4/25/11
10:39 am

MacMost Now 545: Mail Act-On

You can assign rules to keyboard shortcuts with the Mail extension Mail-Act On. This makes it easy to send messages to folders without your hands leaving the keyboard. You can also assign rules to outgoing messages and alter how Mail sets the read status of messages.

Video Transcript (Click to Expand)
Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let's learn how to extend mail with mail Act On. So mail Act On is an extension that you can purchase and it adds functionality to mail. It's one of those things I just can't live without. Now let me show you what it does. So once you've installed mail act on if you go to mail preferences and then go to rules you'll see that you have actually three different sets of rules, not just one. You've got Inbox Rules, which correspond to the basic rules you would have with out-mail act on. You also have Outbox Rules, and Act-On Rules. So Act-On Rules will do something when you press a key. So this is very useful. So for instance the defaults here are to color a message Red or Yellow with "R" or "Y". Now to use these what you need to do is hold the "Control" key down and use that command. So control R will color that message Red and you can see it is. Control "Y" will color it Yellow.
Now here's something much more useful, I'm going to create a Act-On rule, called "save", and it's going to apply to any message, and I'm simply going to move messages to the "saved" mailbox and I'm going to assign the "M" key to it. So now I've got that save rule there. So now when I read a message like this and I just want to move it to the saved folder instead of having to drag and drop it i just use control M and it moves in there. And there it is, inside of the folder.
One great thing you can do is Undo any of these actions when you've just implemented them. So I'm going to use Control M To move it, and I realize, Oh, no I didn't want to do that, I look at edit undo and it says Undo Apply Act-On Rule and sure enough it puts it back in the inbox.
Now lets take a look at the preferences for Mail Act On itself, you can see it right here next to Rules. And you've got a lot of different things you can do, you can set up specific menu's to appear using these "f" keys here. You can also modify how messages are marked as read in mail. So instead of having them marked immediately as read you can have a delay or not to mark them as read at all until you do something like let's say press the space bar. Uh, In addition you've got menu windows that will come up with those keyboard shortcuts, and you can set how they appear. And also results come up, you've got these little notifications. You couldn't see because they were just off of my screen shot. Uh showing exactly what Mail Act on is doing as you issue commands
So here are some of those menus if you do F1 you get this main menu here, and you can do all sorts of things like apply Act-On rules, you can actually just hit the "a" key from this point here and it will show you all the rules that have assigned so far you can also do some various other things I can use arrow keys to move between these so I don't have to have my fingers leave the keyboard if I don't want to. Also you can do F2 to just jump right to some of these rules. You can also set some preferred folders up. Uh, Under the menu's preference Move to preferred folder and I can set some up in here. So for instance: do saved, do sent, and do deleted messages. And now when I do uh, Function 6, F6, I can actually just jump right to these. So another way to just quickly shuffle your incoming messages into various folders with just a few key presses.
So obviously you can get a lot more complex with this, by assigning different types of rules. You can do all the same stuff that you do with regular rules in mail, so you can even go with AppleScript's, you can have nested rules with all sorts of different actions that are performed, and you can basically just assign those to Keyboard Shortcuts.
So check it out, there's a free trial available so you can see exactly how it works before your purchase.
Until next time, this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 2 Responses to “MacMost Now 545: Mail Act-On”

    Tom Abbott
    3/16/12 @ 11:20 am

    Gary, where do I get Act-On? I couldn’t find it in the app store.

    Thanks!

      3/16/12 @ 11:41 am

      I put a URL in the video. At about 0:18.

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