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A Mail.app Question – Saving Sent Mail

I don't use Mail, but my wife does… All of the below deals with a POP account I created for her to use with some school project she's doing.

Basically, my wife needs all mail sent to and from this account to be routed to a folder. The "to" part is easy and I've already done that.

The "from" part, not so much. I thought this would be easy, but my ideas keep failing to work.

First I thought I might just be able to define where to store "Sent Mail." Nope - Mail only gives you the option of how often to delete mail.

Next I thought I might write an AppleScript that moved (or copied) all messages inside that account's "Sent" folder, but the Sent folder isn't listed among get every mailbox and once a message is sent, it no longer shows up in get every outgoing message.

My next option (in two forms) is to try to figure out a way to automatically BCC the account on every message sent from that account. I could do this from within Mail or, perhaps, at the server.

But I'm really hoping there's an easier, simpler solution I've missed.

P.S. The "Sent" folder won't work for three reasons1.

P.P.S. I'd set up a mailing list, even a free one at Google Groups, but that's too much hassle for some of the other people involved.

Footnotes

  1. The three reasons being a) It's a riskier folder more prone to accidental deleting, particularly since b) When collapsed, mail from this account will be mixed with all others, and c) It's much nicer to see everything in one place, sorted properly.

18 Responses to "A Mail.app Question – Saving Sent Mail"

  1. Seems like you could do this with a Smart Mailbox. Just set the first drop-down to "any" and add two rules: (1) To contains [my@wife.com] and (2) From contains [my@wife.com]. Then check the "include messages from Sent" checkbox. Am I missing something?

    1. Jamie Kite said on February 17, 2009:

      Seems like you could do this with a Smart Mailbox.

      A good thought but the problem there is that it's still quite likely she might delete the messages accidentally or something since they'll actually "live" among other messages elsewhere (inbox, Sent folder, etc).

    2. Erik J. Barzeski said on February 17, 2009:

      A good thought but the problem there is that it's still quite likely she might delete the messages accidentally or something since they'll actually "live" among other messages elsewhere (inbox, Sent folder, etc).

      You can also include messages from the "Deleted" folder with a Smart Mailbox.

    3. Jamie Kite said on February 17, 2009:

      You can also include messages from the "Deleted" folder with a Smart Mailbox.

      Yes, but if she's like me (or I would guess most people), she's actually more likely to delete mail from the Trash than from the "Sent" folder.

      A smart folder feels a bit too much like a work-around over getting an actual solution that puts the email - or a copy of it - in an actual folder.

  2. You can't check the "Automatically cc: myself" option on the Composing panel of Mail.app's preferences, and then define a rule to move mail from myself, cc:'d to myself to the specific folder?

    Never tried this myself so I don't know if it will work they way you want or not.

    Mark

    1. Mark said on February 17, 2009:

      You can't check the "Automatically cc: myself" option on the Composing panel of Mail.app's preferences, and then define a rule to move mail from myself, cc:'d to myself to the specific folder?

      This works, but has the unfortunate side effect of applying the "BCC" to all outgoing mail, not just outgoing mail on this one account.

  3. If I understand correctly, just go into Preferences > Rules > Add Rule, and set the rule like this:
    If (any) : from contains (your wife's email address) ; to contains (your wife's e-mail address)
    Perform actions : Move Message to mailbox X.

    If she doesn't want the messages to be moved around, just create a Smart folder with the same predicate options.

    1. Fernando Lins said on February 17, 2009:

      If I understand correctly, just go into Preferences > Rules > Add Rule, and set the rule like this:

      I believe rules only work on incoming messages. If they worked for outgoing messages, I'd be all set.

      Fernando Lins said on February 17, 2009:

      If she doesn't want the messages to be moved around, just create a Smart folder with the same predicate options.

      To be clear, she does want them moved, yes.

    2. Erik J. Barzeski said on February 17, 2009:

      I believe rules only work on incoming messages. If they worked for outgoing messages, I'd be all set.

      I'm pretty sure it does. I have a rule to color my outgoing messages gray, it gets applied most of the time.

    3. Carl said on February 17, 2009:

      I'm pretty sure it does. I have a rule to color my outgoing messages gray, it gets applied most of the time.

      Oddly, you're right about the coloring - it works. But the rule can't seem to move or copy the message. My test is "account is" and the mail stays in "Sent" (and colored green if I add that option) every time.

  4. Mark the folder/mailbox, use the 'Mailbox' menu, choose 'Use This Mailbox For' and choose 'Sent

    And perhaps it will work as required?

    1. Tor said on February 17, 2009:

      Mark the folder/mailbox, use the 'Mailbox' menu, choose 'Use This Mailbox For' and choose 'Sent'

      None of those options are enabled. I think that may be an IMAP-only feature.

  5. Easiest but not automatic is to set up the Smart folder then manually drag into your archive folder.

    It's possible that AppleScript might be able to do this but most of my scripts manipulate the message content not the message container.

  6. I think I'm reaching the conclusion that what I'd like to do is not really possible. Everything else is a work-around.

    If Mail had the ability to BCC yourself on a per-account basis, it'd be perfect. Alas, it's an all-or-nothing proposal. It's the solution I've gone with for now, but no doubt my wife's going to get annoyed at the duplicate mail she gets when using her other two accounts.

    1. Well, what about a rule for incoming messages that says to delete BCC: messages that are not part of $ACCOUNT that were also sent by her address? Then, you can turn on BCC me and then have the BCC: mails you didn't want to keep deleted. It's some overhead but shouldn't be too problematic.

    2. Jamie Phelps said on February 18, 2009:

      Well, what about a rule for incoming messages that says to delete BCC: messages that are not part of $ACCOUNT that were also sent by her address?

      I'll likely do just that if the overhead of deleting a few emails becomes too much for her, sure. I still wish there was a one-step way to do it, either via outgoing mail rules or the ability to apply "BCC Me" on a per-account basis.

  7. Just use the excellent Mail Act-On plugin. It lets you define outbox rules and do fancy stuff with your messages your wife won't need at all. But it is a easy solution for your problem.

  8. I have just figured out how to fix this since I had the same issue. Actually, my dad did.

    His company uses the Microsoft Exchange server and he has a Blackberry, those stay in sync fine. Mail.app uses IMAP so not everything sets up right. The trash folder in Mail isn't actually the trash folder set up on the server (it appears as a folder called "Deleted Items") so Mail.app adds it's own trash folder. It does the same for Sent folder (it sees the Exchange folder as "Sent Items"). But here's how I fixed it and got everything to sync up, the best part is there are no rules, automator, or scripts. Simple clicking.

    1. Open Mail
    2. Highlight the folder you want the "from" mail or "sent" mail to reside in by clicking it once.
    3. Go to the menubar and select Mailbox>Use this Mailbox for>Sent

    Bam! You're all done! I hope this helps.


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