Apple Mail on Autopilot

I’m trying to add some rules to handle certain types of email such as retailers or newsletters that I care about when time allows. Often after a couple of days the contents are no longer valid. I can’t see a way to set rules for certain senders to be deleted after some period of time. I would appreciate the guidance of this esteemed group of folks.

Thank you,

The obvious way to do this would be to create a rule that routes relevant messages to a “Promotions” mailbox/ folder and attach a rule to that box that deletes messages more that X days old. Unfortunately you can’t do this using only, not least because you can’t attach a rule to a mailbox/ folder.

However, I’m fairly sure you can achieve what you want with the SmallCubed MailTags add-in.

Instead of routing promptional messages to a mailbox/folfder, create a tag (for example “Promotion”) and a Mail rule that attaches that tag to relevant messages. The rule could be triggered on the basis of sender or message content or some combination of both. You could also have the rule move the message to a folder or, my choice, create a smart mailbox that collates messages tagged as “Promotion”.

Next, create a second rule that applies only to messages tagged with “Promotion” which deletes the message if it is more than X days old, e.g.

if ALL of the following conditions are met:
MailTags Keyword is equal to Promotion +
Date Received is greater than 7 days old
Delete Message

Hope that helps. There may well be alternative plug-ins that can do better rule management than the stock, but I’ve not investigated. SmallCubed have their MailActOn plug-in that comes with their package. I don’t have it installed so I don’t know if it allows rules to be attached to particular mailbox/ folder, if it does it’s probably a better choice than MailTags. If anyone knows of a way of attaching rules to particular folders in the stock, please post as I’d find it very useful!

Unfortunately, Mail Act-On does not allow rules to be attached to folders other than In ox and Outbox. Neither does any other plug-in I’ve found. And I’ve looked hard. Nor does anything allow rules to be applied on a schedule.

That’s where I’ve used Keyboard Maestro to help. I want my Mac mini at home to apply Mail Tags to various items. We use Office 365 at work and Outlook can’t create some of the rules I want. In my case I want to assign “internal” and “external” categories/keywords/tags to messages and mail has an “any recipient does not contain” condition. I’ve set the folders I want to Act On (pun intended) as favorites so they can be accessed by hot key and I’ve created rules for inbox/outbox/act-on. Act-On rules get hot keys and I’ve added a keyboard shortcut to “Apply Outbox Rules” so everything can be done using shortcuts.

I then use a KM macro to activate mail, send the keystroke for a folder I want to use, send the keystroke to select all messages in that folder, the send the keystroke to run the appropriate rule set. A periodic trigger fires off the rule at regular intervals, so even when I’m at work, my messages get tagged appropriately.