I’ve finally had it with my mail software. I need advice on what I can do.
Here’s the situation: Mac OS X (that’s not going to change), the standard Mac Mail program, everything up-to-date with the latest versions. I’ve got about 20 folders set up in Mail, with filters to automatically redirect incoming mail to sensible places — student email gets top priority, for instance, a couple of listservs get their mail shuffled off to a convenient holding pen, mail from family members gets its own place, etc. Spam is currently not a problem; I’ve set up all my email accounts to forward through gmail, where the spam gets held up and eventually discarded, and I never even have to look at it.
I get a lot of email, even without spam. Every three months or so, I toss everything out of email and into a new OS folder just for archiving purposes, and reset everything to a mostly clean slate. It’s been a couple of months now, and I’ve got roughly 100,000 messages in Mail. I know. It’s unreal. Why all these people want to send me mail, I don’t know, but there it is.
Now here’s the problem: Mail can’t handle it. The software just gets slower and slower and s l o w e r, until, like now, it’s at the point where I get a message that I’ve got incoming mail, I click on the folder where it’s stored, and I can go fix a pot of coffee while Mail struggles and strains to just display the gorram list of messages. If I look at the processes, Mail is eating 80-90% of the CPU time for several minutes to show me one folder full of messages. And don’t tell me to just throw out all the accumulated mail: I’ve tried. I’m trying right now. I said to myself, OK, this folder with 10,000 messages in it? Goodbye. I selected all, hit delete, and waited — for two hours. Now it’s in Mail’s trash folder. I select “empty trash” and … wait another two hours.
Mac Mail is no good if you are trying to cope with a lot of email. It’s dead, dead, dead as far as I’m concerned. I’ve begun to actively hate Mail — it’s my daily enemy.
So someone tell me what nice, sensible GUI mail reader is out there for Mac OS X that is actually intelligent about managing large volumes. Gmail is nice, but I want something that will let me deal with mail offline.
Post it here, though. Please, please don’t email me suggestions, unless you really want to make me cry.