September 10, 2019

From Gerald R. Lucas



OK, I might have found it. Yes, the best email program in the world. I think I found it: Mailspring.

Yes, I love Spark, but it won’t work on our new iMac, since it’s running El Capitan. But while Spark does have an iOS client, Mailspring beats it in most every other way. Not to mention — Mailspring is open source.

I need an email app that can handle multiple accounts, gives me the ability to snooze email, allows for elegant signatures, and is a pleasure to use. I think the latter point is why I have always disliked email: the lousy clients. I’d rather go back to the days of Pine than use most email clients — particularly those from Microsoft. Gmail isn’t bad, but it’s far from good. Apple’s Mail sucks. Why is this so difficult?

First, stuff I don’t like about Mailspring:

  1. It’s a freeium app. It lets you use some of the more advanced features, but only a couple of times before it prompts you to upgrade. Now, I don’t mind paying for good software, but give me the full package to run for a couple of weeks before disabling features.
  2. It does not have an iOS app.[1]
  3. It does not have a calendar.
  4. It doesn’t seem quite as polished as Spark. I’m not sure why.
  5. One reason might be is that Mailspring wants you to have an account with them, but it doesn’t transfer any of your account information between computers. Spark does.[2]

Now, the good stuff:

  1. Mailspring looks nice. The fonts are nice. The interface is nice, with optional themes.
  2. It has snooze (limited to 15 a week on the free version).
  3. It has a right pane with sender information, including previous emails.
  4. Read receipts. This is kind of creepy, but pretty cool — especially to monitor students.
  5. Link tracking. Did the recipient click on the link you sent? This feature will tell you.
  6. Follow-up reminders. Did you send something important? Set a reminder to follow-up if you don’t hear back.
  7. Mail templates. I think these might be nice for feedback responses. I’ll have to try it out.

Yes, I know other applications have some of this functionality, but Mailspring is the first that I have successfully been able to connect all of my accounts. Finally, it has a client for Linux: important for me now that I have two Linux machines.

I’m sure I’ll have more to say later.


  1. Though, to be honest, I’ve been seriously thinking about removing all email from my iPhone anyway.
  2. This might be a security/privacy thing.