Filter and search
Just like Hogwart’s sorting hat!
GMail now offers users’ 15GB mailboxes. Yahoo similarly offers 1TB of storage space for your messages and attachments. While this is much appreciated, the downside to the vast storage space is that people no longer delete emails. Most email services now enable you to archive mails, or perform a similar function such that the Inbox is reserved only for important messages. This inevitably leads to massive mailboxes that hold tens of thousands of messages over the years.
As you subscribe to more mailing lists and add more contacts, your mail client should make it possible for you to perform filtering operations to automatically sort the different messages into dedicated folders, or apply labels for easy identification. Just as important is the search capabilities, because looking for one particular email from your father from several years ago, when he routinely sends several in a day, can be a daunting ask.
All the clients enable you to create different filters for each configured account. You can set these applications to perform a number of operations such as moving mail to specified folders and applying labels based on different conditions such as from, to, header, BCC, subject, size, attachments, and so on.
When searching for messages, Mailspring provides instantaneous results, offering matching suggestions even as you type in the search box. You can also use advanced GMail-style search queries with the tool, such as ‘in:unread’, etc. ClawsMail can be quite slow when connecting to your existing mail account which already has thousands of messages. The search, although fast, lags behind Thunderbird and Mailspring.
Despite being on a par with all the other three in terms of speed, KMail’s ‘find messages’ feature is disappointingly unintuitive.