Mu4e at Irreal

Ever since I read Ben Maughan’s post on mastering your inbox with mu4e and Org mode back in 2015, I’ve been insanely jealous of his method and of his use of mu4e for dealing with emails directly in Emacs. Right after I read his post, I combined all my email folders into one and started following his procedures for dealing with emails.

Still, it was a bit clumsy with Apple’s mail app and the searching involved a lot of mouse clicking. And, of course, it wasn’t happening inside of Emacs. Now, finally, I have mu4e up and running and am using it as my mail client. The search capability is amazing: it’s lightning fast and very flexible. You can form complex queries without touching the mouse or being limited to canned searches. The best part is that because it’s all IMAP based my old client and more importantly, my iPhone and iPad mail apps still work and keep everything in sync.

Setting up mu4e turned out to be pretty easy. The tough part was getting mbsync to work with Apple. That’s mostly because I forgot about the two-factor authentication that Apple recently added in the last macOS release so you can chalk up the difficulties to my stupidity.

In the near future, I will post my mbsync configuration and what I had to do to get it to talk to Apple’s IMAP server. That may be useful because it’s really hard to find examples of setting it up with Apple. After that, I will write a post on my mu4e setup and configuration, although most of that was stolen from Ben and Charl Botha.

Next up is moving my RSS to elfeed. Fortunately, Mike Zamansky has three excellent videos on that so it shouldn’t take nearly as long. After that, browsing and iMessage will be my only frequently used applications that don’t run under Emacs. I don’t see much hope for moving either of them to Emacs anytime soon so after elfeed my workflow will be pretty much as Emacs-centric as it’s going to get.

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  • krisbrowne42

    I live by Reeder backed by FeedWrangler as my RSS process/lifestyle... The state-sync of having the same news, with read-status, everywhere is too valuable to give up, which has made elfeed a non-starter for me.

    I do finally have mu4e working for my work email though, and I can't say enough how happy I am with it's lightning fast search functions, even over years upon years of messages. I'm curious how you got mbsync behaving with iCloud though!

    • jcs

      I used to use Reeder but it stopped working when Google shut down their RSS feed. The updated version wasn't immediately available so I started using Feedly, which I like and which does work across all my devices. I can live without reading RSS on my iOS devices and I think I can keep elfeed synced between my Macs but I haven't really investigated this except for watching Mike Zamansky's videos.

      As for mbsync and iCloud, I was in the middle of writing up what I did when Disqus informed me of your message. Right now, I'm planning on publishing that on Wednesday but things may slip a day or two.

      • peter m.

        Try "rrss" for a feed reader that works entirely locally but uses Google Drive to synchronize between machines the list of subscriptions and what is marked as read:

        https://github.com/pmarinov/rrss
        (a browser extension)