Apple Business Help & Advice Software & Hardware

Got a Mac? A business user how-to guide for Address Book and Mail

So your business is using Macs for the first time, right? Macs OS X is by far Apple’s best operating system, hidden within are some excellent features. Here’s a few simple productivity examples for your Mac…

So your business is using Macs for the first time, right? Macs OS X is by far Apple’s best operating system, hidden within are some excellent features. Here’s a few simple productivity examples for your Mac…

I’ve been using Macs since System 6. Remember that? Most won’t. If you’ve got any concerns about your Mac being up to the task of running your business, then you have zero need to be concerned; most if not all of the office productivity tools and accounting applications for Microsoft Windows are on the Mac, too.

Without further ado, here’s a bunch of Mac tips!

Address Book & Mail

Address Book application iconMail application iconIf you use Mail then you’re also using Address Book; any email addresses you save are stored there. Any time you begin typing an email address and Mail tries to auto-complete, it’s getting that email address from Address Book. So the two applications are very closely linked.


Sending emails to more than one person is pretty easy. All you have to do is type a name, wait for the suggestions to appear, choose the one you want and then hit the return key. But what if you’re constantly sending messages to the same group of people over and over again? Well, that’s what Groups are for!

  1. Go into Address Book and click the plus button in the bottom left of the main window.
  2. Click on the new Group and give it a name.
  3. Now, from the middle column, drag in the items for all of the people you want in that Group.
  4. Go into Mail.
  5. Create a new Message.
  6. Type in the name of the Group into the To field.

Now you’ll see the name of the Group turn into the names / email addresses of all the people in that Group. Simple!

Rules in Mail

Having watched many different people using various email applications, the number one thing that still remains totally underutilized is the feature that allows you to filter emails based on special rules. Apple’s Mail, much like Microsoft Outlook, supports this feature, which are called Rules.

Of course, you could just use a bunch of Smart Mailboxs, but I like have a nested Mailbox structure. So for instance, I would have a Mailbox called Apple, inside which would be a bunch of other Mailboxes for each staff member I’m in contact with, such as Steve Jobs, Jonathan Ive, et cetera.

So when I get an email from Steve, I want it to go straight into his Mailbox. If I get an email from someone at Apple I’ve never dealt with before, I want it to go straight into the parent Mailbox, named Apple.

The process is straight forward, but there are also got plenty of points to complete:

1. Creating a Mailbox

  1. Click on the plus (+) button in the bottom left of your Mail window.
  2. Give your new Mailbox a name.
  3. Now drag & drop the Mailbox wherever you’d prefer it to be.

2. Creating a Rule

  1. Click on the Mail menu and choose Preferences.
  2. Click on the Rules tab and click the Add Rule button.
  3. Give the Rule a name in the Description field.

2.2 A catch-all Rule

Now, if you want a general catch-all Rule:

  1. Below the Description, choose Any from the pop-up menu.
  2. In the two pop-up menus below, choose From and Contains respectively.
  3. In the text field, type: ““, where the end part of the email address is one of your choosing.
  4. Now choose the Mailbox you’d like all the emails that match the Rule to be moved to when it arrives.

2.3 A specific Rule

But if you want a specific Rule:

  1. Follow the instructions in Part 1, dragging & dropping your newly-created Mailbox onto a parent Mailbox.
  2. Follow the instructions in Part 2.2, 1-4, following the example I made earlier; choosing the Mailbox of your choice within the parent Mailbox.

OK, so there’s plenty of stages to this particular Mac tip, but the advantages are many. For a start, you’re going to find your emails much more easy to manage and search by eye. Gone will be the days when you lose emails from people!

But wait! There’s more Mac tips

Yes, there’s more Mac tips to come. In the second installment, I’ll be showing you how to use your iPod Touch like a SatNav and a whole load of handy keyboard shortcuts to keep your productivity high…

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By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

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