Coz we all need a better day sometimes …
1/ Add handy buttons to Mail’s toolbar — If you right- or Control-click on the grey area at the top of Mail’s window (and this is worth trying elsewhere, BTW, ie in the Finder, Safari …), choose Customize Toolbar from the pop-up that appears. You will then find extra buttons you can drag up into your toolbar for easy use.
Some people like ‘Organize by Conversation’ available under the View menu, but if you prefer to look at emails as individual items instead of as long chains of responses, you can use the Show Related Messages button to temporarily show the conversation for the selected email only, which can be really useful.
2/ Redirect — Using Redirect is a different method for forwarding emails when you’d like someone else to respond to them. When you forward a message the usual way, Mail changes the colour of the quoted text and puts the forwarding info at the top. When the person you’ve forwarded it to clicks Reply, it will send the response back to you, as you’re the one who forwarded it. But if you use Redirect, it leaves out all of that quoted text formatting and when the person you’ve redirected the message to clicks Reply, the response goes back to the original sender, just as if the email had been sent to the appropriate person in the first place.
3/ Move — You can always drag-and-drop emails into your mailboxes using the sidebar, but you might prefer the Move button. You just have to select the item you want to file away, and then click the Move button to get quick drop-down list to tell it where to go. For anyone with dexterity problems, this is often easier than dragging and dropping, as you don’t have to simultaneously hold your mouse or trackpad button down while you’re scrolling the sidebar. [These came from the Mac Observer, which has more pictures.]
4/ Back up text substitutions — Open System Preferences, go into the Keyboard option, then click Text. You will then see any keyboard substitutions you have set up (for example, I can type ‘mw’ in anything and my Mac fills out my full, lengthy home email address for me). Select one to modify it (click on one) or choose Command A (while the Command key is held down, press the A key) to select all of them. Now click anywhere on this fully selected list and drag them out to the desktop. This creates a file on the desktop called ‘Text Substituions.plist’. If you ever lose your substitutions, you can just drag-and-drop them back into that same field in System Preferences, so keep this tiny file somewhere safe.
5/ Quick desktop cleanup — Hopefully you know that files strewn all over your Mac;s desktop is NOT a good idea. If anything goes wrong, these are easily lost or damaged as the Finder is NOT designed to look after files that aren’t, well, filed in Documents, Pictures etc. Not only that, since Finder is not designed to care for this load, your Mac will slow down and struggle, plus practically it’s harder to find files that aren’t categorised by their parent folders (Documents, Pictures, Movies …).
But you can delay your filing job, and speed your Mac up just be creating a new folder on the Desktop (click on the desktop, choose New Folder from the File menu) and give it a name like ToFile or ToSort or something, then drag all your desktop files into this. Much better. (But you really should go through and file these every couple of weeks.)