Tagging your Mail with MailTags

by Giles Turnbull

Some of you might remember my article about Tweaking Apple Mail from earlier this year. In it, I raved about Mail Act-On, Scott Morrison's Mail plugin that lets you add all sorts of smart keyboard shortcuts based on custom rules.

Well, since then Scott's been working on a follow-up, which he officially released today. It's called MailTags and it offers something a bit different. When invoked, MailTags lets you add comments (or Flickr-style tags, if you wish), due dates, and flag markers to individual messages in Mail. You can also create Projects and assign messages to them.

Needless to say, all of this additional data is searchable in Mail and Spotlight, but better still it works perfectly with Act-On and with Mail's own rules functions. You can combine MailTags data with Act-On rules and Smart Folders to create powerful automated workflow assistants.

As a result you can really turn Mail into a clever email management machine, incorporating some of the sorting and management tools that have until now only been seen in big-name apps like Microsoft Entourage.

MailTags stores data inside mail message files. (A future version may use a separate database too.) This means you need to have local message files for MailTags to use, but Scott says that even IMAP users should be able to use the plugin, as long as their email message headers are stored on the local machine.

I've had a play with MailTags during the beta stage and I think it's going to be a very popular tool. Like Act-On, it's donationware; I'd say it was well worth sending a few dollars in Scott's direction if you like what you see.

Had a play? What do you think?