Last Friday I said I was going to make do with using various clients to manage my mail. A week later and it's all changed. Thanks (again!) to Prominic I am now accessing my Notes mail via POP. At first I had ruled this out, as one of my wishes was that my mail .nsf file be kept online and act as a permanent store. This is still the case. It took my some time and there were some teething problems but I now send all mail using Thunderbird.
So far I am loving it. After using the Notes mail client for so long, Thunderbird is a breath of fresh air. Everything a mail client should be! And if there's something you want it to do on top of that, there's every chance you can get it, simply by asking. The thing with open-source projects like Thunderbird is that they're developed by you and me, so they include all the features you and I want.
Thunderbird comes with Bayesian spam filtering. I am training it at the moment. Pat on the head and a biscuit every time it gets one. No server add-ons needed. Just mark them as spam and Thunderbird soon gets the idea.
It's not all good though. There are pros and cons. While I get to keep a copy of the incoming mail in my .nsf the same isn't true of outgoing mail. My nsf no longer acts as a record of who I've replied to. It's also tricky sending back spam deletions to the nsf file via POP. If I manually delete the spam it's removed from the Notes inbox. If Thunderbird deletes it for me, before reaching the inbox, the deletion is not replicated. To save having an nsf full of spam I will have to keep to pressing the "delete all spam" button every now and then.
Filtering spam is all very well but it's not the answer. To me the solution is to rid myself of it all together. To do this there's only one way to go about it - change email address! I plan on phasing in a new one over the coming months, which you can only get at by clicking a button (an idea harvested from Simon Willison).
So, there we have it. One less program running on my PC all day long. I can now run Designer and not worry about Notes. Now, if only I could get this to stick....