Cataloging Mail by date

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Reader Kent Pletcher is a generally heppy ket with his move from Microsoft Entourage to Apple’s Mail. He has one concern, however, that goes like this:

With all the e-mail I get in a day I need my messages divided by date. In Entourage, you have a ‘Today’ header, ‘Yesterday’ header, ‘Last Week’ header, ‘Last Month’ header, ‘This Year’ header, etc. All of these allow me to look quickly for a message I may have received in the last couple of days. Is there a way to do this in Mail or a plug-in that will enable me to do this?

Like you, I find these Entourage entries (termed “Saved Searches” in Microsoft parlance) useful. Fortunately, you can create something similar in Apple’s Mail by putting Smart Mailboxes to good use. Try this:

Open Mail and choose Mailbox -> New Smart Mailbox. Configure the resulting Smart Mailbox window to read:

Contains Messages That Match All of the Following Conditions:
Date Received is Today
Message Type is Mail

Give it a name like “Today” and click OK. Any e-mail messages you receive that very day will appear in this smart mailbox. Because smart mailboxes are dynamic, when today becomes yesterday, these messages will be removed from this mailbox—and moved to Yesterday, if you've created such a smart mailbox. Speaking of yesterday, you can create additional smart mailboxes that include conditions such as Yesterday, This Week, and Last Week. If you want to go waaaay back and file all the messages within a particular year, configure the mailbox so it reads:

Date Received is in the Date Range

and then enter a date range. For example, if you want all your messages from 2008, configure the rule to read:

Date Received is in the Date Range 1/1/2008 to 12/31/2008

This smart mailbox gives you the day's messages and excludes RSS feeds.

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