I've been using POP to access my Gmail account using Mail, but I want to switch to IMAP to synchronize read emails with the web interface, and, most importantly, with my iPhone (which is already using IMAP). However, I know that Gmail has a nonstandard IMAP implementation which exposes multiple copies of the same message as different messages in different mailboxes, and I want to avoid keeping multiple copies of messages on my HD. OTOH, I do want to keep at least one copy, because I like having a full backup of my email.
I need advice on:
- The best way to setup IMAP so I have a backup of every message, but no duplicates (or as few as possible);
- The best way to handle the migration so that, at the end, the messages I have downloaded via POP are associated with the IMAP mailbox (replaced, maybe), but the messages that I have marked as read in Mail.app so far need to stay marked as read (ie the read status needs to get carried over).
I am especially interested in hearing from people who have attempted this before, since I suppose there may be pitfalls that you only understand with practical experience.
I am on Lion and I'll be using Mail 5. It seems that Mail 5 might have some new support for Gmail's specific brand of IMAP, though I don't know how extensive. iOS Mail, for instance, has an "archive" button instead of "delete" for Gmail accounts; Mail 5 now has an "archive" feature too, and it would be nice if it synchronized with Gmail's idea of archiving.