Anyone who truly likes email on their Mac or PC does not get much email, has only a single email account which seldom is used, or has some kind of personality disorder. Email is the bane of the internet, the killer app of the past 20 years, and Apple, with an innate ability to make the complex more simple, has utterly failed with Mail on the Mac, an increasingly complex beast of burden which tries very hard but fails to bring email sufferers any relief.
Alright, with that said, here’s a little bit of relief from the drudgery of email and it’s free. The utility is called Herald. It’s a Mail.app plugin which mostly squeezes down incoming email messages to notification status but still gives you the tools you need to respond, forward, delete, or save for later.
Get this. Herald reduces your email burden, makes handling incoming messages faster and easier, and it’s free. Here’s what it looks like on your Mac’s screen.
That looks friendly enough, right?
Herald displays a popup window of incoming email messages so you can see who it’s from, the subject, and the first paragraph or so of the message. At the bottom of the popup window are tools so you can delete or forward or reply as needed.
If that’s all that Herald did it would be worth twice the price of admission (I haven’t done the math, but even twice the cost of free still sounds like a good deal).
Need more control over Herald’s visual style? Settings galore are a click away.
Herald is highly configurable, but mostly set it and forget it. Notifications can be automatically dismissed or sit there awaiting your response. The message window scrolls so you can see the entire email, and you don’t have to enable every email account you own– just use the ones that matter.
Oh, and Herald can be customized by window appearance; size, font, style, color, shadow, transparency even.
Where do you find Herald once you install the app?
Herald lives as a plugin in Mail, so you’ll need to install Herald, then open Mail and check Mail’s Preferences. That’s where you’ll find Herald.
The only real quibble I have with Herald, and it’s not so much Herald as it is Apple, is that every time Apple updates Mail.app, Herald stops working until it gets updated to match the version ID of the new Mail update. That’s a bit of a pain, but Herald is worthy enough to put up with Apple’s crazy update rules for a few hours.