Mac mail advice requested

OK, so I've decided to move to a MacBook Pro 17'' (no retina) as my main workstation. One inevitable change I have to make is in my mail client. After sixteen years the time has come to say goodbye to Eudora.

And that's my question of today: which mail client should I replace it with? I have the following demands:

I tried Opera Mail, which imports Eudora files but ignores my folders and structures my 85,000 or so mails according to ... well, whatever. No desktop metaphor, either. So Opera is out.

I tried Thunderbird, but it doesn't actually import my Eudora files despite promising to.

So what should I try? I'm not sure Apple's native mail client supports Eudora imports because I cannot actually start up the programme without giving all kinds of information.

Please tell me which mail clients to consider. Thanks.

This is the blog of Peter-Paul Koch, mobile platform strategist, consultant, and trainer. You can also follow him on Twitter.
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1 Posted by Isaka on 20 June 2012 | Permalink

Apple's Mail (shipped out of the box) is just fine. To remember myself to reply to emails I just leave them open on the desktop. If you restart Mail or your computer it will automatically restore any open windows. That sounds like what you talked about.
One drawback: over time, I find that starting and stopping Mail can become annoyingly slow. But I rarely do that, as my workaround.

Alternative: I know people quite happy with Sparrow Mail client, worth a look took: look for 'sparrow mail app'

2 Posted by Rijk on 20 June 2012 | Permalink

I've no clue what you mean by 'desktop' in relation to a mail client. Haven't ever used Eudora myself. Opera Mail users will tend to leave messages that they still need to reply to as unread, so they show in the prominent Unread view. By automatically creating mailing list and contact views, the need for manual organisation is lessened. But it is correct that if you have created an elaborate folder structure, that will not get imported, and you'll have to create labels with filter rules yourself. As I work on qa for Opera Mail, I'm aware it is not perfect :)

3 Posted by Ben Combee on 20 June 2012 | Permalink

Have you tried PostBox? http://www.postbox-inc.com/

It's based on Thunderbird, so it should be able to import a lot of your history. I've not used it much myself, however.

4 Posted by Julio Loayza on 21 June 2012 | Permalink

I moved from Eudora (with 12 years of mail) to Mail.app three years ago and it was quite straight fordward. It's true that years before I had moved most accounts from POP to IMAP (Google Apps) and hence it was such an easy migration for them, but for those that still remained in POP was easy too. Just import and that's all.

But filters... I'm afraid you will have to rewrite them as I don't remember any option to import filters. Anyway, it's worth the change. Mail is a very good application. I've never missed any Eudora feature at all.

Also let me recommend you Dockstar, a plug-in I can't live without :-)

Good luck!

5 Posted by S├ębastien on 21 June 2012 | Permalink

Did you try postbox (http://www.postbox-inc.com/)? You have a trial to test it out and see if it works for you.
Here you have some instructions to get your data from Eudora: http://support.postbox-inc.com/entries/482200-import-email-from-eudora

Hope this helps!

6 Posted by Adrian Gonzales on 21 June 2012 | Permalink

Forgive me if I missed something, but Eudora is available for OS X as well.

https://wiki.mozilla.org/Eudora_OSE

7 Posted by Ellen Herzfeld on 21 June 2012 | Permalink

I used Eudora for years but moved to Mail in 2007, after looking at all the alternatives that existed at the time. One thing that made me choose Mail was the single message-per-file format that is well adapted to Time Machine backups and Spotlight searches.

At the time I used Eudora Mailbox Cleaner (http://homepage.mac.com/aamann/Eudora_Mailbox_Cleaner.html) to get my over ten years worth of mail transferred correctly. I remember being very happy to find that utility but it requires Rosetta to run on Intel machines which means that it will not run under MacOS X 10.7 (one good reason not to wait too long before abandoning discontinued software).

With Mail I use Mail tags and Mail Act-on for powerful filtering. I'm quite happy with it and find no reason to investigate anything else.

The "Eudora for OS X" mentioned by Adrian Gonzales (Post 6) is actually just a skin for Thunderbird.

Hope this helps a tiny bit.

8 Posted by ppk on 21 June 2012 | Permalink

I owe you an update.

PostBox and Eudora for Mac are just skins over Thunderbird, and Thunderbird cannot import Eudora files. (There were some fascinatingly complicated instructions somewhere to get it to import them anyway, but I didn't bother.)

I have finally selected Apple's default Mail.app as my email program. It imported my Eudora files (after I'd moved them to my Mac; it didn't really work over a network connection to my Windows box), but not my filters. Ah well, I will slowly re-implement those filters that I still need.

Apple Mail is not perfect. For instance, I cannot set up a filter that filters all mails that are not caught by another filter; it seems I can by repeating Mail is Not In Mailbox for every smart mailbox I have, but it doesn't actually work.

Still, I will have to get used to it. My Eudora times are over.

Thanks for all the good advice.