My latest at ProfHacker: Managing Multiple Accounts with Airmail

Airmail envelopes and stampsEmail. For many of us, it’s a big part of our daily lives. (Be sure to see Natalie’s post from last week about helpful ways to think about email.) Given that, it’s important to be able to access and process email in ways that work efficiently for us.

Some people only have one email account, and find that a web interface is all that they really need. Others like to use a desktop client so that they have a copy of their email on a hard drive. Still others prefer to use a desktop client because they have multiple email accounts, and want to be able to manage them all in one place.

I’m in that latter category, and recently had to switch desktop clients because I acquired yet another email account (which wasn’t my preference, but it couldn’t be avoided). Forwarding that account to one of my other addresses was a possibility, but there were some good reasons to keep the account separate.

My first thought was to just add the account to Postbox, the client I was already using. It’s a client with a lot going for it, as we’ve noted before in this space. My current favorite task manager, ToDoist, even has a plugin for it. GMail’s keyboard shortcuts work with it, too, which was a real timesaver, since most of my accounts are of the Google variety.

There was just one catch, as it turned out. The new email account is an Exchange account. Most unfortunately, Postbox can’t handle Exchange’s native protocols. Apple’s own Mail app does, which meant it could handle all of my accounts — but then I couldn’t use the keyboard shortcuts.

So I started looking for a new client, to see if there was one that had the two features that were non-negotiable for me: Exchange support and support for GMail’s shortcuts. I found one for the Mac: Airmail. It’s not free, but it’s currently roughly the same price as Postbox: $9.99 (word is the price will eventually increase to $19.99).

It’s working well for me. Adding my accounts was simple, and keyboard shortcuts work as expected. Dates in messages can be turned into Calendar events, and there’s even a ToDoist plugin (though I’ve not experimented with it yet). It’s a little slow to load messages when the app is first launched, but once it’s up and running it’s very quick.

Airmail meets my needs in an email client, but what about you? What do you look for in a client, and what recommendations do you have for other readers? Let us know in the comments.

[Creative Commons licensed photo by Flickr user Graham Hellewell]

from ProfHacker » Amy CavenderProfHacker – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education

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