Using Smart Folders in Mail to Stay Organised

Do you find it difficult keeping up with emails from various important contacts because you are inundated with loads of emails every day?

Well there is a great way to organise your e-mails in Mail, called Smart Mailboxes these are a form of smart folder used to hold data from various sources and display it in the one place. Smart mailboxes are “virtual folders” used, in this instance to keep an index of emails or contacts that are then accessible in one place by parameters set by you. Smart Mailboxes are set up using search criteria, which operate automatically through Apple’s search engine Spotlight.

Creating a Smart Mailbox

On the bottom left in Mail there is a small plus sign. Click on it and a menu will appear as in Figure 1, click on New Smart Mailbox.

New Smart Mail Box Menu
Figure 1: First Menu

When the menu shown below appears, the Smart Mailbox Name is highlighted so give the new mailbox a suitable name. Then select the rules you want the mailbox to filter. These are the dropdown menus such as Contains or that match in Figure 2.

Rules Smart Mailbox
Figure 2: Creating a New Smart mailbox

Take a quick look at the list of the options by clicking on the drop down menu as in the image below:

Choosing parameters Smart Mailboxes
Figure 3: Creation of a Smart Mailbox.

As you can see there are many options to filter, you can create very complex rules. Once created with the rules set. In this instance to the defaults as shown in Figure 2. Click OK.  Now click on the new mailbox, it may be blank for an instance as it searches for the data from various sources.

You can set up Smart Mailboxes for anything important and when required change the rules on the mailbox to reflect your needs. They are a great way to organize your days e-mails and contacts.

Before you go

After spending over 20 years working with Macs, both old and new, theres a tool I think would be useful to every Mac owner who is experiencing performance issues.

CleanMyMac is highest rated all-round cleaning app for the Mac, it can quickly diagnose and solve a whole plethora of common (but sometimes tedious to fix) issues at the click of a button. It also just happens to resolve many of the issues covered in the speed up section of this site, so Download CleanMyMac to get your Mac back up to speed today.


About the author


I've been a passionate evangelist for Apple and the Macintosh throughout my working life, my first love was a Quadra 605 working with a small creative agency in the south of Norfolk UK in the mid 1990's, I later progressed to other roles in other Macintosh dominated industries, first as a Senior graphic designer at a small printing company and then a production manager at Guardian Media Group. As the publishing and printing sector wained I moved into Internet Marketing and in 2006 co-founded blurtit.com which grew to become one the top 200 visited sites in the US (according to Quantcast), at its peak receiving over 15 million visits per month. For the last ten years I have worked as an Affiliate and Consultant to many different business and start ups, my key skill set being online marketing, on page monetisation, landing page optimisation and traffic generation, if you would like to hire me or discuss your current project please reach out to me here.

You can also follow me on: and

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.