Email Management Hell


So I’ve been on Mac OS for a few months now and in jumping head first into it I’ve been using Mail. I enjoy the minimal look and features, that’s all fine. But now with using Mail I’ve just added more email creep. I use email for newsletters, bills, kid’s school stuff, emailing family and friends, signing up for junk, etc. My question to the community here is how do you manage all your email addresses? I’ve thought about using a 3rd party app like Newton or Spark. I use Outlook client for work and although I use most of it’s features for work I hate how busy and email overwhelming it is and don’t want that in my personal life, if that makes sense? So yeah how do you manage your different email accounts. Just curious, looking for any helpful tips or methods people have, thanks!

Comments (12)

12 responses to “Email Management Hell”

  1. christianwilson

    This is not efficient, but I separate my email accounts by app/webpage. My primary email is and I use Outlook on iOS and the web interface everywhere else. I have a personal Google account and work Google account and they are accessed through Gmail on iOS and, again, the web elsewhere.

    I like email, but only after some hard work to consolidate and a mindset to clear my inbox as often as possible has this been true. A few years ago, I moved as many of my accounts, subscriptions, etc. to my account as I could. I am aggressive about unsubscribing from marketing emails (unless I find one useful), newsletters I don't read anymore, and notifications from services that I already receive push notifications from. In a given day, I only receive a couple of emails. I read the message and either archive, delete, or schedule the message to go away until I am ready to deal with it. I don't receive a lot of personal emails from friends and family because we've largely moved on to iMessage, Skype, or whatever, but when I do, I read, respond, and then archive.

    I don't get much mail in my personal Gmail account anymore, but I like keeping an eye on it with my phone. I don't open it too often on the desktop. Work is different, of course. I mainly deal with it on the web with my desktop at the office, but will do some triage off hours using the Gmail app on my phone.

    I used to try to consolidate everything into one view, and I have used Mail on macOS/iOS to do that, but I would always get turned around about where a message came from, or I would send an email to someone using the wrong address. Separating everything has worked best for the way my brain works, but it did require some "weeding" to get there.

    • j5

      Having them in their own tab is kind of what I'm doing too. It sounds like you've got a pretty good handle on your email management. Maybe I need to do a purge of everything coming to my emails? Wish I could just dump everything into a single app and that app be very easy to organize it.

      • christianwilson

        It took a while to get the flow of email to a manageable level and then some self-discipline to keep it from getting out of control.

        I will say this... without the schedule/snooze features found in and Gmail, my workflow would not work. I use that feature constantly. I suppose you could say it is kicking the can down the road in some cases, but it keeps the "workspace" clean and when previously received email is more time relevant, it will pop back up and I can work with it then. If I didn't have that feature, the inbox would remain messy.

  2. wunderbar

    I agree that trying to put all email from all accounts into once place just gets overwhelming fast, and soemthing I don't do.

    I also try to maintain as few email accounts as possible. I really only have one personal account that gets used for 90%, and another that i use as a secondary account. and a work one, but I don't manage work email the same way as I do personal email.

    And my thing is that I'm super aggressive at making sure I don't get email. Unless it's something I open every single time, I unsubscribe from every email I can. that was easily 80% of the emails I was getting a year ago. just promotional stuff giving me ads/sales at various stores I've probably bought things from once or twice.

    I really, really try to just unsubscribe from every email I don't absolutely need. that alone solved almost all of my issues with managing email.

    • j5

      I'm spread out to thin. I wish I could pull back to a single email.

  3. lvthunder

    I only have one personal email address and one work address. I use separate apps to keep them apart.

  4. GT Tecolotecreek

    Mail has a rules capability so you can route them to different folders based on criteria you define. Mail will provide a visual indicator when you have something new in those folders.

    Also you can view each account separately if you don't want all your inboxes consolidated into a single common inbox view.

    If you have more than one Apple device recommend setting up you folders on iCloud, that way the are easily available to all your Apple devices.

    Highly recommend a product called SpamSieve for junk mail filtering, works way better than the default Apple junk mail filter.

    What other management capabilities/issues are you looking to organize? I have 5 accounts coming in with around 100-200 messages a day (two are from websites I run) and get through them very quickly,

    • j5

      I use rules in Mail. I've always been an email rules user. But maybe my problem is I have too many rules and folders lol!

      • GT Tecolotecreek

        One other tip, I "pin" my frequently used folders in the header of the Mail app. That way I can quickly move between folders and accounts with a single click. They also have notifications to indicate the number of new unread messages. For example I have Inbox, Sent, Flagged, Draft and Trash. They have the same functionality as a tab.

        • j5

          I use that feature a lot! I stumbled upon it a few weeks ago.

  5. hrlngrv

    For work, I use Outlook on my work laptop and access Outlook running on a remote server via Citrix from my home PC. One and only one account.

    For personal use, I use Linux for email. I'm a creature of habit, so I'm still using Evolution. It gives me a tree-like view in a pane on the left with each separate account shown separately. I also use Gmail through my browser. 5 old and/or intentional junk mail repository accounts on Evolution along with a local email archive going back into the 1990s. [I need to get rid of most of it . . . someday.] Just gmail and one other email account on Gmail.

  6. minke

    For work we use Microsoft stuff so I use the Outlook app on my phone and login to with my work credentials if I need to access work email outside of the office. I use Gmail as my main personal email hub, with another provider set up for my personal domain email. Gmail is setup to POP my domain email so I can receive and send domain email from the Gmail Inbox. Various other email addresses that are used much less are forwarded to that Gmail address and in most cases I never need to respond to them using the same address. I use the Gmail app on my phone for personal email. I found it is best not to mix personal and work email within the same app as it becomes too easy to mix up which account you are sending from, and it makes it much harder to disconnect a bit from work email when out of the office. Instead, I need to deliberately go to the Outlook app to check work email.