Switching from Entourage to Postbox
Well folks, I guess it is decision time. After all my trials and errors, I am looking seriously at moving my laptop to Postbox. Postbox comes in 2 flavors, the free Express and the full version. You can compare the features here.
The more I look at the program, the more I like it. Here are a few of the features in its favor:
- First of all, it is graphically pleasing and refined. It appears a lot like Entourage, so that there is the intuitive factor for understanding the program.
- It integrates with Apple Address Book, iCal, and iPhoto, so it will prevent the duplication errors of the sync of Entourage and Address Book.
- It supports POP, IMAP, RSS, and newsgroup accounts
- It has social integration with Facebook and Twitter
- It has message threading and tabbing of discussions.
- It has, what appears to be, lightening fast search capabilities.
- Though laborious, you can import email from Entourage through a cumbersome drag and drop procedure, but it will preserve folder structure. See here for details.
Entourage is criticized for having all the mail in a single database. The problems with a single database are twofold: 1, corruption of the database leads to loss of all data, and the larger databases are susceptible to corruption (I have not had an unrecoverable problem in 5 years that could not be fixed by using the built-in recovery tools or by using my latest backup.), and 2, TimeMachine backups are huge since the entire database is backed up with any small change. A mail set up with separate files for each email would prevent both problems. Unfortunately, Postbox also uses a single mail database. Apparently Office 2011’s Outlook will change to an individual mail setup, but Postbox will not until version 3 at the earliest.
The main reason I wanted to import an existing mail database is so that it can be searched easily. I have decided that for mobile platform, it is probably better just to use IMAP and leave messages on the server, so that when I get home, I will have one, current database of downloaded messages in my desktop.
My only hesitancy right now is that Postbox is about to release version 2 of the paid version of the software – or it is supposed to be released. The target date of summer is passing quickly, and version 1 owners will have to pay to upgrade, and no date is given for a free upgrade for current purchases. So I plan, at this point, to use the Express version until the new version is released.
However, in terms of features, look and feel, integration and general usefulness, I think it makes sense. It says it works on POP folders, and if it actually functions as a download POP mail program, it may become my full time replacement for Entourage on both machines. I will be testing it and learning more about it in the next few weeks. I’ll keep you posted. I’ll also be checking for bad crashes, in case that recurs.