macOS/iOS Email Client Search

This doesn’t feel like it fits in that thread with the poll about mail clients, so… New Topic!

I’m still trying to find one ring to rule th… err… one email client to rule them all. I keep coming back to and its just not satisfying. No app actually does all that I want, that is:

  • Office365 support.
  • Integration with OmniFocus on iOS.
  • Supports both macOS and iOS, preferably with syncing settings.
  • Robust smart mailboxes support. In particular, I want smart mailboxes that show me messages that I am included on, but specific colleagues are not. That’s apparently a tall order.
  • Rules. Primarily to automatically filter messages into project/client folders.

Maybe somebody here can point out something I missed with the following, or to another app that might fit the bill.

App O365 OF Smart Rules Yes Kinda Kinda Kinda
Outlook Yes No Yes Yes
Newton Yes No No No
Spark Yes Yes Kinda No
Airmail Yes Yes Kinda Yes

I skipped over the apps that are macOS only, like Mailmate and Postbox, because macOS is where does a good job (when supplemented with MailHub, MailTags, and Mail Act-On). I suppose, it’s really a better iOS client that I want, but I’ve had issues previously with mixing and matching mail apps… the URL’s for messages in 3rd party apps are generally specific to that app rather than the default mail client; at one time, I had found a client that allowed you to choose between message: URLs and proprietary, but I can’t recall which it was.

The “kinda” entries in the table above are explained as follows: This whole exercise is to get rid of this one. It’s marked that way because dragging a message from to the notes field in OF3 results in a link that still needs to be manually edited in order to get it to work. OF3 ignores the “message:” part of the resulting URL and doesn’t create the proper link. If I manually go back at enclose the URL in < > it works. Funny what some pain points make you do. macOS only. I have some fairly elaborate filtering set up to drill in to messages needing attention, but I might be able to live with this deficiency if the message URL links worked better in OmniFocus. macOS only.

Spark/Smart: I haven’t figured out how to duplicate any but the most basic filtering in Spark. NOT does not seem to be a valid operator. I’ll call these semi-intelligent folders.

Airmail/Smart: Again, smart isn’t smart enough.

Further thoughts…

It looks like I’m going to be spending a little more time with Airmail to see if I can figure out how to get the smart folders I need. Perhaps a combination of rules and smart folders will work. I sense a support chat in my near future. Also… do rules developed on macOS sync and run on iOS? More to come re Airmail…

I really had hopes for Newton, figuring that an app that costs as much as Microsoft Office for a year ought to be pretty darn robust. I wasn’t very impressed.

I’m only now starting to wonder if I’m picking the wrong tool to complain about. Maybe isn’t the problem and OF is the bad actor since it’s the mail links in OF that are causing me the most heartburn. (Those and pizza from Zachary’s in Oakland. That stuff is heartburn central for me, but it tastes so good.)


with zero experience but a love of email here are my thoughts.

If you are putting the email in OF as a way to know to come back to an email, why not use omnifocus maildrop feature? If you are putting the email in OF to action the contents of the email, why not use omnifocus mail drop :wink:

This is how I capture the email I actually care about, then I go into OF after and neaten up the task names and sort them.

The rest of my email is handled purely by mail rules, (I have over 100) which I am enforcing server side since google is my email backend, but it does strike me that I don’t know a good way to make new rules on device.

My experience says that email, and email clients all kinda suck in one way or another, and that the best methodology is to get the content out of email as fast and as simply as possible.

(Also as a note to developers, I put a small amount of time into looking at making an email client, it looks like it sucks as a heads up)

If you’re using Office 365 as your back end, will it’s server side mail rules do what you need? That would give you more flexibility in your choice of email client.

My issue with Maildrop is that there is a lag between forwarding the message and it appearing in OF. It may only be thirty seconds or so, but it’s enough to be a point of friction. If I’m processing email, I’ve moved on by the time it gets there, so I have to make it a point to go back later and flesh out the task. The apps with direct integration are instantaneous. Admittedly, it’s been a while since I used Maildrop, so I’ll give it another shot. Thanks for the suggestion.

The server side rules with O365 are very good, but they only get me half way there since I’m also using iCloud and IMAP email (which I failed to note in the original post).

Resurrecting this, as I face the same dilemma.

Six months on, the table needs revision. Newton has gone to the great mailroom in the sky. I would add (for me) the ability to work with Spamsieve, which would exclude Spark. I seem to get a lot of spam (most of which I don’t see until I dig in to clear out folders).

I have two workplace emails, plus a gmail account and an icloud account.

When Newton died I switched to Airmail. However between each server’s interpretation of spam, different interpretations of what is or isn’t spam by each client on each device, plus spamsieve working slightly differently on home and work computers its not surprising that some mail gets lost.

Any additional thoughts to the few posts above?