Moving from Entourage to Mail.app
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One of the things I did yesterday while no one else was at the office was migrate all my work email from Microsoft Entourage to Apple's Mail application (affectionately known as "Mail.app" amongst Mac-heads). That's because I wanted to start somewhat fresh in 2006, and to separate my work and personal email. Now that I'm using Gmail for all my personal stuff (with my existing email addresses, not a new Gmail one), I can access it anywhere without copying huge mail archives back and forth from computer to computer.
So far Mail is working just fine. After many, many years of using Entourage and its predecessor Outlook Express (developed by some of the same people who worked on Apple's Claris Emailer, and round and round it goes), I find the transition—especially the different keyboard shortcuts) a little awkward—but there are many things about Mail that I prefer, including its generally cleaner interface, quicker searching, and other clever tweaks.
The worst part of the transition wasn't moving my work mail, which imported seamlessly using the built-in assistant, but sorting out my contact list between Apple's Address Book, Entourage's separate contact database, and my list in Gmail. There's still some slop in there, but it seems to be working okay now. I did use Andrew Escobar's Mail Stamps 2 utility to revert Mail 2.0 back to the old-style buttons it used to have in Mail 1.0, which I prefer, but that's more personal taste than anything.
One question: does anyone know how to get Mail to apply a rule to email in the Sent folder as well as the Inbox and elsewhere? I want all my work mail to get sorted automatically, and so far that's not happening. I should check the Take Control book for tips.
Oh, and I'm now up to nearly 7900 spam messages in the Gmail filter since I last deleted a batch on December 8, which is a mere 16 per hour, down from 20. But I notice that even spam slowed down over Christmas, so the rate may come up again.