Postbox: Wow!

I am done putting up with the quirks and failures of Apple’s Mail app! The slowness, especially in Yosemite, is driving me crazy! Even though there are some nice plugins for Mail, the problems far out weigh the benefits. I am not alone, tons of people have problems with Apple Mail. I have moved my email workflow to a truly grat app, Postbox.

 

Overview

Lets face it, there are not very many good email applications available on the Mac platform. Yes, you could use Outlook if you own a current version of Microsoft Office, but even Outlook has it’s issues. After putting up with Apple Mail for years I went on a search for a better email app and found Airmail and Postbox. Airmail is a nice app, but Postbox had a more traditioinal email layout. And, the price for Postbox is right at a whopping $15.

I don’t mean to be ungrateful. Apple Mail comes with the OS and thus, is free. I have used it for many years with reasonable success. It probably is a viable solution for people who do not have a ton of email and several email accounts. And, the third party plugins for Mail are excellent, very handy. But, the thing about the Mac is supposed to be, “it just works”, and Apple Mail “just does NOT work very well anymore”!

Postbox Layout

There is no possible way I can cover all the settings and features of what Postbox is capable of so I am going to just go over a few general things in this article and a few of the more spiffy features in a followup article. Here is the general layout of Postbox, obviously you will have to click on these images for a larger more readable view:

As you can see it is laid out much like Apple Mail and other typical email applications. There is nothing mysterious about it. The toolbar across the top can be modified, stuff moved around, etc. The list of email accounts is on the left, emails appear on the right and so on and so forth. Just the usual layout right? But here is a gigantic difference from Apple Mail. Postbox really does “just work”!

In Apple Mail I had all kinds of problems with many of my accounts being able to receive and/or send email. Some of them would not send at all! I continually had to tweak them and mess around with them to get them to work. You can import Apple Mail accounts when you setup Postbox, but they recommend setting up the accounts one at a time. I setup about 10 email accounts without any problem and they all “just work” for receiving and sending email. Just go to the “File” menu to setup an account like so:

It brings up the account window:

When you enter the name and password for an account Postbox goes out and fetches the account info for an IMAP setup (preferable in my opinion to POP).

It got it right for different ISP’s everytime. Very cool. For the first time in a couple of years all my email accounts are working properly.

One headsup here. If you have two-step verification activated on your Apple ID you will need to get an application password for Postbox. The Postbox people tell you to not enter your Apple ID password at first setup. It will setup the account. But, when you Send AND when you Receive Postbox asks for the two-step verification serial number you obtained for Postbox (I store all these two-step verification app specific serial numbers in my 1Password program for future use). You have to paste it in both when Sending and Receiving and be sure to check the box for Postbox to store that serial number each time. Then you are good to go.

Addons

Postbox interacts with several different external applications. It allows you to use what it calls “Addons” to the program. These “Addons” provide additional functionality to the app. Part of this additional functionality is interaction with external applicatioins. Here is my addon window:

I have installed a couple of different “Addons”. One is Dropbox, you can drag a file from Dropbox into an email and this “Addon” creates a link for download. The other is SpamSieve for junk mail filtering. I have used SpamSieve for years, it is an excellent app.

Speaking of External apps, Postbox has built in functionality to send emails to Evernote. You just select the email you wish to archive and then click the Evernote icon in the Toolbar. Evernote opens ready to save the information, a very nice touch.

Postbox also supports OmniFocus 2 (To-Do app). You just right click on some text in an email, select OmniFocus and it sends it to the OmniFocus Inbox. Pretty cool.

Conclusion For Now

That is all I want to cover for now. I have skipped around a little, but hopefully you are getting the idea that Postbox is a very reliable, sophisticated email app. If you do a lot of email I highly recomment it. They just released version 4.0 with several new features.

Next time I want to talk about a few of the cool features in Postbox like Account Groups, Quick Reply and Auto Responses. Until then, I totally recommend downloading version 4.0 of Postbox and giving it a tryout with one of your email accounts. It works on 10.9 Mavericks and above.

Doug