Dear Santa, My Perfect Email System

The most important feature of my email client is that it allows me to deal effectively with incoming mail for many addresses. I would love to have just one email address to cover all facets of my online existence, but I don't. I have lots. Let's say I own and run 3 domains - a.com, b.com and c.com. At the moment all mail to these domains is forwarded to my Mac.com account and picked up using the Mail.app client, or online. The problem is that Mail.app assumes one identity when replying to all messages. If you mail me at any of the domains (i.e something@b.com) and I reply you will then see a different transient address (i.e. myacount@mac.com). Not only is this confusing for the receiver ("Which address should I mail you at Jake?") it looks unprofessional if the mail were to a business domain. It also means lost mail if I drop this transient account in the future and people still think that address is your most recent.

What I really really want my perfect mail client to do is use some common sense. If I reply to a message I want it to appear that the reply was sent from the same address as it was sent to. If a message arrives for john@a.com and I reply it has got to look like I am sending the reply as john@a.com. The same applies to all addresses at all domain. I've searched in vain for a mail client that has the option "Set From address in replied equal to original message's SendTo address".

I would be happy if this were the only criteria met but I also want the system to store all my mail in one place. This would preferably be on a server as I would also like to login from wherever I may be. Hence the online client also needs the above addressing feature. Least important but still a factor is the look of the client. It must look good. Mail.app fits the bill but it has the usability issues of the Mac. I want a nice-looking, lightweight program to run on Windows and help me manage my email madness. Bayesian spam filtereing would be nice as well.


  1. Hi Jake,

    "Set From address in replied equal to original message's SendTo address".

    Eudora mail does that, I have more than 10 mail accounts set-up and when I reply it gives me as default the address that was on the SendTo .. cool cause you don't always remember to which accounts it reached you.

    it has anti spam stuff, statistics is a funny tool : shows you the day you sent the more messages, and how many you received per month, etc...

    the bad side is the UI, you can't close window by pressing Esc.. that's what I hate, and the editor is quite poor

    I think there is a server issue but I don't use it.

    I mainly use a Yahoo account for webmail and it has the same functionnality

    "Set From address in replied equal to original message's SendTo address".

    if you have pay the first package (not the free mail, ~30$ a year)

    • avatar
    • Jake
    • Wed 26 Nov 2003 05:30

    Thanks Francois. Sounds like just what I need. Will have a look and report back. I already use Yahoo! so maybe I just need to upgrade.

    • avatar
    • Jake
    • Wed 26 Nov 2003 05:47

    OK, I've upgraded my storage space but don't see an option to set the From field. Is it because i use yahoo.co.uk do you think?

    • avatar
    • Jake
    • Wed 26 Nov 2003 06:16

    Can't see the option in Eudora either Francois. Going to ask on the Thunderbird forums whether I can do it with that or not.

    • avatar
    • Marie
    • Wed 26 Nov 2003 06:45

    You can do just that with MS Outlook. I manage multiple account within outlook and either by detecting the address the mail was send to I can put in the correct folder, ... (with Outlook 2003 you have also the paradigm of views like in Notes so every unread can be read at one place). Upon reply, its detecting the account it was sent to and you can bypass that by choosing the correct account in the message window.

    I am no Microsoft worshipper but I have to say that this app is great. You can add a open source plug-in to filter spam since the basic one is far from perfect.

    I hope this can help you.

    • avatar
    • Jake
    • Wed 26 Nov 2003 06:52

    Marie. I know what you mean but I don't think it's the solution I need. Your solution relies on there being an "account" that you can choose when sending the reply. Each account has a set address associated with it. What I want is NO set address. Imagine with owning a domain that you can receive mail to a huge number of addresses. a@a.com, b@a.com, c@a.com etc etc. With your approach you would need the same number of accounts. One for each possibility. Obviously not practical.

    • avatar
    • Marie
    • Wed 26 Nov 2003 07:16

    Hi currently use that for managing incoming mail from 6 different domains (one of them potentially receiving to over 100 addresses).

    I agree it would have been neat to do no setup. But now to prevent spam, a lot of mail engines are doing test on the mail enveloppe rather than on the send to SMTP field. And relying on a 'fake' send to address will soon be less and less allowed.

    You only have to do the setup once, disable most of the accounts in the automatic Send and Retrieve config. For most of my domain, I did set up one 'official account' to answer known person and a dummy account just for use with newsletters, shopping, ... It's not so tricky.

    As I stated on my previous post (after re-read it's not so obvious - I apologize for my poor english), Outlook is intelligent enough to guess when replying which account suits best. You can even do rewrite rules for outgoing mail if it's not enough.

    I know it seems a bit unpractical but once it's been set up, it's really a time saver.

    PS: the anti-spam is available there : {Link}

  2. Jake,

    I think what you want is to avoid creating every accounts on the client to be able to see it in the FROM when you reply.

    In that case : I get it, it's true that I had to setup every account in either Eudora or Yahoo, eg:

    - if I receive a mail to francois@mydomain.net and I have setup its account, when I reply it would set the FROM with this same email.

    - however if a dumb spammer sends me mail to fr5ezd8f@mydomain.net and I reply, neither client would use this email account as the FROM address but they would use the DEFAULT email, as they can't find an account for that.

    To the question Yahoo.co.uk : no much difference, I usually use mail.yahoo.com, but try to log on to mail.yahoo.fr it should work ;-)

  3. Jake,

    I use Thunderbird every day for my 3 POP email accounts. I personally have all of the mail delivered to three separate folders, but no matter what, when I reply, it goes out from the proper address.



    • avatar
    • Marie
    • Wed 26 Nov 2003 12:12


    I 've found one software that may correspond to your requirements. It's Pegasus Mail (see here : {Link} It's not very userfriendly (I would say it's a client for techies) but it has a neat feature in your case : you configure one account and within that account you can define has many identities you wish. The switch between identities is done from the toolbar and is assumed for all your outgoing mail until the next switch. The mail will assume a from like <new identity>@regulardomain.com. It consumes about 6.5 Mo in memory (lite compared to Outlook or Notes).

    • avatar
    • Jake
    • Wed 26 Nov 2003 12:40

    Thanks Marie. I'll take a look and see if it fits the bill.

    • avatar
    • Kamal Rij
    • Wed 26 Nov 2003 12:42

    This link is for People who want to check their yahoo mail (free account) on a POP client.

    YahooPOPs---> {Link}

  4. I used the Becky! client for a while and one thing you can do is when you're replying to an email (or sending a new one for that matter) you can specify any email address as the From: by clicking on the Headers button in the Compose window. From there you can modify and add headers that will be in your email.

    Granted, it's not automatic (I didn't explore the client enough to find out if there was an option) and a little clumsy but it's suitable for one-off items, e.g. you signed up on a webform to a mailing list using mailing-list-name@a.com and they insist that you use the same email address for unsubscribing, etc. If you have a need to regularly use a certain address you can easily set up identities.

  5. If you have multiple accounts (with different identites and return addresses) setup in mail.app then it will allow you to select any of the different account identities to reply to any mail.

  6. There is only one answer:

    mutt: {Link}

    mutt is the king of email clients. With mutt you can do ANYTHING

    • avatar
    • Lee
    • Wed 26 Nov 2003 23:01

    Jake, I've spent a fair amount of time with both Pegasus mail and Thunderbird, and examined the Outlook 2003 feature list. While I haven't taken time to consider your exact requirements with line by line detail, I think you'll find Thunderbird very worthy indeed, and Pegasus is no slouch either. Amazingly, both are free.

    In fact, simply in terms of countering spammer hacks, which is why the NY Times recommends Outlook 2003 as the *sole* reason for upgrading to Office 2003, Thunderbird matches Outlook 2003 head on! I've been using it to configure two of my clients' workstations and accounts, and I must say, I've never come across a finer client, and pretty to look at too. It's got all the features, and no real bloat.

    All that I said, I'm pretty sure Thunderbird *can* meet your specific requirements. Probably the only reason I haven't switched myself, is I'm married to Notes' replication and web options, and haven't bothered to adjust to a single client, and whether to leave mail on the server, etc. Otherwise, it's the best IMO.

    • avatar
    • Jake
    • Thu 27 Nov 2003 03:37

    Justin. Mail.app is like most other clients that let you change the account you are sending from. But it would mean having an account setup for every possible address you want to send from.

    Andrew. Mutt is exactly that - mutt ugly.

    Lee. I've gone with Tunderbird in the end ;o)

  7. Hi

    Why not just use a location document for each different mail account each having its own internet adress?

    Just a click and you hvae a different sender!



  8. Jake, mutt's beauty is sublime. If you can get over a terminal like interface, you realise all mail clients should be like mutt.

    ...and it seems it's the only one that can do what you want :P

  9. Hey Jake, the Yahoo! upgrade you need is MailPlus. Just upgrading your storage space will not allow you to do the feature Francois had mentioned. With MailPlus, not only do you get this cool feature I LOVE, AddressGuard, more storage space and the ability to set any addresses in AddressGuard and other pop accounts you configure to reply to sender with, this should solve what you're looking for.

  10. I'm not a grammar snob, but I *am* s *spelling* snob. You spelled grammar incorrectly ("grammer") in your introduction

  11. dear santa i am a very good girll this year and i wish to have a gift ples send me an e mail if you are the reyel santa or not do not see my dic

    • avatar
    • Ace
    • Thu 30 Nov 2006 04:50 PM

    How to adjust mozila thunderbird to read and send e-mail from my yahoo account

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