It’s a great day for Mail.app users. The public beta of MailTags 2.0 has been released, bringing with it full IMAP tag support, tagging of outgoing messages, tag sharing, a revamped, more flexible MailTags pane, the display of keywords, projects and other MailTags info in the ListView and more.
In some ways it offers better productivity features than Leopard Mail and it’s here now.
IMAP tag support
Probably the most anticipated new feature is full support for tagging emails in IMAP accounts.
This is achieved by storing the keywords, projects and other metadata in encoded X-MailTags headers in the email itself. When new MailTags information is added, MailTags writes a new copy of the message to the server. The metadata is stored server-side, making it available on any Mac you use which has MailTags 2.0 installed. Synchronised tagging has arrived whether you are in the office, at home or on the road.
You can also choose to save the metadata in clear text so that other email clients like Thunderbird will be able to read it.
The MailTags Pane
Many of the new features in this beta are best understood from the new-look MailTags pane.
Individual sections of the pane can be hidden or shown as you prefer by clicking on the disclosure triangle in the top left of its header.
Interaction with iCal continues to improve. Support for to-dos allows you to set priorities, due dates and to add comments in the Notes field. You can set a default calendar for MailTags to use in the MailTags Preferences.
The linkage between Mail.app and iCal has been improved through the use of a new URL format (message://mymessage-id @ server.com) which will find the relevant email regardless of the actual file location.
The Notes field now automatically expands with the size of the window, so that verbose people like me can see all the info for a particular email more easily.
In another much-hoped improvement, the Notes field can be used to replace the subject line of the email (see the subject line in italics in the screenshot below). Neat!
In the Compose window MailTags pane, additional options allow you to tag your outgoing message and/or tag the original message with the same tags as the reply. You can also create a rule to accept reject tags based on any criteria (such as member ship in a specific address book group).
This is a real bonus for work groups. Tagging outgoing messages gives people working on shared projects the ability to accept and share tags with other collaborators.
Of course, you may run into a nutcase using MailTags 2.0, so the option to refuse attached tags is also included.
Seeing your tags in the ListView
One of my favourite new features is the ability to see your projects and tags in the Message ListView, which provides additional and immediate visual cues about what you need to get done.
Command-clicking on any column header to add or remove the project, keyword, priority and due date columns.
When matched to the project-related colour coding of messages, you know at once what needs to be done in what sphere of your life:
The expanded Preferences now contain a number of separate panes to manage the plugin’s options. These options and MailTags 2.0′s other new features are set out in an expanded and comprehensive readme file.
How does it compare with Leopard Mail, or at least, with as much of Leopard Mail as we have seen? As Scott says,
While Mail 3.0 brings some MailTags-like features to Mail, MailTags continues to add many features not included with Mail 3.0, including keywords, project and priority tagging, saving notes directly with message, changing subject lines, dynamic coloring of messages, full integration with rules and smart mailboxes, and more.
Installing MailTags 2.0 will erase the settings for MailTags 1.2.2. This is set out at the top of the plugin’s new readme file, but is worth repeating. However, MailTags 2.0 saves a backup of your info so that can go back to MailTags 1.2.2 if you decide that the beauty and power of MailTags 2.0 is not for you.
Registration and Special Offer
MailTags 2.0 is not donation-ware. It is shareware (USD 29.95). After a trial 30 day period, unregistered users will be unable to tag messages.
During the beta test period, you can purchase MailTags 2.0 for a reduced price of USD 25 by following the links in MailTags preferences.
MailTags has more than quadrupled the productivity grunt of Mail.app for me. It is money very well spent.
Of course, MailTags 1.2.2 will continue to be available too under the same donation-ware conditions as before. MailTags 1.2.2 users can look forward to an update with minor bug fixes later this week.
- MailTags 2.0 Public Beta 3 released
- MailTags 1.2.1: Tweaks, Partial IMAP support
- MailTags just keeps getting better and better
- MailTags 2.0 Public Beta 4: Events, copy URL, faster
- MailTags 2.0 Public Beta 5: Attachment bug fixed
Tags: Apple Mail, collaboration, iCal, imap, mail.app, mailtags, Productivity, tagging, to dos, workgroups