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Desktop or web-based email?

After getting used to Gmail 3 years ago, I swore I'd stick to web-based email. With IMAP now available, I set it up last week in Apple's Mail client on my desktop to integrate better with offline storage, emailing links, etc, and found myself changing my ways.

It wasn't easy: The initial download took forever and I had to work at getting Apple's Junk Filters to cooperate. (I.e., still work on the 2 POP accounts I check in Mail while leaving Gmail's already filtered mail alone).

I'm a convert. I used to open a browser window with three tabs: Google homepage, RSS, and Gmail and check it throughout the day. Now I'm in Mail only when I need to be, and ignore RSS and news until it occurs to me to catch up.

I did really like the Gmail interface, with conversations, shortcuts, etc, but I've been trying to make Safari my full-time browser and it wasn't playing nice. I've found a surge of productivity by sticking to the desktop.

How do others find web-based vs. desktop email to impact their productivity?

circa1977's picture

Mailplane, etc

I'm a bit surprised by all the Mailplane endorsements: I tried it once and found it to be really buggy. And all the keyboard shortcuts I got used to in the Gmail web interface didn't work; Mailplane had its own conventions.

Getting used to Mail and setting it up how I want hasn't been issue-free. I can't override the From/Send email address with the Gmail IMAP account. I found the hack to apply a default header with my own reply-to on every email, but now I've added another POP account that I don't want that slapped on.

The Junk Filters in Mail (on Tiger) really suck too. Again, I can't apply them per account. So I have to let Junk Filters process all my Gmail, already filtered, or leave my POP accounts ignored. I ended up turning on SpamAssassin on the server and letting that update the subject line of all the POP email, and then processing that as a rule in a Mail.

Nothing's perfect, but by combining Gmail with IMAP, and being able to hop in the browser when I need to (I actually set up Camino with Gmail as my homepage and all the toolbars disabled. If I need web-based Gmail I just use QuickSilver to launch Camino), AND finding that desktop email is more efficient/productive, I'm happy.




An Oblique Strategy:
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