50 Mac Essentials #8: Mail Act-On

By

20100521-acton.jpg

Mail Act-On is a unique plug-in for Apple’s own Mail application. It won’t appeal to everyone, but it is an excellent tool for managing lots of email and keeping it all organized.

It serves the needs of two distinct sorts of person: those who live most of their working hours inside Mail, and those who want to minimize the time they spend in it. Either way, Mail Act-On is a godsend.

In short, it adds simple, flexible keyboard controls to Mail. Instead of having to manually file messages into folders, Act-On lets you move them with a couple of keystrokes. And that’s not all: Act-On’s customizable keyboard shortcuts let you trigger a variety of commands: anything you can think of, you can accomplish in an instant by setting up your own rules and applying Act-On commands to them.

The fact that it’s tied in with Apple Mail’s own rules is part of Act-On’s success. Act-On comes with a couple of sample rules to show you how it’s done, and from there you can conjure up your own. It’s simple, easy to grasp, and easy to edit. It integrates nicely with Indev’s other Mail-related application, MailTags.

And since it works on multiple messages at once, you can fly through a crowded inbox and sort it out in no time. For professional types who live and die by email, Act-On is a huge timesaver.

(You’re reading the 8th post in our series, 50 Essential Mac Applications: a list of the great Mac apps the team at Cult of Mac value most. Read more.)