- Configuring Mail.app For a Better Gmail Experience, Pt. 1
- Configuring Mail.app For a Better Gmail Experience, Pt. 2 Junk Mail
- Configuring Mail.app For a Better Gmail Experience, Pt. 3 Advanced Junk Mail
- Configuring Mail.app For a Better Gmail Experience, Pt. 4 Smart Folders
So now you've got Gmail setup to work the way you want. Unfortunately, there's that buddy of yours that keeps sending you listings from the fantasy football league, and his emails keep ending up in junk mail. Or perhaps you want to mark something as spam, like that Viagra ad that keeps coming in.
The good news is that if you look at Google's page on how Mail (or Outlook) actions translate to Gmail actions, it's pretty easy to report a message as spam. Just drag it to the "Spam" folder on the left that is nested under [Gmail].
Unfortunately, Google is not so simple about flagging mail as "not spam" when you're not using the web interface. Fortunately, it's not that hard, and they have some fairly clear instructions on how to do it, if you know how to read between the lines. The short answer is to add the sender who keeps getting misfiled to your online Google contacts list.
There are two ways to do this. The quick and dirty way that is also the best for people with multiple accounts is to log into the Gmail web interface, and simply add the name and email address as a contact. That, or you can import all of your contacts from a file, but that has enough variables in it that it won't be covered here. Either way, once the name is in your contacts list, it won't get filed as spam.
The long term solution for people with only one Gmail account, or with a main one, is to synchronize your contacts list with your Gmail account. The downsides are that you can only realistically do this with one Google account at a time, and that you sometimes end up with odd duplicates as Gmail adds its own contacts automatically for people you've sent messages to.
To set up syncing, do the following (screens may look different for Snow Leopard, but the gist will be the same):
First, open up the preferences window for your address book, and go to the "Accounts" tab.
Then check the box to synchronize with a Google account.
Then, fill in your full username (full email) and password for the Google account.
And you should be ready to go. The biggest headache I've run into has been hunting down and consolidating duplicates - especially after the first merge. That said, having all of my contacts update to Gmail so I don't have to manually add or import them has been a big plus.
Next up - for those with multiple accounts - smart folders and advanced junk mail filtering.
It wasn't until after writing this that I discovered that while in the past, Snow Leopard (10.6) did allow for you to sync your contacts to Google while also allowing Mobileme syncing, you cannot sync your contacts to Google while also using iCloud in Lion.