September 25, 2003


I am on a neverending quest to find an email client that doesn’t drive me bonkers. I spend at least half my work day dealing with email. This is by design. I am a support administrator for the faculty, and I prefer to work through email rather than on the phone. That way, I can prioritize requests; the phone ringing usurps this system, giving all calls the same (high) priority. Plus it drives me nuts. So. I need an email client that can handle the job. To me, this does not seem like too much to ask. What I require is:

  1. IMAP capabilities.
  2. Functional mail templates, including Reply with Template”. I send the same email responses repeatedly, and need to be able to do this quickly, but without it seeming like I’m sending off form letters.
  3. Threaded messages. I like to organize things into threads. Real threads. The kind that can be minimized and maximized.
  4. Spell check. Prefereably inline.
  5. Drag and drop moving of messages. I manage three accounts and need to be able to easily transfer messages between them.
  6. Free. I work for the State of California. Enough said. I have been switching clients about every two weeks for the last six months trying to find something that will work. I have tried:
  • Apple’s”:** This does not support templates, but I have gotten around that by springing $10 of my own money on a nice little piece of shareware from Abracode , called MailTemplate . I’m very happy with this product, but I’m not** happy about having to buy it. It should be part of the package. Mail also can’t handle sophisticated threading, wich right now is its major fault for me. I know this is promised for the version packaged with Panther, but even after it’s released I have to convince work to pay for an OS upgrade before I can use it.
  • Mozilla Mail / Thunderbird . In theory, I would love to use this product, but in practice, it’s just not working out. The template support is not good enough. There is no way to reply with a template— all template messages must be new messages. This is not good for keeping threads, or for client relations. Plus, the interface is just too chunky and unsophisticated for me. I much prefer the aqua interface of
  • Entourage. I already had the Office X suite, so I thought I’d give this a try. Talk about a chunky interface! With this I can’t even drag messages to another account, which makes it completely useless. Plus, I get tons of error messages because it can’t connect to the server, etc. I have a feeling this is probably due to bloated code that plagues all Office products. However, it does beat on it’s threading, and Abracode has a good shareware template editor for this as well.
  • GyazMail. Looks like it would be an elegant app, but doesn’t support IMAP. This prevents me from even really giving it a good evaluation. So lately, I’ve landed back on and am dreaming of the day they do a better job with their threading. But I am still largely unsatisfied, and prone to spending long hours scouring the web for something that will work out better. Any suggestions would be most welcome…

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