I was recently reading about different strategies for streamlining the processing of emails in Mail, and multiple sources suggested a smart mailbox populated with recently viewed emails. Here's one such source for the sake of example.
I agreed that this seemed useful, so I created a smart mailbox inventively called "Recently Viewed," with the settings shown in the following image.
Seems pretty straightforward. However, this mailbox appears to behave erratically. It includes some emails I view, but not others, in a pattern whose logic I have not yet been able to discern. That is, I can look at email A, then check the Recently Viewed smart mailbox, and email A appears there, at the top of the list. Then, I can go look at email B, and check the smart mailbox again, only to find that email B is not present.
I always assume user error – that is, my error – until I feel confident I've eliminated that possibility. As such, I tried to determine the cause of this seemingly strange behavior. Here are some factors I considered:
My first thought was that there was some threshold for considering an email "viewed," which I was only occasionally meeting. To this end, I tried all of the following, in lots of combinations, to see if I could reliably cause a message to be marked as viewed (as indicated by its appearance in the Recently Viewed smart mailbox).
- "Look" at the email for a while. That is, keep it open and in the foreground for a minute or two.
- Scroll to the bottom of the email.
- Open the email in a new window by double-clicking it.
- Reply to the email.
- Follow a link in the email.
None of these could reliably make the email appear in the smart mailbox – some seemed to work, sometimes, but none worked every time, or even half the time, telling me they are not the critical elements.
I use the setting Organize by Conversation (View -> Organize by Conversation). I thought that maybe this was confusing Mail somehow, so I turned it off. This did not fix the issue.
I tried the requisite restart Mail and restart computer, just to be sure.
Can anyone explain this behavior? Is this buggy, or, as I suspect, am I doing something foolish?
- Mail 6.3 (1503)
- OS X 10.8.3