Earlier this week I decided to give “Opera’s”:http://www.opera.com mail client a proper go because I was sick of the horrible editor in “the Bat,”:http://www.ritlabs.com/en/products/thebat/ and sick, too, of maintaining a list of about 90 filters for different correspondents which all got reset to filter things back into the inbox in a crash soe months ago.
Opera’s mail client works like nothing else. It’s rather good, but you waste the first week trying to set up filters to make it work like a normal mail program. Essentially the “received” view, or inbasket is completely useless unless it is switched to show only unread, non-spam mail. Everything else is accessed through ad-hoc views. To find mail from anyone you have ever contacted is a matter of typing their name into the incremental search box: a filter appears with all that correspondence in it. This looks like a very promising way to work.
There are snags. The three biggest that I have found:
* It won’t work as a MAPI client. If you want to mail stuff direct from the word processor, you need something else as well.
* the editor is horrible
* you can’t drag stuff to the “sent mail” folder. When importing from an old client, you have to download a copy of eudora, import into that, mark all the messages sent that need to be, and then import fro eudora into Opera. This is irritating, and will lose time
* it’s new, and still, to judge by the newsgroups, buggy.
But, on balance, it is the best way I have found to store and manipulate large quanities of email. It is just about google on the hard disk, which is what we all need.
So this afternoon someone emailed me a gmail invitation … I’ll have to try that out, but with another account; perhaps the one I use for mailing lists. Certainly, running _two_ mail systems seems to me very silly. Opera is already nervous about this. It has a very nice built-in spam filter, which you can train; and it was while poking through the day’s spam that I found the invitation to gmail.