Mailbag Assistant Sorts Your E-mail For You--Unless You Use Outlook

If you've ever wished your e-mail arrived presorted, you might want to give Mailbag Assistant ($50, 30-day free trial) a try. This helper program imports and reads your e-mails, without altering them. It also lets you use sophisticated search and management tools, such as finding files using wildcards and Boolean operators.

Mailbag Assistant screenshot
Mailbag Assistant's sophisticated tools for searching, managing, and archiving e-mail will appeal to power users.

Mailbag Assistant is also an excellent way to archive your e-mail, because it lets you create archives in compressed format. That way, you can delete the mail from your e-mail program, and archive it with Mailbag Assistant so that it's always available and easy to find.

The program doesn't actually send and receive mail; instead it imports your mail and lets you read and analyze it. It includes a wizard that automatically imports the mail from numerous e-mail programs, including Outlook Express, Windows Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird, The Bat, Eudora, and many others. However, there is one very serious omission from that list: It doesn't work with Microsoft Outlook. So if you're an Outlook user, you're out of luck. There is a workaround: You can import messages into Outlook Express, and then search through mail there. But that's awkward and kludgy, and requires that you continually import mail from Outlook into Outlook Express, and then into Mailbag Assistant.

The other issue is the cost of the program: $50. Unless you have serious problems finding e-mail, it may not be worth the money to you. But if you're looking for a serious tool for searching through and archiving e-mail, Mailbag Assistant may be just what you need.

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