email experiment overload

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.

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4 Responses to email experiment overload

  1. Rafe says:

    Tried Thunderbird yet? It’s quite good.

    Currently, I use Thunderbird for personal/professional email and Gmail for reading mailing lists.

  2. el Patron says:

    I looked at thunderbird about six months ago. the problems I noted then were

    1) people ocmplaining about crashes and lost mail. That’s a deal breaker. Sod’s law states that the mail to get lost is always theone that needs urgent, financially rewarding responses (and never the ones that offer you financial freedom or whatever).

    2) the usual mozilla problem of there being a million add-ons which were needed to make everything perfect, but they are not co-ordinated and clas with each other.

    3) It’s filter based, and life is short. I mean it: above a certain complexity of contact list, wiriting a filter to for every mail folder I want just takes up too much time.

  3. David says:

    Andrew, if you’re not going to use that Gmail invite then maybe…?

  4. el Patron says:

    Sorry, David: I took up the invite and am slowly shoving archived email up there, which is something I really oculd use Google for. Of course, there is the further problem that Gmmail doesn’t really work with Opera, for Javascripty reasons. seatrout at, if anyone is curious.

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