More effective mail reading

Posted by Patrice Neff Tue, 03 Jul 2007

About two weeks ago I did a slight adjustment to my mail reading approach. So far it has served me really well and thus I’d like to document it.

The basic approach is that I want a clean inbox. My inbox it should only include known good mail. This is opposite to the traditional approach which is to have mails in the inbox which are not known to be bad. A slight but important difference.

So for now I have created a rule in which looks like this:

So if I don’t know the sender and the mail is not addressed to my full name, it gets moved to a separate folder.

Then to read my mail I go to the inbox which I know to be good. Then from time to time I’ll check my “Dubious” folder plus the Junk folder.

There are two possible changes which I’m still considering:

  • Instead of a “Dubious” folder I might move it directly into the Junk folder
  • Or the reverse: I could turn of the junk mail filter completely and just rely on my “Dubious” folder.

Do you have any mail hacks that you could share? Any improvements you can suggest?

Workarounds for and iCal

Posted by Patrice Neff Sat, 28 Apr 2007

I recently had two problems with the Apple suite of applications.
  1. regularly marked mails I had read on the IMAP server as unread again
  2. iCal doesn’t allow subscribing to SSL-encrypted calendars. That’s bad because our mail and calendar (Zimbra) runs on HTTPS.

For the first problem the cause was the GPGMail plugin. There is a FAQ entry about the problem. Short answer: deactivate automated decription/verification in the GPGMail settings.

The second one is a big worse. There is a hint on The idea is to set up a HTTP server which redirects to the HTTPS URL. iCal actually can handle HTTPS but it doesn’t allow you to enter it. The problem is that the security of this workaround is probably not guaranteed. Or in other words it may be possible that iCal sends out your password clear-text over the wire.