Smart mailbox filters

I have a number of smart mailboxes setup. The one I am in the most is “Today” with the goal of getting it down to nothing daily.

I have clients who email me on the weekends which means those new emails aren’t sitting in my Today box on Monday.

I thought I could create a new smart mailbox with the client emails - and I can - but I can’t add the unread flag (because it then grabs every unread email in Mail)

I am still using Sierra mail but I do have a newer machine.

Is there a plugin that would make this work better, or does Mail handle filters better in later OSs?


Create another smart mailbox, “Last n Days,” where n is the maximum number of days is one more than the number you aren’t checking. When you miss checking for a few days, check that instead of Today.

I have several Smart Mailboxes to cover one day, week (7 days), or month (31 days).

By the way, if you have complex logic involving ‘and’ and ‘or’ logic, creating a cascade of smart mailboxes to get what you want is perfectly reasonable.

1 Like

Hi Alan - I have one for Week and Month, but too much gets swept up in there, like eBay, craigslist and Tidbits. A few days away and things really pile up.

I guess I will have to play with your cascade idea - I just want to watch for certain email addresses but I don’t want to see them from the beginning of Mail time on this computer.


I have one which captures all emails in my Inbox with ‘unsubscribe’ in them, sorted by sender. I select all, quickly scan for useful ones, cmd-click to deselect those, and then I just archive. Then I go to my inbox.

That’s a great idea for mail lists! I swear I get triples from some of them every day.

I’m trying to gather my clients into their own box and they all have different emails/domains. And once they are read I don’t need them in that box anymore. That’s why I thought a Smart box would work.

While most of my clients use a specific email I setup, not all of them do which is why I want to gather them in one place until complete. Because some don’t work normal weekday hours and my “today” box can miss them. And some days I am working on a project and shut down email before the end of the day. Right now I have 4 emails from someone in my Today that I won’t touch till tomorrow.

Sometimes in the morning I forward them back to myself so they are back in Today but that’s a little tedious.


I see this phrase starting in Big Sur (Apple Help). Does this mean and/or works in Big Sur or later?

"Set the scope of multiple conditions: If you have at least two conditions, a pop-up menu appears that lets you choose whether an email must meet any or all of the conditions to be included in the Smart Mailbox.”


You can use ALL (=and) or you can use ANY (=or), but not both. But you can get some pretty sophisticated logic, even without using what @aforkosh called “cascading” mailboxes.

For example:
Put all your client’s emails into a Contacts Group. Then,

if All conditions:

  • Sender is member of group Clients
  • Date last viewed is In the last 3 days

Or you could use “Date received in the last n days”. Whatever works for you.

I’ll give that a shot. I did some digging and see that in newer OS’s there is a read/unread option in View/Filter which I don’t have.

You right, I am looking for ANY of the specified email addresses AND all unread messages and Mail just doesn’t allow that.


Ok - that does work. I feel like it’s going to mess up my phone contacts but if it will help me keep my client emails under control I’m all for it. Thanks!

Sounds like this might help:

(Assuming you don’t have too many clients)

I have this set up for my parents and SO and it works well but I don’t want it cluttered up with client emails, that would be way too many.

I’m doing the group thing but that’s tedious. Too bad no one made a plugin that could handle and/or!


1 Like