Three things combine to make Google Apps email and Apple Mail the best email system:

  • Google’s enormous 25GB mailbox allowance.
  • Google’s SPAM and message filtering.
  • Apple Mail’s instant search facility.

System Requirements

  • Minimum MacOS – you should probably be on El Capitan at least with Apple Mail 9.3
  • Google Apps for Business (not Gmail)

Google’s Web Mail page works pretty well once you get used to how things work but scrolling through thousands of emails one page at a time is quite hopeless.

Scroll

Seriously?
Use this button to scroll through 136 pages of messages?

So I use Apple Mail – where everything is much faster – scrolling down from one end to the other takes a second and searching for emails is instantaneous. If I lose Internet access or Google’s Servers go up in smoke, I’ll still have the locally stored email on my Mac.

2020 updates:
I advise setting up your G-Suite email as a Gmail account. Apple seem to have stopped push email on iOS but it still works on MacOS. It will work like any other IMAP account and you can still manage email from anywhere, for instance delete a message from one device and it’s instantly gone from all of them; send an email from your iPhone and it’s instantly copied to the Sent Items on your Mac.

The iPhone will only hold the 200 most recent emails – great for dealing with current messages but it can search for old mail on the Google Server, so even on the road, you’ll be able to find ancient email from 10 years.

Don’t create folders
Leave everything in one place and then you’ll always be able to find it. Organising your email into folders isn’t more efficient, it just wastes time and fragments your email so making it actually harder to find what you’re looking for. If this concept fills you with horror, it’s because you don’t understand how to search in Apple Mail and don’t realise how effective it is. Running IMAP with hundreds of folders/labels is very slow and it makes searching for messages in Apple Mail rather cumbersome.

The reason I delayed client’s migration from on-premise MS Exchange to Google Apps was because one of the directors had been filing her email over several years and had created more than 900 folders – an inevitable consequence of trying to categorise everything!

Managing your Email
Method A – Keep everything in the Inbox.

Using Apple Mail, the unread number next to your Inbox will warn you if there’s any email you’ve missed or not dealt with. If after reading it you think an email will require further attention, either mark it as unread or flag it. Once you have dealt with it just leave it in the Inbox where you can easily find it again or delete (archive) it.

Method B – Delete (archive) everything after you have dealt with it.
Using this method your Inbox is kept clear and anything you need to refer back to can be found in the ‘All Mail’ folder. The disadvantage of this method is the you’ll be working in the All Mail folder quite often, where all the worthless stuff is, so you may want to regularly go to the web interface and permanently clear out the messages you never want to see again.