To begin with, MailMate is not the most beautiful email app, aesthetically speaking. It doesn't have any pretty icons or colorful interface elements, but instead carries a basic chrome interface and nearly all text-based buttons. There's good reason for this: MailMate is a keyboard centric email management system, which means it saves you time if you take a few minutes to review it's extensive keyboard command set. If you are super busy and like to get through your email quickly, or if you have to process metric tonnes of email every day, the quite beautiful icon for Mailmate gives us a hint as to its strength: carting in all your mail, sorting it in its virtual mail room, prioritizing it for your viewing or just stacking it up and setting it aside for later, and then getting all your outgoing messages on their way, on your schedule (with a built-in send-later features).
Also, unlike most every other email app, MailMate offers full offline support, even for creating or deleting IMAP mailboxes. Users of web-based clients cannot work through their email inbox whilst in flight, for example, whereas true offline support lets you do everything except send and receive messages, which obviously requires an internet connection.
In my decade plus of tech training and consulting, I have met many people who have a hard time taming their inbox, partly due to the number of subscriptions they have, such as to Listservs, which--whilst offering access to lots of useful information and conversation--can often be the source of getting so far behind on reading through one's inbox. MailMate offers the ability to selectively "mute" conversations. Don't need to read everything on a Listserv but don't want to unsubscribe? Take a quick glance at the subject or the first message in the thread, and mute it if you don't want to follow it. You'll still get all the subsequent messages, which can be automatically tagged and filed into smart mailboxes, but you won't see them show up in the unread count in your inbox. If a large numeral glaring through the email count badge has ever caused you stress, you are not alone. This seemingly simple answer to taming mailing list subscriptions will add a new level of calm to your email life. On a side note, when I first added my accounts to MailMate, it created some smart mailboxes for some of my subscriptions automatically. That was a pleasant surprise.
The smart mailboxes feature in MailMate far surpasses any I have seen, with its deep filtering and searching ability into such header fields as unquoted text or quoted body text. If there's a header field in an email, I'm pretty sure MailMate supports filtering by it. Combine that with the power of true Boolean logic and your smart mailboxes can do more than you might have imagined. MailMate comes pre-populated with a dozen or so smart mailboxes, which whilst useful on their own, more or less serve as guides on how to create others customized to your uses. Which leads me to mention the manual. Unlike a lot of modern software, MailMate has an extensive manual available online and through the Help menu, with tips also built into the app which can be set to show up every day, in an unobtrusive little bar at the bottom of the main window. For those who want to go the extra mile in their email management, MailMate supports custom keybindings, though I have not yet done much in that area.
MailMate may not be for everyone, though for those who rely on email to get a lot of things done, MailMate could be exactly what you are looking for. It is lean, super fast, and incredibly powerful, and at a cost of only $50, a solid software investment in your own productivity. A 30-day trial period is available at no charge.
* Shortly after I published this review with a screenshot I blurred for privacy, Benny, MailMate's programmer, emailed to tell me of the Distortion Mode available under the View Menu. If you need to do screenshots in your email, they will look nice, as below!
Get it here: http://freron.com
-Ronald C. Schoedel III
Ronald C. Schoedel III is an attorney, former broadcaster, student of Welsh, and Sinophile. He has lived in Alaska, Wales, and China (Hong Kong specifically), and presently calls Utah home. He has been teaching and training Mac users for nearly a decade, and started blogging as a software reviewer in 2004.