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Apple Mail Flags: Flagging in Apple Mail vs Mailbutler’s Tags

Learn how to flag emails in Apple Mail and discover the advanced tagging features of Mailbutler. Compare Apple Mail Flags with Mailbutler's Tags

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6 minutes

    By Ilija

    An economist by degree, a marketing manager at heart. Seeing my website on the first page of Google is what excites me most. I write mostly about email productivity, email management and AI.

    Flagging emails in Apple Mail allows users to mark important messages for easy reference later. Whether it's a reminder for a follow-up or a way to prioritize tasks, flagging ensures crucial emails don’t get lost in the shuffle. This feature is especially helpful for those who receive a high volume of emails daily.

    Apple Mail provides different colored email message flags, giving users a visual way to categorize their emails. This can be particularly useful for distinguishing between personal and work emails, or for separating urgent messages from less critical ones. By assigning different colors to various types of emails, users can quickly identify the nature and priority of each message at a glance.

    Although flagging emails in Apple Mail is beneficial, it does have its limitations. The next section will be about how to flag emails in Apple Mail, the benefits and limitations of this feature, and a comparison with Mailbutler's tagging system.

    How to flag emails in Apple Mail

    Flagging an email in Apple Mail means marking it for special attention, helping users easily locate and manage important messages.


    Flag email on iPhone

    Flag email on iPhone

    • Open Apple Mail: Launch the Mail app on your iPhone.
    • Find the Email: Navigate to the email you want to flag.
    • Swipe to Flag: Swipe left on the email and tap the "Flag" option.
    • Choose a Color: Select the flag color from the available options. This marks the email with your chosen color.


    Flag email on iPad

    Flag email on iPad

    • Open Apple Mail: Start the Mail app on your iPad.
    • Locate the Email: Find the email you need to flag.
    • Use the Flag Option: Open the email, tap in the bottom-right corner, and tap "Flag."
    • Select a Color: Choose the flag color from the list. This will mark the email with the selected color, making it stand out in your inbox.


    • Launch Apple Mail: Open the Mail application on your Mac.
    • Select the Email: Click on the email you wish to flag.
    • Flag the Email: Click the flag icon in the toolbar or right-click the email and select "Flag."
    • Pick a Color: Choose the desired flag color from the dropdown menu. The email will now be flagged with that color for easy identification.

    Different flag colors and their uses

    Apple Mail offers several flag colors to help categorize email message flags:

    • Red: Mark urgent or high-priority emails.
    • Orange: Use for follow-up reminders.
    • Yellow: Highlight informational emails that need attention.
    • Green: Identify emails related to projects or tasks.
    • Blue: Distinguish personal emails from work-related ones.
    • Purple: Mark emails that require further action or review.
    • Gray: Use for miscellaneous purposes or less critical emails.

    Each color serves as a visual cue, allowing users to quickly identify and prioritize emails based on their needs and preferences.

    For more info, you can visit Apple's support articles:

    Creating a flagged mailbox in Apple Mail

    Creating a Flagged mailbox in Apple Mail helps to easily locate all flagged emails in one place.

    How to Create a Flagged Mailbox

    • iPhone and iPad:

      • Flag an email using the steps mentioned earlier.
      • A Flagged mailbox automatically appears in the Mailboxes list.
    • Mac:

      • Open the Mail app and flag an email.
      • The Flagged mailbox will automatically show up in the Mail sidebar and the Favorites bar.

    Why Create a Flagged Mailbox

    1. Centralized Location: Collects all email message flags in one place for easy access.
    2. Better Organization: Helps to quickly find and manage important messages.
    3. Efficiency: Saves time by reducing the need to search through the entire inbox.

    Limitations of Apple Mail flagging

    Limited Functionality

    Flagging in Apple Mail is basic. You can mark emails with colors, like red for urgent, but you can't set up automatic actions based on these flags. For example, an urgent flag won’t trigger a reminder.

    Lack of Customization

    You can only use preset flag colors. Custom labels aren't possible. For example, you can't create a specific label like "Client Emails" or "Follow Up" which might help in sorting and managing your emails better.

    Search Limitations

    Flags themselves aren't directly searchable in the Apple Mail search bar. You can only view flagged emails in a dedicated "Flagged" mailbox, which isn't ideal for finding specific emails based on the flag's meaning.

    These limitations show that while Apple Mail's flagging system is useful, it might not meet all your needs if you require more advanced email organization.

    Flagging in Apple Mail vs. Mailbutler’s Tags

    Mailbutler's Tags for Apple Mail

    Mailbutler’s tagging feature offers a more flexible and powerful solution compared to Apple Mail's flagging system. While Apple Mail tags are limited to color coding, Mailbutler provides more advanced tagging options, allowing for better email organization and management.

    Mailbutler’s Tagging Feature

    1. Customizable Tags:

    • Users can create custom tags like "Client Emails," "Follow Up," or "Invoices." This allows for a more personalized and detailed organization of emails.

    2. Multiple Tags per Email:

    • Unlike Apple Mail, where each email can only have one flag color, Mailbutler allows multiple tags to be added to a single email. This is useful for emails that belong to more than one category.

    3. Search and Filter:

    • With Mailbutler, you can easily search and filter emails based on tags. For example, you can quickly find all emails tagged as "Urgent" or "Client Emails," making it easier to manage your inbox.

    Comparison with Apple Mail’s Flagging System


    • Apple Mail’s flagging is limited to seven colors without any further customization. Mailbutler’s tags are fully customizable, offering greater flexibility.

    Multiple Tags:

    • Apple Mail restricts you to one flag per email, whereas Mailbutler supports multiple tags per email, allowing for more nuanced categorization.

    Search Functionality:

    • Apple Mail flags do not integrate well with search functions. Mailbutler’s Tags, on the other hand, are fully searchable, making it easy to locate specific emails based on their tags.

    Integration and Automation:

    • Mailbutler integrates with other productivity tools like Evernote, Asana, Todoist and offers automation features, boosting overall email management.

    Mailbutler's tagging feature provides a more advanced and efficient way to manage emails, surpassing the basic flagging system of Apple Mail. This makes Mailbutler a valuable tool for users needing more advanced email organization.

    Related post: Gmail Labels

    How to use Mailbutler’s Tags

    Getting Started with Mailbutler

    1. Install Mailbutler:
      • Visit the Mailbutler website, and then click on the button Try for Free
      • Click on "Download" and follow the instructions to install the plugin for your email client.
    2. Set Up Mailbutler:
      • Open your email client (Apple Mail, Outlook, or Gmail).
      • Follow the prompts to connect Mailbutler to your email account.
      • Log in or create a Mailbutler account to start using the features.

    Similar post: How to add email notes in Apple Mail

    Tagging Emails in Mailbutler

    1. Open Your Inbox:
      • Go to your email client where Mailbutler is installed.
    2. Select an Email:
      • Click on the email you want to tag.
    3. Add a Tag:
      • Click the Mailbutler icon in your email toolbar.
      • Select "Add Tag" from the dropdown menu.
      • Choose an existing tag or create a new one by typing in the desired tag name and pressing Enter.
    4. View Tagged Emails:
      • Click on the Mailbutler dashboard or use the search function in your email client to filter emails by tags.

    Managing and Customizing Tags

    1. Access the Tag Management Dashboard:
      • Open the Mailbutler dashboard from your email client or visit the Mailbutler website and log in to your account.
    2. Create or Edit Tags:
      • Navigate to the "Tags" section in the dashboard.
      • Create new tags by clicking "Add Tag" and entering the tag name.
      • Edit existing tags by clicking on them and making the necessary changes.
    3. Color Code Tags:
      • Assign colors to tags for better visual organization.
      • Click on a tag and select a color from the color picker.


    In summary, Apple Mail’s flagging system offers a straightforward way to mark important emails, but it has limitations in terms of functionality and customization.

    Mailbutler's tagging feature addresses these limitations by providing customizable tags, the ability to add multiple tags per email, and advanced search and filtering options. These features help in better organizing and managing emails, making Mailbutler a superior choice for users with more complex email organization needs.

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