaged, lost or stolen.
If your email service doesn’t support IMAP, or you prefer POP3, then within the Account Wizard enter your name and email address, and then click the Manual Setup link. From here, you will need to change the default port to the one your email provider specifies for POP3 email. This will usually be 110 for insecure email and port 995 for an account using SSL/TLS encryption.
For more information, please see our Guide to POP3 vs. IMAP.
Indexing Messages for Search
Postbox has powerful search capabilities that makes it easy to find messages within any account or folder. For best results, Postbox needs to first download and index your emails. Postbox will automatically index your email when it detects that your computer is idle, but if you would rather not wait, you can manually index your messages by selecting Indexing > Index All Messages from the Tools menu. If you have a large number of messages, we recommend that you index at night, or at some other time when you will not be using your computer.
Setting Selection Order after Archive or Delete
An important setting is how emails are selected in the message list after a delete or archive action. The default behavior in Postbox is to select the next email in chronological order. However, you can reverse the selection order by going to to Preferences/Options > Advanced > General, then select your desired option in the pop-up menu labeled: After deleting a message select the…
Subscribing to IMAP Folders
Depending on your email provider’s settings, there may be extra IMAP mailboxes that you don’t use and don’t want cluttering up the Folders pane. Simply right-click on the desired mailbox or account and select Subscribe. You will then have the option to subscribe or unsubscribe from any of the server-based mailboxes associated with that account. Don’t worry about losing anything, as unsubscribing does not affect the mailbox on the server. It only affects whether it is displayed within Postbox, and this can be changed at any time.
Checking IMAP Folders for New Messages
For IMAP users, you can configure Postbox to check folders other than the Inbox for new mail. This is particularly useful if you have server-side filters that move messages into other folders, or if you wish to keep your Sent and Archive folders up-to-date. Right-click on the folder in your folder tree, choose Properties… from the context menu, then select Check this folder for new messages.
Dropbox integration can be a critical tool for file sharing since many ISPs and email providers put a limit on the size of attachments. This can make it difficult to share videos or other files that surpass those limits. With Dropbox integration, Postbox will create a shareable Dropbox link anytime you drag and drop a file from your Dropbox folder onto the email composition window. Regardless of the file’s size, your recipient will receive an email containing a download link to the file, bypassing any email size constraints.
These are just a few of the setup options that will help you get up and running with Postbox. Our next post will focus on features that will enable you to customize the Postbox interface.
Posted by Sherman Dickman
OS X Mavericks has brought about a slew of welcome changes, including improved Notifications, better battery life and increased speed. One unwelcome change, however, is how Apple Mail handles Gmail accounts.
Apple Mail and Gmail have had a tenuous relationship in the past, in large part due to Gmail’s non-standard IMAP implementation and Mail’s insistence on treating Gmail as a traditional IMAP service. Beginning with Mavericks, Apple has rethought its approach, undermining past workarounds and introducing new issues.
The Problematic “All Mail” Label
Much of Gmail’s implementation revolves around labels. Because Mail (along with most other email clients) treats Gmail labels as mailboxes, you can easily end up with multiple copies of an email stored locally. The worst offender is the “All Mail” label. As its name implies, “All Mail” stores all the emails you’ve ever sent or received, regardless of what other labels you may have applied to them. Even deleted emails are retained in “All Mail.”
In previous versions of OS X and Mail, many users would simply unsubscribe from “All Mail” by opting to hide it in the Gmail Web interface. In Mavericks, however, hiding or unsubscribing from “All Mail” interferes with the normal process of moving, filing or deleting emails. Move or delete any email from the Inbox, switch to another mailbox, switch back and you’ll be greeted by the email you just moved or deleted.
You would think that reenabling “All Mail” solves the problem, but reenabling introduces entirely new problems. One of Apple’s goals with the Mavericks version of Mail was to eliminate duplicate messages across Gmail’s labels. To achieve this, Mail appends XML snippets to the bottom of each message to indicate what labels that email should be displayed in. In theory, this allows an email to be downloaded once and displayed in as many mailboxes as needed without downloading and storing duplicate copies. In practice, reenabling “All Mail” prompts Mail to re-download ALL your email. Once Mail is done downloading, it will purge duplicates and use the new XML scheme to keep track of where to display emails. However, depending on the number of emails you have, this re-download, analysis and purge can take hours or even days.
Unfortunately, the performance issues don’t stop there. When Mail syncs with Gmail, updating “All Mail” and its XML scheme, notification updates may slow down or stop altogether. Mail may continue to show unread emails long after you’ve read them or moved them to another mailbox. Things will return to normal only after Mail is done synchronizing, a process which may take hours each time.
A Better Gmail Experience
Postbox and Gmail are a match made in heaven. We’ve designed Postbox to seamlessly integrate with Gmail and it’s unique capabilities to provide the best email experience possible.
Postbox recognizes and provides enhanced support for Gmail labels without any set up on your part. To label a message, simply type the “L” key, and then select a label name. Alternatively, you can type “L” and then begin typing the label name to auto-complete. Labels appear within the message header, similar to tags, and you can even select a unique label color.
In all fairness, Postbox does duplicate messages across labels, but we believe this is a more robust and reliable implementation, is more compatible across desktops and devices, and avoids many of the pitfalls users are experiencing with the current Mail implementation.
Postbox also supports the Gmail “Important” label. “Important” emails are recognized in the Folder Pane, and also within the message list, with a bright yellow icon. Of course, you can turn off the “Important” label by unsubscribing from this folder at any time.
Postbox also gives you more control over Gmail deletion behavior. By default, an email deleted from one folder or label remains in any other folders or labels it was originally in. But you can configure Postbox to delete an email from all associated labels or mailboxes, rather than just the one you are currently viewing.
Alternatives to Using the All Mail Folder
Unlike Mail, Postbox allows you to unsubscribe from the “All Mail” folder without suffering any negative side effects. For that matter, you can also unsubscribe from the “Starred” label or use Gmail’s Web interface to limit the number of emails displayed in “All Mail.” Whatever option you chose, Postbox will readily comply.
If you choose not to use the All Mail label, you the the option to specify a different folder for the Archive function. This provides all the benefits of Archive, without the burden of a large All Mail folder (which contains sent, deleted, etc.). You can even set your Archive folder to reside on a different account.
Your Postbox workflow can even be set to mirror Gmail, using the same shortcut keys and creating events in Google Calendar from dates contained within emails.
In summary, we’ve engineered Postbox to maintain the correct balance between standards-compliance and Gmail compatibility. Give it a try and enjoy the best desktop Gmail experience available.
Posted by Sherman Dickman
If you’re like most people, you’re probably receiving too many messages. A great way to keep your Inbox from feeling overloaded is to filter out low-ranking messages while highlighting the important ones.
Here are some of our favorite filters, along with some terrific suggestions from Postbox users, for keeping your Inbox tidy, relevant, and actionable.
Filters to Keep Your Inbox Clean
Shopping or Promotions
Create a new folder called “Shopping.” Create a filter called “Shopping by Subject” that CONTAINS ANY of the following terms within the Subject line, such as “receipt,” “statement,” “bill” “order,” “purchase,” “monthly,” “shipping,” “shipped,” “shipment,” “coupon,” “sale,” “% Off,” “free” or “promotion,” and then create a filter action that moves these messages to the “Shopping” folder.
Next, create a second filter called “Shopping by Sender.” Use the search bar to look for emails related to ecommerce, such as Amazon, Groupon, or Living Social, and then copy the email address from those senders, such as “email@example.com” or “firstname.lastname@example.org” and use those as an ANY filter criteria. Create an action that moves these messages to the “Shopping” folder.
Create a new folder called “Newsletters” and a new filter called “Newsletters.” Use the Postbox Search Bar to find messages that contains the following terms within the message body: “unsubscribe,” “opt-out,” “edit your preferences,” “update profile,” “manage your account,” etc.
Next, select a newsletter, click on the sender name in the message envelope, and select “copy email.” Paste the email address into the Message Filters panel, and repeat the process using the ANY criteria. Create an action that moves these messages to the “Newsletters” folder.
A slight variation of this to move messages to a “To Read” folder for newsletters or mailing lists that are more relevant to your business or lifestyle.
Create a filter that is based on the email addresses of messages from social media sites such as from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, etc.
My Messages and Files
Create a folder called “My Messages,” and then create a filter with the ALL criteria that looks for your email address in both the “From” and “To” fields. This is handy for working on messages and attachments that you send to yourself.
This filter keeps messages from senders that are not in your Address Book from entering the Inbox. Create a folder called “Unknown Senders” and then set the ALL criteria to first match “From isn’t in my address book.” To allow emails from work colleagues, add a second criteria to match “From isn’t @yourcompanydomain.com.” Create an action that moves these messages to the “Unknown Senders” folder, and then triage the contents of this folder at the end of the work day.
If a specific person is sending you inappropriate or unwanted email, add their email address to a “Block List” filter. Postbox will essentially look for emails from people on the block list and you can set the filter to delete these messages if desired.
This is a great filter for catching messages that are not filtered by the above. Create a filter that searches for ANY email addresses that CONTAINS “noreply@” or “no-reply” and move them to a “No Reply” folder. Periodically inspect this folder for emails that should be added to an existing filter.
Filters for Managing Inbox Contents
Highlight Messages from my Boss or the Executive Team
This filter will make sure that you never miss an important email from the people who write the checks. First, create a Topic called “Execs,” color the Topic red, and for added emphasis, select “Apply the topic color to the entire row in the message list pane” within the Topic Preferences Panel. Next, create a filter that searches for email addresses from your boss and/or the executive team, and then applies the Topic “Execs” as an action.
Alternatively, you can add these contacts to a dedicated “Execs” address book and filter by that criteria.
Add a Topic to Messages from a Partner Domain
This is great for organizing messages from other companies that you work with. For example, if you’re working with ACME Design on a new website, create a Topic called “ACME” and then create a filter that looks for all email addresses that CONTAINS “@acme.com,” then create an action to assign the “ACME” Topic to each message. From here, you can use the Focus Pane to only view messages from ACME Design.
Auto-Archive Old Messages
Create a filter where the “Age in Days” is greater than “90,” then move these messages to your Archive folder. You can even move messages to an Archive folder on a different account if your work account quota is starting to max out.
Keep Old Messages from Being Forgotten
The message list can get long, and messages that are out of sight tend to be out of mind too. Create a filter where the “Age in Days” is greater than “10,” and then create an action that adds these messages to your To-Do list. Pin To-Dos to the top of your message list to keep them in view. This essentially forces you to deal with messages within a 10 day time period instead of letting messages accumulate within the Inbox.
Copy Messages to a Backup Account
If you’re using a POP account and would like an easy way to backup new messages to an online account, you can create a filter for that! Create a dedicated IMAP account for storage (from Gmail or any other free IMAP provider), then create a “Match All Messages” filter to automatically copy all new messages to the storage account’s Inbox.
You’ll also want sent messages to get copied to this account as well by going into Preferences / Accounts / [your account] / Copies & Folders and under “Sent” select “Bcc these email addresses” and enter your email address for your storage account. This creates an online backup for your POP email that can be searched from anywhere!
Display Folders in the Favorites Bar
Once you’ve created dedicated folders for messages such as “Newsletters,” “Shopping” and “Social,” you can arrange them within the Favorites Bar for fast access. Alternatively, you can open each folder within their own tabs.
Mark Messages as Read
A useful add-on action to any filter is to mark the message as “Read.” This helps to keep unread message bubbles or dock badges from distracting your attention.
Mark as To-Do
A great filter action is to mark messages as To-Dos. This causes the message background to change color, and you can even “pin” To-Dos to the top of your message list so they don’t get lost in the shuffle.
Highlight with a Topic
Using Filters to automatically assign Topics is a very powerful organization technique! Once a message is tagged with a Topic, you can use the Focus Pane to only view messages that contains that Topic — great for staying focused on one thing at a time.
Filter by Address Book
In Postbox, you can group contacts by as many Address Books as you like. For example, if you’re coaching kids soccer, you can add the parents’ email addresses to a “Soccer” address book, and then create a filter that applies actions to messages from those senders, such as moving messages to a “Soccer” folder or applying a “Soccer” Topic.
Reply with a Template
A great filter action is the “Reply with Template” action that sends a pre-canned message Template. For example, a reply with template action could state: “Thanks for contacting ACME. Below you will find information on our company and products. If you require additional information, please reply to this message with ‘ACME Inquiry’ in the subject line and we’ll get right back to you.”
You could then create a second filter that finds messages that CONTAINS the subject line “ACME Inquiry” and apply an appropriate filter action.
Hint: Filters execute in the order specified within the Message Filters panel. By arranging the filters in a specific order, you can essentially create a filter-powered workflow.
Filtering Directly on the Email Server
While setting up filters within Postbox is most convenient approach, it is perfectly acceptable to set up filters directly on your email server. This allows messages to be filtered in the background, as “close to the metal” as possible, which will improve the overall performance of Postbox.
Hint: If you use a server-based filter to move messages to “Folder X,” within Postbox right-click Folder X, select “Properties…” and select “Check this folder for new messages.” This will allow this folder to automatically update when your Inbox is checked for new messages.
Have a favorite filter to share? Tell us about it in the comments below!
Posted by Sherman Dickman
Postbox 3.0.8 is now available. Here’s what’s new in this release:
To update, select About Postbox from the Postbox menu on Mac OS X, or select About Postbox from the Help menu on Windows, then click the Apply Update button once the update has finished downloading.
Posted by Sherman Dickman
Save a bundle on Postbox when you order multiple licenses for friends, family, or co-workers. Discounts kick in at just 2 or more licenses!
|Licenses||$ / unit||1 license||$9.95||An additional copy is only $5.95 more!|
|2 - 9||$7.95||Get friends or family members in on the deal.
Purchase 2 licenses for only $15.90.
|10 - 19||$6.95||Great for small teams! Get 10 copies for only $69.90!|
|20 - 29||$5.95||Now we’re talking! Postbox for a team of 20 is only $119.|
|30+||$4.95||You are a god, we are not worthy!|
To purchase, simply visit the Volume Discount Store and enter the number of licenses you desire. Your sub-total will display on the order confirmation page.
Please note that due to these incredible price breaks, volume discounts cannot be used in combination with other offers or promotions.
Posted by Sherman Dickman
With Sparrow exiting the market, we’ve been receiving lots of questions about Postbox in the Mac App Store. Earlier versions of Postbox 2 were available in the Mac App Store, but we discontinued sales through this channel when Postbox 3 was released.
For new Mac-only developers, the Mac App Store is a terrific way to go. It’s great for product discovery, the purchase flow is trusted and near frictionless, application installation and management is a snap, and updates are convenient for end users. In short, the Mac App Store lets developers spend more time on creating awesome apps, and less time on eCommerce infrastructure.
However, we eventually determined that the Mac App Store wasn’t the best fit for Postbox. We had already established our own online store and purchase policies prior to the Mac App Store release. Additionally, the Mac App Store was not evolving quickly enough, and in the direction we needed it to go, to support the Postbox 3 release in a manner consistent with Postbox Store policies.
The Postbox Store is powered by Fastspring, Campaign Monitor, Google Analytics, Wufoo, Zendesk, and our own in-house apps. While it took more time and effort to develop, this custom store enables us to offer:
- A free 30-day trial
- Discounted upgrades from previous versions
- Free upgrades if the prior version was purchased after a specific date
- A license that lets you run Postbox on every Mac or PC you personally own and use
- Volume discounts starting at just 2 or more copies, plus site licenses for larger organizations
- A 60-day, money back guarantee, no questions asked
- A fully functional version of Postbox, with integrations with iCal, iPhoto, Dropbox, Evernote, and more
In contrast, here were some of the limitations we encountered with the Mac App Store:
- No free trials
- No discounted upgrades
- No free upgrades if the prior version was purchased after a specific date
- No way to provide license keys that could be used on Windows (many of our customers use both platforms)
- No volume discounts or site licensing
- No access to customer information, which prevented us from validating orders, offering discounts, running promotions, newsletter signups, etc.
- Unclear refund policies
- Most importantly, we had to create another version of Postbox for the Mac App Store that removed features such as iCal support, iPhoto integration, and Add-Ons in order to comply with Apple’s Application Guidelines
Will Postbox ever return to the Mac App Store? Our hope is that Apple will continue to evolve the Mac App Store in ways that meet the unique needs of Postbox and our customers. Until then, we’ll keep our fingers crossed and the Postbox Store open for business.
Posted by Sherman Dickman
What a month! The Sparrow Team just announced that they are moving to Google:
- Google snatches up Sparrow team to work on Gmail - c|net
- Google Acquires iOS/Mac Email Client Sparrow, Apps To Remain Available But Development Stopped - TechCrunch
- Sparrow acquired by Google, team to work on “new projects” - TUAW
- Uh Oh: Google Is Buying Sparrow - TIME
We’re thanking our lucky stars that we didn’t name Postbox after a bird.
Is Desktop Email Going the Way of the Dodo Bird?
Why are so many desktop email clients calling it quits on the innovation front? Is this due to a massive and sudden migration from desktop email to webmail? We don’t think so.
Sparrow focused on providing a Gmail-like experience for Mac desktops and mobile. Google knows that email is important, and they needed to make Gmail on mobile devices better, so hiring the Sparrow team to work on Gmail or “other projects” seems logical.
Thunderbird was having a difficult time supporting Mozilla’s mission of keeping the Web open and free, or at least in ways that had similar impact to Firefox.
From our perspective, we’re seeing more demand for desktop email than ever before. The desktop enables Postbox to provide a unique and powerful email experience, on both Mac and PC, for serious email users who require a high level of usability, integration, privacy, and control.
In fact, many of our customers are previous users of Gmail and other webmail services.
The World’s Best Desktop Email Client for Mac and PC
If you are currently a user of Sparrow, Thunderbird, Gmail, or any other desktop or webmail solution, we encourage you to give Postbox a try!
For our Gmail* users, here are some of the Gmail-specific features that Postbox supports:
- Gmail Label support makes organizing easy
- Dedicated Important view for high-priority messages
- Send and Archive your messages in just one step
- Add detected dates to your Google Calendar
- Support for Gmail keyboard shortcuts for the power user
* If you don’t have Gmail, no worries… because Postbox works great with any POP or IMAP email account, including Yahoo!, Hotmail, MobileMe/iCloud, AOL, Comcast, Dreamhost, Rackspace, Zimbra and many more.
New Low Price!
Postbox is now only $9.95. Twice the features of Sparrow, same great price.
And with our Volume Discounts, you can pick up Postbox for as little as $4.95 per user. That means you can outfit a team of 30 for only $148.50!
Posted by Sherman Dickman
The Web is buzzing about the recent Thunderbird announcement:
- Mozilla calling it quits on Thunderbird - c|net
- Mozilla to halt further development of open-source email client Thunderbird - The Verge
- So, That’s It For Thunderbird - TechCrunch
- Mozilla to Stop Thunderbird Feature Updates - PCMag
- Mozilla Tells Thunderbird Users ‘Our Work Here Is Done’ - TIME
- Mozilla giving Thunderbird the (effective) axe, leaving its fate to the community - Engadget
But the news isn’t all bad. Mozilla will still address high-risk/high-impact security vulnerabilities through their Extended Support Releases program for one year.
However, it’s clear that continued innovation in Thunderbird is not a priority for Mozilla’s product efforts.
If you are a Thunderbird user, now is the perfect time to try Postbox! It’s the most intuitive, powerful, easy to use, and drop-dead gorgeous email application available. But don’t take our word for it, hear what our converts have to say about Postbox.
And now, we have some really nice news to share…
NEW! - Our “Almost Free” Price of Only $9.95!
Postbox 3 is now available at an incredible “almost free” price of only $9.95! We can’t think of a less expensive way for you to take control of an overloaded inbox, improve your workflow, and achieve peace of mind.
Seriously, $9.95! That’s less than a movie ticket or a nice glass of wine. We’ve seen small blocks of cheese that go for more!
So What Makes Postbox So Awesome?
If you are new to Postbox, here are some of the features that make it great:
- Gmail Label support, including a dedicated view for “Important” labels
- Send and Archive functions
- Support for Gmail keyboard shortcuts
- Send detected dates to Google Calendar
Innovative Gmail Support
Integration with Apps and Services
- Import profile photos from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Gravatar, and the Address Book
- Message Inspector displays job titles and company names from LinkedIn and the Address Book
- Quick and easy access to social profile pages
- Post status updates to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
Social Connections that Add a Personal Touch
Unified Folders and Account Groups
Postbox lets you combine messages from multiple accounts into one Inbox. Accounts can also be organized into Account Groups, so you can keep your work and personal messages separate.
Postbox Conversation Views are more powerful, actionable, and easy to read. Postbox gathers conversation fragments from multiple folders and presents them within a unified view. Quickly bring yourself up to speed and jump into discussions with more information, context, and insight.
Double-Row Vertical Thread Pane View
Postbox supports a double-row Vertical Thread Pane View, which makes more efficient use of widescreen displays. To see it in action, select “Layout” then “Vertical View” from the View menu.
- The Favorites Bar provides fast and easy access to your favorite accounts and folders
- Useful when hiding the Accounts and Folders pane
- To add a folder to the Favorites Bar, simply drag and drop the folder into the bar
The Focus Pane lets you break your Inbox (and workload) into smaller, more manageable chunks. Easily organize the Focus Pane by your highest work priorities — such as projects, clients or events — then focus on these messages without losing track of what’s happening elsewhere.
Better Compose Experience
The Postbox Compose Window has been completely redesigned. It features a new addressing widget, a simplified formatting toolbar, drop-zone for attachments, and new styling. You’ve got to try it for yourself!
With Quick Move, you can file messages without using your mouse. Just type the letter “v”, enter the first few letters from the target folder, and the message will file to your auto-completed selection. The Quick Move panel defaults to the last used folder for even faster filing.
Quick Reply lets you reply to a message without the need to open a separate compose window, which is perfect for short, snappy responses such as “I’ll see you at eight,” or simply “thanks!” And it all happens inline within a message or conversation, so that you can get right back to what you were doing.
Postbox’s Conversation View simplifies message viewing, and now, “Summarize Mode” extends these benefits to message Replies and Forwards. Summarize provides a clean and beautifully formatted who-said-what-when email that lets message recipients jump into discussions with more clarity, context and insight.
Create a set of pre-built templates specifically tailored for message replies. These are super useful for replying to common inquiries, for example, if you’re selling something online and wish to provide the same information to all buyers.
- Support for Mac OS X Full Screen Mode, Trackpad / Mighty Mouse Gestures, write access to the Mac Address Book, iPhoto and iCal support, Drag-to-Dock message creation, and more!
- Windows 7 Jump Lists and improved interoperability with the popular Minimize to Tray Add-on.
OS Integration Features
The Postbox 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
We know that Postbox will provide a terrific email experience for you, so in addition to our free 30-day trial, we also offer a 60-day money-back guarantee.
If for any reason you would like a refund, simply submit a refund request within 60 days of purchase and we’ll promptly refund your order—no questions asked!
How does the Mozilla announcement impact Postbox development?
Postbox was founded by the original Thunderbird team close to five years ago. At that time, a version of the source code was forked and the team has been innovating in its own direction ever since.
As such, we expect that the Mozilla announcement will not materially impact Postbox development, and we welcome all Thunderbird users to give Postbox a try!
Is Postbox Open Source?
Not entirely, however, a source code version of certain portions of Postbox that may constitute “Covered Code” (as defined in the Mozilla Public License) is available for anyone to use, modify, and distribute free-of-charge at: www.postbox-inc.com/coveredcode under the Mozilla Public License and other open source software licenses.
Is there a Linux Version of Postbox?
We do not have plans for a Linux version at this time, however, we will continue to monitor customer demand.
What languages are available for Postbox?
Today we support English, but community-translated Language Packs are available in German, French, Spanish (Spain), English (British), Italian, Dutch, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, and Swedish. We will evaluate demand for additional languages over time. If you would like to help us localize Postbox, please visit our translations page.
Are there add-ons available for Postbox?
Yes. Please see our Add-ons Center for a list of third party add-ons developed for Postbox.
Do you provide support for add-ons?
Postbox cannot guarantee the functionality of third party add-ons, as these are not developed by the Postbox team. If an add-on isn’t working as you expect, or if an add-on is causing problems within Postbox, we recommend disabling the add-on or contacting the add-on developer directly for assistance.
Do Mozilla add-ons work in Postbox?
Unmodified Mozilla add-ons do not work within Postbox at this time, sorry!
How do I get help with Postbox?
Self-help support is provided through our User Guides, Knowledge Base Articles, and FAQ. Additionally, Postbox is currently evaluating forum solutions that will allow the Postbox community to interact and support one another.
(We’re sorry, but one-on-one support offerings are not currently available for new customers at this time.)
Posted by Sherman Dickman
Postbox 3.0.4 is now available for Mac and Windows users. This is a free update for all Postbox 3 customers. Here’s what’s new in this release:
- Updated versions of the Lightning Add-on for Mac and Windows
- Added a keyboard shortcut for marking a message as Pending (Shift + M)
- Added ability to drag and drop an .eml file into the message list pane to copy a message into a folder
- Added ability to redirect and resend .eml files opened in Postbox
- Fixed an issue where IMAP attachments could get corrupted on download for Gmail and Exchange servers
- Fixed an issue with the new account setup wizard when trying to create a POP3 account
- Fixed an issue where filters on subject would fail to fire correctly
- Fixed an issue with Creating a Filter by right clicking on a Favorite contact in the focus pane
- Fixed an issue that prevented several Mozilla dictionaries from being installed into Postbox on Windows
- Fixed an issue to correct new LinkedIn and Dropbox authorization window sizes
- Fixed an issue that caused Address Book notes to overflow
- Fixed an issue that prevented the header area from updating when Topics were applied via filters
- Fixed an issue within the Account Wizard that prevented the account type from being modified
- Fixed an issue that allow the Archive command to appear in contextual menus within Gmail accounts
- Stability improvements
How to Update
- On Mac OS X, select “About Postbox” from the Postbox menu, click the “Apply Update” button once the download is complete.
- On Windows, select “About Postbox” from the Help menu, click the “Apply Update” button once the download is complete.
- Alternatively, you can visit our website and download Postbox 3.0.4 by clicking the red TRY or DOWNLOAD buttons, then install Postbox over your existing version (don’t worry, your mail data is stored in a different location).
Posted by Sherman Dickman
To convert a message to an Evernote note, select the message and click the Evernote toolbar button, or right-click the message and select Add to Evernote from the contextual menu.
Postbox will include the following attributes:
- Subject — Since Postbox’s conversation view strips out Re: Fwd: RE:‘s etc., your note title will accurately reflect its content. You can also create a new title for your note.
- Topics — Postbox Topics are automatically translated to Evernote Tags. If the tag does not yet exist in Evernote, it will be created for you.
- Body — Postbox will include the full body text of the message, or just the important text that you select.
- Attachments — Files attached to the message will be added to Evernote. Please make sure that Display Attachments Inline is not selected within the View menu.
- Message Link — A custom link gets you back to the original message in a flash.
Here’s what the translated elements look like in Evernote:
Posted by Sherman Dickman
Here are some advanced HTML formatting tips to create beautifully styled signatures in Postbox! To get started, go to Options or Preferences / Composition / Signatures and click the Plus (+) button. Next, click on the code button, which looks like this: </>
Now we’re ready to enter our HTML, so let’s first create a simple signature, wrapped within the DIV tag:
<div> Sto Akron: Button Pusher at Postbox, Inc.<br> phone: 415-526-2339<br> web: www.postbox-inc.com<br> twitter: @postbox </div>
Sto Akron: Button Pusher at Postbox, Inc.
Next, let’s add some links:
<div> Sto Akron: Button Pusher at <a href="http://www.postbox-inc.com">Postbox, Inc.</a><br> phone: <a href="callto:415-526-2339">415-526-2339</a><br> web: <a href="http://www.postbox-inc.com">www.postbox-inc.com</a><br> twitter: <a href="http://twitter.com/postbox">@postbox</a> </div>
Not terribly interesting, and kind of bobo isn’t it? So let’s add an image. As you’ll see below, we’ve added margin, padding and line-height properties to the DIV style, and also some padding around the image itself. In this example we’ve used a remote image, but you can also use a local file as well:
<div style="line-height:16px; margin:6px 0; padding:8px 8px 8px 8px;"> <img src="http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5247/5343867277_d35595a2c6_z.jpg" style="float:left; padding:0px 12px 15px 0;"> Sto Akron: Button Pusher at <a href="http://www.postbox-inc.com">Postbox, Inc.</a><br> phone: <a href="callto:415-526-2339">415-526-2339</a><br> web: <a href="http://www.postbox-inc.com">www.postbox-inc.com</a><br> twitter: <a href="http://twitter.com/postbox">@postbox</a> </div>
Next we’ll add some font styling to the DIV tag, and let’s jazz up the name a bit by transforming the text to uppercase and making it bold:
<div style="line-height:16px; margin:6px 0; padding:8px 8px 8px 8px; font-family: 'Lucida Sans', Lucida Grande, Verdana, Arial, Sans-Serif; font-size:11px; color:#555555;"> <img src="http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5247/5343867277_d35595a2c6_z.jpg" style="float:left; padding:0px 12px 15px 0;"> <strong style="color:#333333; text-transform:uppercase; font-size:10px;">Sto Akron</strong>: Button Pusher at <a href="http://www.postbox-inc.com">Postbox, Inc.</a><br> phone: <a href="callto:415-526-2339">415-526-2339</a><br> web: <a href="http://www.postbox-inc.com">www.postbox-inc.com</a><br> twitter: <a href="http://twitter.com/postbox">@postbox</a> </div>
To make the signature feel more modern, let’s color the links with a softer blue. If you use a HEX color value in Postbox, it will automatically convert to RGB. Also, the !important tag is really… umm… important, so be sure to include that:
phone: <a href="callto:415-526-2339" style="color:rgb(0, 136, 204) !important;">415-526-2339</a>
Next, let’s soften the underline on the links a bit by adding the following styles to each link:
phone: <a href="callto:415-526-2339" style="text-decoration:none !important; border-bottom:1px dotted #AAA;">415-526-2339</a>
Finally, we’ll add some borders to the top and bottom of our signature within the DIV tag:
<div style="border-top:1px #aeb1a6 dotted; border-bottom:1px #aeb1a6 dotted;">
Here’s the final code and finished product:
<div style="line-height:16px; margin:6px 0; padding:8px 8px 8px 8px; border-top:1px #aeb1a6 dotted; border-bottom:1px #aeb1a6 dotted; font-family: 'Lucida Sans', Lucida Grande, Verdana, Arial, Sans-Serif; font-size:11px; color:#555555;"> <img src="http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5247/5343867277_d35595a2c6_z.jpg" style="float:left; padding:0px 12px 15px 0;"> <strong style="color:#333333; text-transform:uppercase; font-size:10px;">Sto Akron</strong>: Button Pusher at <a href="http://www.postbox-inc.com" style="color:rgb(0, 136, 204) !important; text-decoration:none !important; border-bottom:1px dotted #AAA;">Postbox, Inc.</a><br> phone: <a href="callto:415-526-2339" style="color:rgb(0, 136, 204) !important; text-decoration:none !important; border-bottom:1px dotted #AAA;">415-526-2339</a><br> web: <a href="http://www.postbox-inc.com" style="color:rgb(0, 136, 204) !important; text-decoration:none !important; border-bottom:1px dotted #AAA;">www.postbox-inc.com</a><br> twitter: <a href="http://twitter.com/postbox" style="color:rgb(0, 136, 204) !important; text-decoration:none !important; border-bottom:1px dotted #AAA;">@postbox</a> </div>
Do you have tips or code samples to share? Let us know in the comments!
Posted by Sherman Dickman
Summarize is one of the coolest features in Postbox! It enables you to send simple, clean, and beautifully formatted who-said-what-when digests to message recipients, which is much nicer than quoted replies that get messy over time.
This post will touch on what’s going on under the covers with Summarize, discuss some of the changes in Postbox 3.0.3, and some tips that will help you get the most out of this feature.
To start, it’s important to note that Conversation View is different from Summarize, even though they appear to work similarly. Conversation View will display every message within a particular discussion, for example:
- John emails Sam and Karen with information about focal reviews
- Sam replies to John, and :CCs Karen, with questions about raises
- Karen replies to John, but not to Sam, with questions about promotions
- John forwards these emails to his boss Barbara, but removes Sam and Karen from the discussion
As you can see, a lot can happen during the course of a conversation! While this discussion would display in its entirety in Conversation View, Summarize will only include messages that respect the appropriate reply references, and this is one reason why some messages are not included in Summarized Replies.
Now, in order for a message to be included in Summarize, the Postbox indexer has to know about them, and this can sometimes be tricky from a technical perspective. For example, if you filed a message using your iPhone, the Postbox indexer will need to look within that folder in order to include that message in the Summarized Reply. But we don’t want Postbox to be continually checking each and every folder for new messages as this could impact performance.
In Postbox 3.0.3, Summarize is more proactive about gathering the messages it needs from the Sent folder. Additionally, if you would like the Postbox indexer to look for new messages within a storage folder (so that they can appear in Summarize), then simply right-click the folder, select Properties… from the contextual menu, and select Check this folder for new messages. This has the side benefit of improving Conversation View, particularly if you do a lot of server-side filtering.
Here are a few more tips for using Summarize:
- You can more narrowly focus a Summarized Reply by first selecting an individual message in Conversation View (a blue outline will glow around the selected message) before clicking the Reply button.
- You can set the default summarize behavior (Quote, Summarize or last used) on a per identity basis under Preferences or Options / Accounts / [your desired account] / Composition and setting the preference for Automatically quote the original message when replying… By.
- You can control whether profile pictures are included in Summarized Replies on a per identity basis by going to Preferences or Options / Accounts / [your desired account] / Composition and setting the preference for Include contact pictures for each participant when summarizing.
- You can control the number of messages to be included in Summarized Replies by going to Preferences or Options / Composition / Advanced and setting the preference to Include at most # messages when summarizing. On this panel, you can also set a preference to display either the oldest or newest messages first.
- Finally, if you wish to not use Summarize, simply toggle the Quote button in the toolbar. Postbox will default to the last preference selected for all future emails. Click the Summarize button in the toolbar to revert back.
Posted by Sherman Dickman
Postbox 3.0.3 is now available for Mac and Windows users. Here’s what’s new in this release:
- Added a preference for changing the selection order after deleting, moving, or archiving a message from the message list.
- Support for CC and BCC addresses and multiple attachments in AppleScript.
- Improved the mechanism for logging into your Dropbox account within Postbox.
- Added support for archiving messages across multiple servers.
- Improved inline date detection on Mac OS X for non-US regions.
- For new installations, Evernote should appear in the default toolbar set when Evernote is installed on Mac OS X.
- For Gmail accounts, the Archive function is now disabled when viewing mail within a Label.
- Changed the default search criteria in Advanced Search from “Any” to “All.”
- Fixed an issue with “Check this folder for new Mail” not working for IMAP folders.
- Fixed an issue that could cause messages to be re-downloaded on each restart for Gmail accounts.
- Fixed an issue with the text cursor disappearing in the compose window when adding an attachment.
- Fixed an issue on Windows that could cause only the first 150 characters to be copied into the clipboard.
- Fixed an issue on Max OS X where inline date events were not being added to the default calendar in iCal.
- Fixed an issue where selecting an Account Group was loading a blank message list pane.
- Fixed an issue on Windows where sending a message would fail if background send is turned off, or a message is sent without a 3-pane widow open in the background.
- Fixed an issue where “Run Junk Mail Controls on Folder” was not working.
- Fixed an issue where attachments sent from Microsoft Exchange IMAP servers could not be opened.
- Fixed an issue where Summarize would not always include sent messages.
- Fixed an issue where certain special characters (UTF-8) were not displayed correctly.
- Fixed an issue where LDAP search was not working when using Kerberos authentication.
- Fixed an issue where Growl alerts would display for the wrong messages.
- Fixed an issue where the Quick Reply placeholder text was being spell-checked in non-English languages.
Posted by Sherman Dickman