My Plan for Spam…

This past week I have been messing with a couple of tools: Zoë and POPfile.

POPfile, pre-checks, classifies and buckets my mail into the following categories: Commerce, Lists, Newsletters, Personal, Spam and Work

Mail then checks POPfile and can immediate sort spam to Junk as well as handle my other buckets in ways I want via rules.

Zoë also checks POPFile and messages it missed during the day are imported nightly or on demand. Zoë (mostly) skips flagged as spam messages from the x-header info assigned by POPfile leaving a (relatively, minus the rogue spam) clean database to locally search as my archive. Within Zoë you can see by date, subject, or person what communications have transpired. Mail can currently only search, but not cross reference, so this is a powerful addition. Zoë includes a fantastic tool in the way of a bundle file so from directly within Mail, you can link into Zoë by clicking on people or dates…

Zoë can also handle RSS… You can view your mail in newsreaders, or import your subscriptions (text or opml) directly into Zoë. You might like this to store and archive all messages from the sites you read locally, since newsreader tend to have a short memory.

How it all works….

POPfile is amazing!
Classification Accuracy
Emails classified: 971
Classification errors: 62
Accuracy: 93.61%

But not that simple an install… On Mac OS X you must read this. It will walk through the details. Following them through step by step should get you going… In just about 2 days I am batting 100% filtering to Junk in Mail. POPfile score more critically based on the bucket success and so far I am at just over 93% accuracy. A few more days and I should be very close to 100% there as well. I also turned the quarantine function on within POPfile for my spam bucket which kills web bugs and graphics on those messages. I did add an additional rule (beyond one for each bucket) to capture the quarantined messages since some of them slipping through.

Zoë is also a very cool tool, though I tried to push it further than it can go at this point (v. 0.4). I POP into POPfile and use Zoe for SMTP… any message I send is catalogued in Zoë which is very cool. Many messages I receive are not immediately in there, until after an import. Not a big deal for now… Things got funky when I realized that Zoë also had a pop server.

I tried to set up a workflow like this – Mail => Zoë => POPfile

Issues –

It is very tricky to get this to work. In theory it does work, but Zoe actually sends every message into Mail every time you check…argh. (I have been told that by leaving mail on server in Mail this can be avoided) I also noticed that Zoe (somehow) did not capture some messages I received in Mail. I know that might seem impossble, but it is the reality. Pretty sure it is a bug, which has now been reported.

Otherwise, using things as I originally set them up, I am working very efficiently in email. The new tools I have added to my workflow have made a significant difference in the way I manage messages.

PS – SpamFire, which I previously raved about has been put to rest based on much better I feel the control and performance is with POPfile. Your mileage may vary…

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