Assigning Colors To Postbox Accounts

A while back I switched my email workflow back to Postbox 5. It is just more reliable and I prefer the way it handles “Conversations”. However, every email App has it’s own strengths. One of the things I missed from my previous email App was the ability to color code different email accounts. This is handy if you use a “Unified Inbox”. You can look at the inbox and quickly pick out emails from different accounts instead of them all looking the same. The Postbox App does not have this feature, but there is a work around.

Postbox Account Colors

If you manage several email accounts in Postbox and use a Unified Inbox approach it is kind of handy to be able to tell which emails are from which account at a glance. Color coding the emails from each account makes this very easy. As previously noted, there is no mechanism to do this in Postbox, but there is a work around.

Postbox has a feature called Topics. The idea is to assign emails to different topics like work, important, and so on. However, you can use the Topics feature to color code emails. First, go into the Postbox Preferences/Display/Topics:

Postbox Topics

Click on the “Plus” symbol and create a new Topic:

Macessence Account

In this case I named it for my “Macessence” account. Be sure to click in the little box and assign a color for the account.

Now, close the Preferences window, click on the “Tools” menu and select “Message Filters”:

Postbox Filters Menu

Once you are in there create a “New” filter:

New Filter

Set up the parameters of the Filter:

Filter Parameters

Now, this next part is very important. After you setup the upper portion of the Filter you have to add the topic to it. In the lower portion of the Filter window click on the left dropdown and select “Add Topic”. Then, click on the right dropdown and select the actual Topic, in this case “Macessence”. If you have several Topics for different accounts they will appear in the right-side dropdown. Once you click OK, the Filter (rule) is created.

Here is what a test email looks like in the Postbox “All Accounts” window:

All Accounts

The email shows up in the assigned Topic color of Red. The body of the message has an indicator as well:

Message Body

I have followed this procedure for several of my email accounts. About 90% of my emails come into my iCloud account, but it is still nice to quickly pick out the other emails at a glance.


I guess this is no big deal. However, I do find it helpful when I am using the “All Accounts” viewing layout in Postbox, which is most of the time.