Mountain Lion: Using VIPs to Sort Mail

If you have a frequent need to see a certain person’s messages all in one place (or you just wanna make sure that you don’t miss any of your grandma’s forwards), Mountain Lion’s Mail program has a cool new filtering system called VIPs. Adding someone as a VIP means that everything that person sends you will be put into a separate Smart Mailbox for easy perusing.

It’s very simple to set up, too—just hover over the person’s name in the sender field of one of his emails, and a little star will appear. 

Click that, and your spankin’-new mailbox will be created, and all of the messages from that person will show up in there.

If you prefer contextual menus, another way to do the same thing is to click on the drop-down arrow next to a sender’s name (or email address) to bring one up with an option for adding him or her.

When you get a new email from a VIP, the little star next to his name will light up (replacing the traditional blue dot). 

Note that if the person in question is in your Contacts, any additional email addresses you’ve got in there for him will also apply to the VIP filtering. So you don’t have to go in and add your friend’s 73 Gmail addresses as separate VIPs—they’ll all show up in the same mailbox.

It’s also easy as all get-out to remove a VIP. To do so, right- or Control-click on his name in your VIPs list and choose Remove from VIPs.

Remove multiple people from your VIPs list by holding down the Command key and clicking to select each of them, and then right-click on the list as above.

You can also click the star beside your contact’s name on one of his emails to remove him. 

Bye, me. You were a good VIP once.


Pretty handy, huh? I’ve already found this useful when I’m working on projects with others. Mark them as VIPs temporarily, then remove them when you’re done. Much faster than setting up a Smart Mailbox yourself or constantly having to search!