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We have an email account that we use as a team.. (running on google apps for business), we all connect to the account via imap, using a mixture of mac mail and thunderbird.

One member of the team want to use folders to file messages related to certain jobs, normally this would be fine, but becuase its a shared imap account it means everyones email will be filed like this aswell, which dosnt suite the way some people work.

Is there a solution or a workaround that could work for everyone one.. ie folders that are local to the machine so that every one elses email just sit in the 'INBOX'.

I know in mac mail you can use a smart folder (which isnt really a folder its a custom filter, but gives you the same effect), but the computer we want to run folders in is using thunderbird.

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The solution is not to use IMAP for that user. This cannot be done with IMAP since IMAP only downloads a cache of the contents of the server. So if you push an update ( delete an email or move an email ) then the server's cache will be updated. – Ramhound Mar 1 '13 at 17:53
Yeah thats one approach but we find being able to see each other sent items essential.. one work arround if found though is for the machine using thunderbird to use tags itstead of folders – sam Mar 1 '13 at 18:31

I was looking for something similar since I wanted to have my IMAP act just like POP3. I don't actually want my emails on a random server for snooping by nosy governments or Chinese hackers. The closest I could find so far is Message Filters: Tools > Message Filters.

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I know this is an old question but if OP is looking for something like 'smart folders' in Mac Mail, Thunderbird has a similiar 'search folders' feature that should help out (see here:

The other possible solution I can think of is for that one team member to store copies of the messages in his/her folder structure (preferably in Thunderbird's Local Folders so it's out of the IMAP and out of the view the rest of the team.) Storing copies makes it so the original messages stay on IMAP undisturbed.


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