Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist
20 July 2005
Filed under:Email discoveries at12:27 pm

I would love it if someone could find a way that I could change the subject line of an email I received so it displayed and was searchable as I changed it but would stay the same as the original if I reply or forward that email. For example I could take an email with subject “My doodad is fubared” and change it to “doodad problem 7” thus making it easy for me to find it again and know what is in it when scanning my mailboxes. Eudora offered this feature I seem to recall…


  1. You can use a text editor to edit the underlying files (message files in Tiger Mail, mailbox files in earlier versions).

    Comment by Michael — 20 July 2005 @ 4:38 pm

  2. Well yes – but that’s a little clumsy (and it would change the subject line when you did a “reply” as well). I was thinking about some kind of extension or modification that would let me click on the subject line and have it be editable on the spot…

    Comment by David Brake — 20 July 2005 @ 4:50 pm

  3. This would also help when you have threading turned on. I often end up with a series of threads with subjects such as “Hello” or “What’s New?” with e-mails from all different people. Mail thinks they should be grouped together but they really have nothing in common other than the vague subject. I would love to be able to change them so they are no longer threaded together.

    Comment by John — 20 July 2005 @ 6:55 pm

  4. You can use the redirect command to send an exact duplicate of the message to yourself, with a new subject line. The new message should come to you as though it was “from” the original sender. Not something you want to have to do often, but it may be useful occasionally.

    Comment by Joe — 21 July 2005 @ 3:10 am

  5. To each his own, but I used to dump the mentioned mail in my ‘doodad problems’ folder and move it to the ‘solved doodad problems’ when done.

    I say ‘used to’ because these days I just use a desktop search engine.

    Comment by Michiel — 25 July 2005 @ 12:58 pm

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