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Tagging in Mail.app

29 Aug 2005

An interesting new utility, MailTags, has been released by Indev Software recently that allows for tagging in Apple Mail.app. That is, an email comes in and you can use a side bar to give it a quick tag — much like Flickr, gmail, or del.icio.us. And it does a whole lot more than that with contextual menu support, due dates, priorities, Spotlight integration: lots of candy for the organizing geeks among us.

Tagging is interesting to me when organizing personal data. I’ve always kept mail in folders; sometimes by date and sometimes by project. I’ve done the same for documents on my computer. But that’s ultimately limiting. What if a message is about projectFoo and interfaceDesign? Tagging these things will multiple, arbitrary descriptions gets around that. Or at least starts to provide an alternative.

To be fair, MailTags isn’t designed to do tagging the way most folksonomies are designed — the unstructured tags are more “comments” than true tags. But it is certainly helps with searching, and is start towards new ways of navigation our data in the future.

Anyway, I haven’t spent that much time with MailTags yet, but I’m a huge fan of their earlier work, Mail Act-On, which allows any Mail.app filter or script to be assigned to a key. Wow, what a time saver… ​