While you can use Mail.app with Gmail, it has a lot of issues. I’m not a fan of Gmail in a web browser, either, though I do use it for other things. I like having an app separate to my browser where I can read email. Gmail was built for … well … the browser. It’s never really been a happy marriage to Mail.app, and that’s because Gmail’s IMAP isn’t really IMAP.
This is an app based on the open source Thunderbird, but I find it much easier to use. It has a Windows and Mac client, and it looks clean. Since the recent update this year, it’s a purchase I’m happy to have made.
I currently have two email accounts, one is my Gmail account and one is my ipstenu.org email… Except that second email actually houses a dozen aliases. They all get funneled to different folders based on which alias they’re sent to (or who sent the email at all). My goal was to have only my important emails land in my inbox, which basically means my wife or my family.
Postbox pretty much just works for me. It’s well documented for how to configure for gmail and it lets me use my keyboard to navigate between folders. I love the arrow keys to go up and down and see what my email is.
About the only thing that annoys me is there’s a random
[Gmail] folder I can’t seem to get rid of. Also you have to be careful about the Gmail All Mail folder being too large but that’s really a problem with Gmail more than any app. In fact, it’s most of why Mail.app is so terrible to use with Gmail.
Postbox isn’t perfect. It can suck up a lot of memory, and there is some hands-on configuration. This is no ‘set it an forget it’ email client, but again, that’s back to Gmail being a giant moron with regards to IMAP. When compared with Mail.App, I find it more reliable if you have multiple accounts, but also if you have a lot of dynamically sorted folders. Like I do.
If you’re just using one Gmail account, or you don’t have a complex set of filters and rules, this is overkill. But if you do, give Postbox a try. It has a free trial after all.