Spotlight searching in Apple Mail is pretty good, but what if it could be even better?
Rocketbox is the plugin that delivers that wish — lightning fast, very smart searching, above and beyond what Spotlight can provide.
This plugin offers the ability to filter searches by several clever criteria that work together quickly to find the needle in a haystack.
The main interface shows how it works. An initial search term is further refined by mailbox, account, time range, and whether or not the email is flagged, has been replied to or forwarded. The results can be sorted by time or relevance:
The search term is highlighted in the results preview, making it faster to see if the particular hit is relevant or not.
The search terms themselves can be specified in a large variety of ways, including by boolean operators and by person:
And it’s fast. The developer, Central Atomics, provides a graphic that gives a good sense of the improvement:
It installs itself as a classic mail.app plugin in the Bundles folder of your Mail Directory. So it’s painless to remove either manually or with the uninstaller provided in the disk image.
An option in the View menu allows you to toggle between Rocketbox and Mail’s own search function (especially important for those who use the custom search features in MailTags ). Grey and white candybar stripes in the search box remind you that Rocketbox is installed and active.
Matt Ronge has detailed his plans for the plugin’s future development, including MailTags integration (yeah!), list view, domain searching and more.
He writes in an email:
Right now I’m doing major work on the engine to make way for these enhancements. Beyond that, I have ideas but nothing I want to make concrete yet (I have one big UI change planned, but can’t comment on that yet).
While he is coy about declaring his hand, he assures me that this next major version will be free for those who have bought version 1.0.
Rocketbox is available from Central Atomics web site where you will also find some nifty searchable FAQs .
It costs USD 14.95. Is it worth it? It depends how much your time is worth. I have a lot of email. After using it for a day, I can already see how much time it will save me.
I am about to revise my ancient post on the Top 10 Things every Mail.app user should have. This will be in it.
(Disclosure: I ought to say that Matt was kind enough to provide me with a license so that I could test out the plugin and write this piece. Thanks.)
Tags: Apple Mail