I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’ve been working hard to weed out the spam I was getting. The first step that I took was to set up my e-mail accounts as IMAP accounts. You do this by adding a new account just like you would set up a POP3 account – except most e-mail programs ask you what type of server it is and you select IMAP instead of POP3. That’s it. Easy as can be!
What makes IMAP really wonderful is that I use two (sometimes three) different computers. With IMAP I get the following perk:
:: Your mail is left on the server – so you can get it anywhere.
:: If I read the mail on one computer, it’s flagged as read when I pull up the IMAP account on the other computer.
:: When I send e-mail, it’s stored with the IMAP account and I can access it on all the computers.
:: Same thing for draft messages.
:: Sort your mail in to folders? The folders are available everywhere, with the mail sorted just like you want it. (You might have to sync to get the new folders.)
There are some down sides – one of the computers I use has somewhat slower access, so there is lag time waiting for the mail to load. The tradeoff of having my mail marked as read, etc.? Worth it for me!
One thing to note: If you accidentally download your mail as POP3, it will be downloaded. Next time you go to your other machines, it won’t be there. I discovered this the hard way.
I’ll be writing a much longer post on this for ScriptyGoddess soon, but I have to finish my research on it. For now, Stanford University has a handy page about your first day with IMAP that is a great read.
IMAP doesn’t get rid of my spam, but it allows me to set up a folder for the spam that got away (the ones that Spam Assassin didn’t catch) which, because it is on the server, can be used to “teach” Spam Assassin about the spam it missed. Anything helps!
IMAP is what makes Info Aggregator so cool. If you read something on one PC, it’s marked as read on the other. Delete a news item because you’re not interested? Deleted when you come back on the other machine. And when you log in to your account on their site, you can read your feeds online through the “webmail” option. Feeds Everywhere! I couldn’t ask for more!