Mail: Auto Grouping Messages

Thanks to the power of Spotlight, Appleis Mail application can do lots of heavy lifting when it comes to managing and grouping email messages for you. For example, I let Mail automatically group together all of the emails I receive from the TMO staff and sort them based on conversation thread.

First, we need to start in Address Book:

  • If you donit already have a set of contacts you want to group together in Mail, make a new Address Book group by choosing File > New Group. In my case, I made a group called TMO that holds all of our staff members.
  • Now drag the contacts you want Mail to keep together into this group.

Now hop over to Mail:

  • Choose Mailbox > New Smart Mailbox.
  • Give your Smart Mailbox an appropriate name. I called mine "TMO Conversations."
  • Choose Sender Is Member of Group from the From pop-up menu.

  • Use Smart Mailboxes to organize Address Book groups in Mail.
  • Select the Group you just created in Address Book from the second pop-up menu.
  • Click the OK button.
  • Now choose View > Organize by Thread.

This is a great way to keep all of your email conversations with friends or coworkers grouped together so they are easy to find, and so the communications are easy to follow. As an added bonus, since the messages are grouped in a Smart Mailbox, the originals stay wherever you sort them, saving you the headache of trying to find moved or misplaced message -- and all of your Mail Rules are left intact and untouched.

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