Initial thoughts on switching to Fastmail

Well, I’ve finally made the jump from Gmail. I agonised over @ryanjamurphy’s excellent Email Service Feature Comparison Table and finally landed on Fastmail. Just wanted to share some thoughts on the transition and why I landed on Fastmail.

First, check out @tjluoma’s guide from Yet another warning about entrusting Gmail (or anyone else) with your email. If you’e at all stuck, just start reading this post. His ‘the hardest step is the first one’ advice is spot on. So just begin with that post.

Setup with Fastmail was easy as can be. I decided to create a @fastmail account and then add my custom domain. Note: Fastmail charges per user rather than per account so in the end I had to add the @fastmail and another domain as aliases to my primary custom domain. This is working flawlessly. I added the alias in Spark so I can receive email in one inbox and send as the alias.

Ok, so the feature that finally convinced me was Masked Email from Fastmail and 1Password. The integration with 1Password is so well done and shows the power of the JMAP protocol. And this is the best part:

I’ve really enjoyed Apple’s implementation of Sign In with Apple and their similar feature Hide My Email, but not all websites offer this. I’m sure this will change with time … but for now I’m enjoying that I can use Fastmail’s Masked Email everywhere and it’s all saved in 1Password.

Finally, here’s a cool article on how to recreate some of Hey’s features in Fastmail. When I tried Hey last year, I really liked their Paper Trail, The Feed, and Reply Later workflow. Here’s how to do that with Fastmail (or any provider that offers robust filters):

So far so good. Glad I made the switch but I’m still curious to read more reviews of iCloud+ and custom domains. The good thing about switching from personal Gmail now is that I’m free to go anywhere with my custom domain setup.

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I have used ProtonMail for a few years. Very Happy!

I, too, have switched to Fastmail.

I’m planning a write-up, but here’s the quick sketch:

Fastmail is the only provider I found that can use contact groups in server-side filters.

This has let me design my own HEY-like system for filtering. I use Airmail custom actions to send unscreened senders into one of several groups via Shortcuts, then have Fastmail filters/rules set up to filter new messages by those groups. I’ve only been playing with this for a few weeks now, but it is robust and effective.

I have cancelled my Google Workspaces (née G Suite) account and started paying for Fastmail.

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I read another article about using contact groups to setup a Hey workflow, and I didn’t understand contact groups versus creating basic filters/rules… what is the difference? Definitely interested in your write-up! :+1:

Briefly: consider the Paper Trail rule proposed in the article above. There’s often messages that don’t quite fit the terms they’ve suggested that would be “paper trail” messages. Conversely, there’s messages that might contain the term “invoice” or whatever that are should actually be screened.

So, I’ve got an Info group. I add contacts into that group, and their status in the group filters the messages.

The nice thing about Fastmail, of course, is that you can do both of these approaches depending on what you’re trying to achieve.

Curious what you did with you GApps mail archive. I’d like to move to Fastmail but have many years of highly searchable history in my GApps.

Importing into Fastmail puts those messages/conversations into your Fastmail account. I also used Google’s export options to extract my entire inbox for backup purposes.

If you use Fastmail’s import tools, you can use both services for a little while. I was also nervous about making the jump, but using both at the same time and figuring these things out slowly was a big comfort.

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I’m still stuck on this and haven’t decided whether or not to import everything to Fastmail or start fresh. I use Gmail on the web to search for old messages.

Meanwhile, I started using Horcrux which was recommended many times here. I like having the backup that I can take anywhere.

Me too gang.

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Seems like October is the switch to Fastmail month… I must resist.

email is fine…email is fine… I must not be tempted by the Fastmail folks lol

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Years ago I imported everything (several years of email; I archive every single mail - except spam) from Gmail into Fastmail.

Search on Fastmail is fine.

Not much later I deleted everything on Gmail and never looked back. No regrets!

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Looking forward to reading your Fastmail Field Guide @MacSparky.

@MereCivilian join us! It’s fun over here. :smiling_imp:

I’ll probably do the same. Good to know search has been fine. It’s going to be hard to delete Gmail…. it’s my last remaining link to Google!

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That was the fun part for me…

But to be honest I think it was not the remaining link, because I believe Fastmail did not have calendar support when I migrated. So the real moment of joy was when I migrated my calendars as well.

A few things to think about when going to Fastmail. If you ever have to use Windows, you can’t sync contacts and calendars. Windows only supports CalDav/CardDav for Google/iCloud Accounts. Also when you using calendar apps (anything outside of Fastmail) you can’t attach anything to the events.

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Windows is still my main OS at home (PC; looking forward to the Apple event on Monday though…) and this never bothered me, because I use Fastmail’s web interface in a browser. Works great!

In fact, I use their web interface on my (work) MacBook Pro too (plus Fantastical…)

Then it is no worry, but something to think about if you like using default apps! One of the best part of Fastmail is how well it works in Apple/Mac/iOS ecosystem!