This is what Mail Help has to say:
Saving draft messages
If you’re not ready to send a message and want to finish later, you can save it as a draft. Mail also saves drafts automatically a few seconds after you start to compose a message.
To save draft messages:
Click Save As Draft in the toolbar, or choose File > Save.
If you quit Mail and have a message open that has not been sent, Mail saves it as a draft automatically.
To reopen a draft, open the mailbox where you store drafts and double-click the message.
By default, your drafts are stored in the Drafts mailbox. For IMAP mail accounts, you can choose to save draft messages on the computer you’re using, or on the IMAP server so you can see the draft messages using other computers. To change this setting, open the Mailbox Behaviors pane of the Accounts pane of Mail preferences.
I know this isn't much.
I've been looking around.. apparently for the drafts issue, this is an OS X problem. I've seen the same problem with mail.app talking to an exchange server and with fusemail. I can't remember if I saw the same problem on mediatemple.net so it might be an issue with the server / client combination.
The recommendation until it's fixed is to tell mail.app to store your drafts locally. This shouldn't present many problems, unless you want to start an email at work in mail.app and then finish it off later at home.. I suppose you could either just email the draft to yourself or create an "incomplete" folder or "server drafts" folder, where you can copy the draft...
I've sent a support request to fusemail to see if they have any info on the unread sent messages issue. It's a stange one because it doesn't seem to happen with every e-mail I send..
Ok, I heard back from Fusemail support, here's the deal:
1) Sent items are treated differently because Fusemail treats the sent items folder as a subfolder of the inbox.
To avoid it, they recommend creating a rule to store all outgoing mails in the sent items folder, and mark them as read:
Apply rule to: Outgoing Email
Select Condition to Add: For all messages
Select Action to add: Move it to the specified folder (Sent Items)
Mark as Unread
As long as you use fusemail as your SMTP server and have server authentication enabled, this rule will work.
As for the issue with drafts, their system is designed to hold draft messages once they're saved on the server. They say this is because people often want drafts to be kept for template emails. I suppose auto-save drafts wasn't really considered when they decided this...
Interresting! I get the very same troubles 1,2 and 3, but I do NOT use Fusion or anything else. As a matter of fact, apart from .Mac, I only have a Yahoo account.
I have noticed though that replying to someone's mail and sending that reply does not show as an unread mail. Only new mails are marked as 'unread' once sent.
As for the count of drafts, I can manually throw them out, though that leaves an empty count of 'one'. Rebuilding the mailbox will get rid of that fanthom 'one'.
I am glad to report I do not have problem 4. Yet.
Also, I did notice that all of this has happened since I upgraded to 10.5.2.
Like the original poster, multiple drafts of the same email appear in my drafts folder (saved on server). It is not uncommon for 20 or more drafts to appear as I write a long email. These drafts are not deleted when I send the email -- I have to delete them manually. It seems that an auto-save function, rather than overwriting the same draft, is instead saving a new draft every 30 seconds or so. This behavior only appeared when I upgraded from 10.4.11 to 10.5.2 (the latter was a completely fresh install on a new hard drive). It happens on both my home and work computers.
I am using Gmail in IMAP mode, and my campus IMAP service, not fusemail or anything similar.
Same problem here. As I compose an email multiple drafts are created and are saved after the email is sent. The most annoying thing about this is that it makes it look as though the mail was never successfully sent and the drafts must be manually deleted.
The behavior seems to be random, since it doesn't happen with every email, or with every account.
This is new to 10.5.2.
Well, I was wrong: replying to someone, or sending a new mail matters not, my sent mail shows as "unread" in a random way. Yesterday, I replied or sent 25 mails, some are shown as "unread", others are not 'blue dotted', for a lack of a better description.
Yes, I can un-unread my sent mail manually, but I'm looking for a rhyme and/or a reason.
I tested this option. For me, it seemed that the multiple drafts issue was resolved, but, as one might guess, my drafts were no longer saved in the correct Drafts folder in gmail. I wish to continue to save my drafts to my gmail drafts "folder" on gmail. I don't think this resolves the issue of multiple drafts being saved locally for those of us who intend to save our drafts remotely.