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43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Vox Populi: How are you using Mail Tags?

I open the floor to all of you on a question of particular personal interest to me: How are you using Mail Tags?

While my uses of it to date have been helpful, I keep getting the feeling I'm not getting all that I can out of it -- especially since the ability to associate Projects, Priorities, etc. to a message could make for some really enticing Smart Folders.

I wonder if my question is ultimately more taxonomic in nature -- ultimately more about Spotlight in general or Tags in very very general: When tagging items on your Mac, what kind of '-onomy' are you using? How strictly do you enforce your vocabulary? What are the best practices for someone who's new to this?

Confidential to Mr. Thomas Vander Wal: if you turn up here and school me a bit on this, I’ll totally buy you a Coke. If you write a guest post on it, I’ll buy you a beefsteak and two cocktails. Seriously. Steak.

jrk's picture

Thus far, I'm with Sr....

Thus far, I'm with Sr. Pantalones: I love MailTags (and MailActOn even more), and strongly support the IMAP store developments, to the point that I gladly paid to support particularly its future development, but I simply haven't found myself able to trust.

And I'm the kind of guy who runs many of my day-to-day apps freshly built off trunk, so this doesn't reflect some intrinsic computing conservatism. I've simply noticed inconsistent behavior too many times to actually build a trusted system around it. (And, even before my first unexplained data loss, I fundamentally didn't trust client-side metadata stored in an ephemeral, Spotlight-managed index for an IMAP cache directory, hence my interest in proper IMAP integration -- this basically leaves MailTags at the mercy of both Mail.app and the mds engine to treat what they consider caches/ephemeral data with greater care than I imagine their designers ever intended.)

So, as it stands, I just use it to place "hints" -- metadata which is useful but not life/system-critical.




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