Replying to mail based on sender

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Reader Robert Costain is a man seeking to tame his many email accounts. He writes:

I have multiple e-mail accounts (a couple of personal accounts and a bunch for work-related correspondence). In either Apple Mail or Microsoft Entourage, is there a way to select the outgoing account based on the recipient? For example, if I send a message to a work colleague, I want the From: address to be my work e-mail. However, if I’m e-mailing Uncle Fester or my mother-in-law, I’d like it to come from my personal account. I try to remember to switch accounts when I am composing, but I often forget.

Entourage sort of, Mail no.

You can construct a rule in Entourage that will reply to a message from a certain address from an account of your choosing. The Rule looks like this:

If From Contains sender (where sender is your Uncle Fester)

Then Change Account nameofaccount

To make all this a bit easier you could tag a particular group of people who you’d like to contact from only a particular email account. For example, you could add them to a group or apply a category to them. In the rule above instead of using “contains” you’d use something like “is in group” or “is in category.”

Regrettably, you can’t construct a working Entourage rule that will watch as you enter a recipient in a new message’s To field and then automatically switch the account you send from.

Mail can’t do any of this as it doesn’t offer a rule for switching accounts.

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