5 Tips and Tricks

Feature tips

This is the fifth post in the 2016 FastMail Advent Calendar. Stay tuned for another post tomorrow.


This post takes a look at a few FastMail features that can clear out the clutter, target your tasks and master your messages.

  1. Nobody likes spam

The challenge to keep our inboxes clear of unwanted mail is ongoing. FastMail is always developing new tools behind the scenes to evolve protection against spammers, scammers and phishers.

You can choose how firm the defences are in your spam protection preferences.

  • Basic - Only blocks mail from known bad mail hosts.
  • Standard - Also examines incoming mail and if the mail is suspicious (spam score of 5), then it is moved to the Spam folder.
  • Aggressive - Also throws away mail that is highly suspicious (spam score of 10).
  • Custom - Lets you adjust the thresholds at which mail is marked as spam, or thrown away.
    You can also more easily flag potential spam by adding the spam score in the message subject.

The risk of increasing your defences is that you may end up with real mail mistakenly ending up in your spam folder if you lower the score at which mail is tagged as spam. Being able to set the spam score in the subject and monitoring your inbox for a few weeks to see how accurate the spam detection is in your particular situation can help keep your inbox clean.

See our help for more information on stopping spam.

  1. Extra email addresses, for free!

Just because you signed up to FastMail with clarkkent@warpmail.net doesn't mean that's the only address you can ever get email at. (In case you were wondering, warpmail.net is indeed one of our many domains you can use.)

Aliases

By adding aliases, you can have hundreds of extra email addresses at any of our (or your) domains, all delivered to your inbox without having to pay for an extra user. Whether you need an address for your professional mail (Clark Kent needs superman@fastmail.com as an alias), or you just want to use different email addresses for different communications, aliases have you covered.

For extra ease of use, create a folder for each different alias and configure a rule to file the mail into those folders. This will keep the mail to each alias separate. You can even set a preference ensuring that any mail you reply to is using the correct mail alias the mail was received at.

Superheroes use aliases. You can too.

See our help for more information about aliases.

Ad-hoc aliases on the go

If you need a short-term alias, or you don't want to set up an alias, you can create ad-hoc subdomain addresses. These are great for subscribing to communications from a new website or for online shopping.

In the form of <some word>@<your username>.<domain>.<tld>, mail gets delivered automatically to your account, without requiring any extra configuration at FastMail.

This lets our user kurian@sent.com who does a lot of online shopping, have a multitude of different addresses: amazon@kurian.sent.com, paypal@kurian.sent.com, aliexpress@kurian.sent.com.

These are also helpful to protect you: if a site is compromised and you start receiving unsolicited mail at that address, you can set up a rule to block all mail coming to that subdomain alias.

See our help for more information about subdomain addressing.

  1. Make sure important senders are never blocked: whitelisting

To guarantee mail from someone never ends up blocked as spam, add them to your address book. This is known as 'whitelisting' an address: mail from in your address book automatically bypasses spam checks.

If you'd like to whitelist an entire domain, so that mail from anyone at that domain is also whitelisted, you can add the whole domain as a contact, specifying *@<domain>.<tld> as their address. All mail coming from any address at that domain will now be whitelisted.

To keep your address book tidy, rather than have an entry for every single email address you want to whitelist, you can have one entry with multiple email addresses: one email address for each address you want to whitelist.

See our help for more information on whitelisting and on general address book usage.

  1. How much of my storage allowance am I using?

Want to check how close to your storage quota you are? Find a summary under your list of folders in the web interface.

thing

If you want a breakdown by folder so you can clear out old unwanted mail, go to the Folder Edit screen (either through Settings, or using the link under the list of folders in the mail view). Then use the Quota Usage link at the bottom of the screen.

Your file storage also is part of your total quota allowance and a summary is also shown on the Quota Usage page.

See our help for more information on account limits and how to increase your storage quota.

  1. Tidying up the folder list

If you use folders a lot, you may be interested in some of the ways we can help you keep them organised.

Change the folder order with sorting

Set the order folders appear in your folder list so that the most important ones are at the top. You can do this either by using drag and drop directly in the folder edit list, or by specifying the sort order in the folder preferences screen where "1" puts a folder at the top and larger numbers towards the bottom.

Hide infrequently used folders

If you have folders you don't usually look at unless a new message is filtered into them via rules, you can set them to be hidden unless there's unread mail.

If you have folders you hardly ever look at: they're only for archive reference, you can even set a folder to be always hidden.

The sorting and hidden settings only apply when viewing folders through our web interface or via our FastMail apps: they remain in their usual sort order and are always visible in other clients.

Set the identity to use with a folder

A useful tip: if you filter mail to an alias or a subdomain address into a particular folder and you want to ensure mail you send from that folder always matches the right alias, you can configure the sending alias to use in the folder preferences.

See our help for more information on folders and aliases.