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Mac at Work by David Sparks

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Chapter 5

Using E-mail

E-mail is, for many Mac workers, their primary mode of communication. Although e-mail is now firmly entrenched in the workplace, few Mac workers have given much thought about how to manage their e-mail efficiently. This chapter will make you an e-mail power user, explaining how e-mail works, showing you some of the best e-mail clients on the Mac, and offering tips to make e-mail work for you.

E-mail Protocols

One of the benefits of using a Mac is you don’t have to spend much time thinking about the underlying technologies of how it works. That is what you pay Apple for. E-mail, however, is different. After someone clicks Send and before a message arrives in your inbox, it is parked somewhere on the Internet. The purpose of your local e-mail application (often called the mail client) is to talk to the mail server holding your message and successfully get it delivered to your computer. The technology used by the Internet to deliver that message to you is called an e-mail protocol, and there are several popular ones: POP, IMAP, Gmail IMAP, and Exchange. Picking the right protocol is essential to efficiently managing your e-mail.

POP and IMAP are the most common protocols used in small businesses as well as by Internet-based e-mail services used by individuals and businesses alike. Microsoft’s proprietary Exchange is typically used by larger companies, and I cover it and other corporate e-mail technology later in this chapter.

POP e-mail

The POP (Post Office ...

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