11 Replies Latest reply: Jul 20, 2009 10:27 AM by Koramchad
LeeWise Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Hi,

How do I create and file emails into folders?

I've created a "Smart Mailbox" (whatever that is, lol) and tried to drag emails into that folder but it doesn't work. When I click on the email and want to move it, nothing shows up to move it to: including the smart mailbox that was created.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Lee

iMac, Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (30,345 points)
    You don't create a Smart Mailbox, just a regular mailbox (Mailbox -> New Mailbox), then drag the e-mails there.
  • thesilverarrows Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    A 'Smart Mailbox' is smart, because it automatically looks for characteristics in your messages (that you defined when you set up the 'Smart Mailbox'), and then puts only certain messages into the 'Smart Mailbox' (depending on the characteristics you defined).

    So, the computer drags messages to Smart Mailboxes for you!
  • j.v. Level 5 Level 5 (4,155 points)
    ...and actually, it is not moving the message from the inbox into the smart mailbox, it is creating an alias in that smart mailbox, based upon those user-defined characteristics of that smart mailbox.
  • Jeffrey Jones2 Level 6 Level 6 (8,615 points)
    j.v. wrote:
    it is creating an alias in that smart mailbox


    I have heard this statement before, but it is not true. A message in a Smart Mailbox (or a file in a Smart Folder in the Finder) is not an alias. It is simply the same original in a different context.

    An alias, in Mac OS terminology, is a separate and distinct file from the original. It is a file whose property is that, when opened, it redirects and opens a different file (the "original"). But the alias itself is a distinct file. It can be renamed, moved, deleted, labeled, etc., without having any effect on the original. None of this is true of the "contents" of a Smart Mailbox/Folder. If you delete a message in a Smart Mailbox, you are deleting the original message. If you drag the message to a (non-Smart) Mailbox, you are moving the original. Some people seem to be confused that a message (or file) can appear to be in more than one place at a time. It is, nevertheless, the exact same message, and misunderstanding this point could have unfortunate consequences.
  • Jeffrey Jones2 Level 6 Level 6 (8,615 points)
    j.v. wrote:
    it is creating an alias in that smart mailbox


    I have heard this statement before, but it is not true. A message in a Smart Mailbox (or a file in a Smart Folder in the Finder) is not an alias. It is simply the same original in a different context.

    An alias, in Mac OS terminology, is a separate and distinct file from the original. It is a file whose property is that, when opened, it redirects and opens a different file (the "original"). But the alias itself is a distinct file. It can be renamed, moved, deleted, labeled, etc., without having any effect on the original. None of this is true of the "contents" of a Smart Mailbox/Folder. If you delete a message in a Smart Mailbox, you are deleting the original message. If you drag the message to a (non-Smart) Mailbox, you are moving the original. Some people seem to be confused that a message (or file) can appear to be in more than one place at a time. It is, nevertheless, the exact same message, and misunderstanding this point could have unfortunate consequences.
  • j.v. Level 5 Level 5 (4,155 points)
    Well, I really don't want to belabor the point, but when I hear the word "drag," to me, and I would suspect to most people, it means "move from one location to another" as in out of the inbox and into another mail folder, such that it is no longer in the inbox. When I see a message in a smart mailbox, it is also still in my inbox. I will buy your argument of "same original in a different context," i.e., perhaps nothing more than a line item on a list of messages that has been matched to contain some features of user-defined sorting criteria, or perhaps it is like a hard link in unix terminology, versus a soft link that is more akin to an alias. Okay. But it hasn't been "dragged" in the sense of re-filing it from the inbox into a different mail folder, such that it is no longer in the inbox. Because it is still in the inbox.
  • Network 23 Level 6 Level 6 (11,870 points)
    The short explanation of a Smart Mailbox is it's a search results window that keeps updating itself.

    That's all it is. No drags, aliases, or actual messages in there. It's the same as if you ran a Find, except it will add to the list as more new messages match the Find criteria. If you set the criteria to "contains 'apple.com' " then it will only list those messages, and all of them, across all mailboxes if you want. If you delete an original message it must disappear from all the Smart Mailboxes that refer to it.

    I often use them to locate all the messages I want to permanently drag into a regular, non-smart Mailbox.
  • Jeffrey Jones2 Level 6 Level 6 (8,615 points)
    Let me clarify what I mean by moving a message in a Smart Mailbox. Suppose you have received a message. It is in the Inbox, and also appears in a Smart Mailbox. You deal with the message in the Smart Mailbox (SM), then you want to file it away in a regular mailbox (RM). You can drag it from SM to RM. Now it is no longer in the Inbox, even though you were not looking at the Inbox. It is still in the Smart Mailbox, unless its status has changed and it no longer satisfies the smart criteria. If it had been an alias, the alias would move and the "original" in the Inbox would be unaffected.

    Before the move, the message is in the Inbox and SM. After the move, it is in RM, and -- if it still matches the search criteria -- it is also still in SM.
  • LeeWise Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    To everyone... thanks much for all the help!

    Lee
  • fsimsim Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    ok. but now let's suppose that i really wanted to have folders, sub folders and such in my mail.app inbox. i'm using gmail imap but i cannot do anything except the semi-useless smart folders. can someone please tell me how can i just work with app.mail the same standard way other mail applications? folders, subfolders, filter/rules to send the message there and such.
    please any help would be welcome.ready to install thunderbird but would much prefer to keep the system integration of functionalities!
  • Koramchad Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    The best thing you can probably do is work on Gmail to set tags for your emails. That way, Mail will download your emails in folders (tags) depending on your criteria.