I received a ton of great feedback from visitors about my MailMate love-fest earlier this month. Most people didn't know the app existed. So, here's a few more details around how I have my setup configured along with the hidden preferences I've enabled.
It's remained that way because I've been afraid.
Always, always in the pit of my stomach, deep down in the back of my lizard brain, there's this nagging voice when it comes to the low-level work, the real work, the type of code that real developers write
You're not good enough. You can't make it work. You're not smart enough to figure it out.
So I keep punting on the work. I keep pushing that bug fix further and further out and just hope that my code keeps working and that a random macOS point release doesn't bring it all crashing down.
But two nights ago I sat down in my office. And just fucking did it. I told myself “no” was not an acceptable answer and dove into every arcane, unmaintained bit of Apple documentation I could find. Searched old Cocoa mailing lists for sample code, and finally, finally have a working solution.
After thirteen, years I finally got past my own shit and mental demons and made it happen. I guess I was just fed up with myself constantly ducking out of doing the hard work. That, plus a looming deadline I have to meet, finally held my feet to the fire on this particular feature in a way that has never been done before. So many features. So many bug fixes. Thousands of customer emails and replies. Brainstorming sessions. UI mockups on the back up napkins at bars or doodling on a notepad while at my real job. But this one damn bug was always out of reach. And now it’s done.
To my future self ten years from now: this post is for you.
I keep looking through my archives of old, private coding projects - the ones that I built just for myself to solve a particular need - to see if I can find any that other folks might find useful. So, here’s another one I spent a few hours cleaning up recently.
It's a native macOS app (wrapper) around the
fastmail.com website that supports:
- Multiple Fastmail accounts.
- Native macOS notifications (and sounds).
- Customizable Dock icon badges.
- Keyboard shortcuts (⌘1 - ⌘9) to quickly open specific accounts.
MailMate is a glorious, configurable, ultimate-nerd-dream of an email client built just for macOS. I use it every day in conjunction with Fastmail and SaneBox to give me email super powers.
But the killer feature? It just fucking works.
And believe me. I’ve tried every single email client for Mac and iOS – paid apps, free apps, subscription apps, apps from small companies, and apps from giant corporations.
I don’t know what else to say except that I love this app so much. And unless I’m horribly mistaken and there is secretly a giant corporation hiding behind MailMate and slurping up all of my private data, MailMate is built by a single developer, which is even more awe inspiring.
And when the other side is reached, I hope we can look back on the things we did and how we were feeling in this moment and learn from that.
With all that’s going on in the world, it may not surprise folks to learn that small developers are starting to feel the economic crunch along with everyone else. I hope you’ll stick around and read along as I go into excruciating detail about my favorite software and services that I can’t live without.