Working more effectively with "threads" in mail

I know that we have plenty of postings on mail apps for macOS. I have a specific frustration and hope that I might cut through the plethora of discussions to find a quick, effective answer.

I am using Apple Mail. My frustration remains that I cannot easily manage discussion “threads” as incoming+sent. It seems that, when I want to move a thread, I have to move the incoming messages (e.g. to a specific Google label/folder or a local folder), switch views, and then move the sent messages. When I get a “one-off” email, respond to it, and want to delete the incoming+sent, I have to delete the incoming, switch views, and then delete the sent.

It seems that I have four options from what I can gather:

  • Live with it (ugh!)
  • Use a different mail app (which one?)
  • Incorporate a plug-in (which one?)
  • Write a script (or use an existing script)
  • ??? → do something magic that I did not know about Apple Mail

To the third case, I have the SmallCubed MailSuite installed, primarily for the Perspectives view that it affords. In the fourth case, I am conversant with AppleScript that I could manage to re-cast something that exists into something that does what I want.

Thoughts and comments?


Outlook understands this. I’m actually liking using it, and getting ready to pull the plug on Mail for my personal accounts too.

Here’s another thing I like. In the message list, when you hover over a message, you can click a button to quickly handle some of your mail. Delete, Archive, Flag shown here.

Screen Shot 2021-10-27 at 9.37.14 AM

I think if you use the Tags feature of MailTags you will be able to see and move all components of a conversation inside a Tag, and then select and move all the message. The Projects feature can be used the same way.

Maybe test this with your own data to be sure?

Interesting. I am hesitant to use Outlook. The reviews suggest it is not a reliable macOS citizen.

I found Projects to require a bit more thinking through than my time allotted. I’ll have a look at it again and try tagging as well.



It’s working well for me so far.
I relented to the evil (data collection) that they perpetrate to let me use their email client.

I wonder if you have a workaround for dealing with the lack of deep linking for threads. While I think Outlook is great, this function alone keeps me in Mail.

What is this?

Does Mail have the ability to grab a link to a “thread”? Must be a really deeply hidden feature.

It doesn’t, indeed. There’s the link to the selected message feature we all know and love. (I guess that dresses @JohnAtl question as well).

That said, there’s a way to open the whole thread from that message window. It took me a while to figure out, so I’ll lay it out for those who are interested: when clicking, on the menu, View > Show Related Messages. Then the message window will display these messages in “cards” into the window (as seen in the screenshot bellow), that can also be selected through the left/right arrow keys.

My gripe with Outlook is that there’s no way to get a link to open a given thread/message later (such as our beloved message: links), except for the Microsoft To Do app or the Todoist plugin for Outlook.