The Mail applications can report the number of unread e-mails via a badge on the application’s Dock icon. It would be more useful if the badge showed more relevant personal e-mails (sent to you personally and not to a mailing list, ord sent from somebody you know). This way the user is interrupted less often, while still keeping track of relevant emails. Recently, Gmail has offered a way to prioritize emails (Gmail > Settings > Personal level indicators). The good news is that a similar technique can be used in Mail.

To have the personal emails reported, first create a “Personal email” rule. To create a rule in Mail, choose Mail > Preferences > Rules, then click on „Add rule.“ Name the rule “Personal email” and select the following:
The rule should match any of the following conditions
„Sender is in my Previous Recipients“
„Sender is in my Address Book“
„Perform action“: flag emails with a gray flag
Next, create a smart mailbox called “Relevant emails” that communicates with the rule defined above by looking at flagged emails. You can create a smart mailbox by choosing Mailbox > New Smart Mailbox. Specify that e-mails in the smartbox should satisfy all of the following conditions:
E-mail should be unread („Message is unread“)
Flagged („Message is flagged“)
In your inbox („Message is in Mailbox Inbox“)
Has been sent directly to you („Any recipient contains myemail@mydomain“).
Finally, go to Mail’s General preferences, and next to “Dock unread count” choose the “Relevant emails” smart mailbox.

The dock badge will now count unread personal e-mails from the smart mailbox you just created.

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