Smart Folders


Smart Folders take advantage of Postbox’s powerful Search engine to help you make sure you don’t miss e-mails from important people, or e-mails about anything you need to keep an eye on. They also provide a way to save any Advanced  Search you perform so you can always get to the e-mails you’ve searched for simply by displaying its Smart Folder’s contents.

How a Smart Folder Works

When you set up a Smart Folder, you set up the desired Search criteria. From then on, the Smart Folder continually watches for incoming e-mails that match those criteria. When a matching e-mail arrives, the Smart Folder displays an unread symbol to its right so you know the new e-mail’s come in. You can select the Smart Folder to display its contents and view the e-mail.

Tip: You can drag a Smart Folder onto the Favorites bar to make it even easier to get to.

Note: E-mails aren’t actually moved into the Smart Folder. The Smart Folder merely “sees” the e-mail wherever it’s actually located, most typically your Inbox.

You can create a Smart Folder in either of two ways, either from scratch or by saving an Advanced Search.

Creating a Smart Folder From Scratch

To create a Smart Folder, select File > New > Smart Folder… 

In the window that appears:

  1. Name the Smart Folder.
  2. Select the location for the Smart Folder by selecting the existing folder in which you want it to be. (The enclosing folder’s referred to as the “parent” folder in the popup menu.)
  3. Select the folder you want the new Smart Folder to watch. Most often, this will be the Inbox associated with the parent folder, but it can be any folder you want.
  4. Select whether you want the Smart Folder to search the account’s server in addition to the e-mails Postbox has already downloaded. This may make sense if you’re dealing with an IMAP server or making a Smart Folder for a newsgroup since it gives you the most up-to-date info, but it also makes the Smart Folder a bit less responsive because it has to watch the server continually.
  5. Set up a Search that targets the e-mails you want the Smart Folder to watch for. Search for e-mails a from particular person's e-mail address, for example. (You can learn more about Search in Postbox here.)
  6. Click OK.

Converting an Advanced Search Into a Smart Folder

When you're using Postbox’s Advanced Search feature, you can save your Search by clicking Save as Smart Folder. The Save Search window opens in which you can configure the Smart Folder as desired. See the steps above for creating a Smart Folder from scratch for details.

Note: To perform an Advanced Search, select Edit > Find > *Advanced Search…*, or type (macOS) shift + cmd + k / (Windows) shift + ctrl + k. See Advanced Search for more information.)

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