I use Mail’s smart mailboxes all of the time. These saved searches make my life much easier by allowing me to set criteria for the messages I’d like to see within a mailbox without having to move anything around manually. You can configure one, too, just by using the Mailbox > New Smart Mailbox menu option.
Once you click that, you’ll be asked to name your new mailbox and define what types of messages you want it to contain. You can click the plus button shown on the right to add additional parameters, too. So if, for example, you needed a mailbox to show you messages from Tim Cook that had a high priority and contained attachments, you could do just that.
And if those conditions actually would apply to you, drop me a line. I have so many questions.
Anyway, once your smart mailbox is created, it’ll show up in Mail’s sidebar (View > Show Message List), and you can click on it at any time to find emails that match the criteria you set up. What I wanted to talk about today, though, is a special way to configure a smart mailbox to show only messages you haven’t replied to. I’ve been using this lately to keep up with the tons of email that I get, and it’s been very helpful! Here’s what you’ll do. First, choose Mailbox > New Smart Mailbox as shown above, and then when the configuration window appears, choose options like these:
Of course, you can set the “Date received” drop-down to any time period that you want, and you could also add on any additional rules that you’d like. Another suggestion would be to limit this to your inbox.
You’d do this if you had incoming emails automatically routing to other mailboxes when they arrived, for example, and you didn’t want to include them in this search. Also, know that you can edit a smart mailbox at any point by right- or Control-clicking on it in the sidebar:
Anyway, once you’ve got your cool new mailbox all ready to go, you can click on it at any point to see the matching emails. Smart mailboxes don’t actually move anything, either—they’re just a convenient way to redo searches and keep tabs on stuff. In this case, seeing which emails I haven’t replied to at a glance is worth clicking away from my inbox! Because I gotta tell you, anything I can do to make sure I don’t miss things right now is time well spent.