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Google adds another opt-in feature to its roster of Gmail Labs experiments: Advanced IMAP Controls, a way to selectively decided which of your Gmail labels are available to your IMAP client plus other tweaks. With the new feature enabled, go to the Labels tab under your Gmail account’s Settings area to select and de-select “Show in IMAP” on a per-label basis. Google describes a few other “obscure” IMAP features you can configure, as well.
Editor: Being digital vagabonds without an Exchange server, we Lifehacker writers use online apps like Gmail and Google Calendar to get things done. But can an Outlook user make the switch without losing out? Guest contributor Jared Goralnick’s here today to take a look. Gmail launched in 2004 and has matured each year, but Microsoft Outlook (with Exchange) is still the most popular tool for accessing email. Comparing the two side by side, is it time to jump ship from either platform? Let’s find out.
If you’ve set up IMAP access to Gmail in Outlook, you may have noticed that using flags in Outlook and stars in Gmail creates a duplicate set of tasks in your sidebar. The How-To Geek shows you how to fix that distraction, using a little creative filtering. The trick can be extended to multiple email accounts, and whether you bring Gmail into your All Mail folder or not. Hit the link for the Geek’s helpful run-through. Prevent Outlook with Gmail IMAP from Showing Duplicate Tasks in the To-Do Bar [The How-To Geek]
Managing the daily onslaught of incoming email with filing systems, keyboard shortcuts, and batch processing will only get you so far. When a flurry of new email snows you in within an hour of every inbox sweep, it’s time to dig in and get to the source of your email traffic. You’ve accumulated a sizable email archive over the years, and a new breed of analysis tool can extract meaningful statistics from that data to help you conquer email overload. Who sent you the most email messages last year? What hour of the day do you receive the most new messages? Which of all the mailing lists you’re on are the most active? A new command line tool called Mail Trends works with Gmail over IMAP and can give you all that information and more.
All platforms: Normally we don’t feature individual widgets that require downloading a separate engine to run them, but the Informer Yahoo Widget might be worth the effort. Place system monitoring tools right on your desktop with Informer, like Wi-Fi signal strength, system uptime, and disk use. Keep tabs on your favourite web site feeds and inboxes with RSS and email notifications for Yahoo Mail, Gmail, and any other POP or IMAP account. Add shortcuts to local folders, favourite web sites and images as well with Informer. Check out Cybernet News’ walkthrough of what you can do with this full-featured widget, which is a free download for Mac or Windows and requires the Yahoo Widget Engine to run.Informer [Yahoo! Widgets via Cybernet News]
Firefox only: Somewhere between web-based email and a standalone desktop client there’s Simple Mail, a Firefox extension that embeds an email client right inside a Firefox tab. Manage all your messages in Simple Mail, which can notify you of new incoming messages at a rate you define for any number of POP or IMAP email accounts. Simple Mail lists your messages in a familiar three-paned view where you can read, compose, and send messages, as well as maintain an address book. I had trouble getting Simple Mail to work with Gmail and IMAP in Firefox 3 on the Mac, but all went well in Firefox 2/Windows, so Mac users, proceed with caution. Simple Mail is missing features you’d expect in a full-blown client—in fact, I couldn’t get it to see the folders on Gmail’s IMAP server. However, it does give you that desktop feel without having to run or switch to a separate application. Simple Mail is a free download for Firefox only. Thanks, Masa! Simple Mail [Firefox Add-ons]
A Lifehacker reader in the Army reserves says the military is transitioning from POP to IMAP email access, so he wants to know how he can continue to use Gmail instead of the Army’s limited-space solution. Support our troops! Get the full story after the jump and offer up any solutions you might have for getting IMAP mail into Gmail.
Have you or someone you know stuck with Hotmail through even its Windows Live rebirth but now yearns to jump into Gmail? Tech blog Digital Inspiration suggests using both Outlook and a free download to get the job done: Install the Outlook connector and then configure your MSN Hotmail / Windows Live Hotmail accounts with Outlook. Once you have all your Hotmail email message available locally inside Outlook, configure Gmail IMAP access inside Outlook. Now copy or just drag-n-drop the Hotmail folders (downloaded in Step 1) over your Gmail Inbox folder in Outlook.
If you’re still catching the occasional mail at that address, you could just read your Hotmail from Gmail. You can also, of course, use Gmail’s IMAP friendliness to import messages from almost any mail client.Easily Transfer Emails from Hotmail to Gmail Via Outlook Connector [Digital Inspiration]
One of the nicest things about IMAP in Gmail—which can download and upload messages to the server, versus POP’s download-only—is that you can drag and drop folders of messages into Gmail using any IMAP client. Over at the Draconis Software blog, reader Ryan had about 10,000 messages in Apple Mail he wanted to store in Gmail. He writes: It was simple: I merely added Gmail as an IMAP account to my Apple Mail client, then just dragged folder-by-folder all the messages important to me onto my Gmail account. It took a while to transfer all the messages (be sure to open the Activity window in Mail to see your progress), but once it was done, all my old messages were safely stored in Gmail and had their original dates! Perfect!
Unlike pre-IMAP methods of importing messages, like Ryan says, using IMAP will preserve the messages’ original dates. If you’re not using Apple Mail, check out how to turn Thunderbird into the ultimate Gmail IMAP client.Switching to Gmail [Draconis Software Blog]