Sorting in Mutt

A couple of days ago I discovered the following mutt config option.

set sort = threads
set sort_aux = last-date-received

This means you get the usual threading but that a thread is sorted by the date the last message in the thread was received. This keeps a thread which receives new mail at the bottom of your mailbox rather than up at the top.

Another idea I found useful is to sort my spam mailbox by subject. Since a lot of SPAM has exactly the same subject it makes it really easily to quickly scan the mailbox for HAM.

You can easily do this with the following additions to your muttrc

folder-hook . set sort=threads
folder-hook spam set sort=subject

You need to set the default as mutt will change the sort order when you change to the spam folder but won’t change it back when you jump out of it.

6 Replies to “Sorting in Mutt”

  1. Amazing how people still use text-based email clients. What wrong, in your opinion, with GUI-based clients such as Thunderbird or Sylpheed?

  2. @Not Important

    Nothing wrong with GUI clients. I just find that I’m much more productive in a text based client and IMHO mutt is a lot more powerfull then say Thunderbird. Also using a mouse just slows me down.

  3. @Not Important

    Sounds like a troll post.

    However mutt is extremely useful when managing and debugging accounts on mail servers (as I need to). A GUI only slows this process now.

  4. Thanks for the quick tip — as usual I was finding the mutt manual easy to read đŸ™‚

    @Not important – I personally use mutt because I am running an ancient laptop: 800 mhz w/ 256 mb. With firefox or another browser running youtube or any other flash site, I pretty much can’t run another graphical program. I found mutt to be a lifesaver. I can quickly check my email without bringing my system down.

    @Mark – you are a system admin. @Not important’s question is really, “Why does the AVERAGE person still use mutt?” In which case, I would agree with him: (1) mutt has a huge learning curve. For sending an email to gramma, I don’t think that learning curve is worth it. (2) if you are running a regular computer (say that can handle ubuntu or vista), it can also handle Thunderbird or Sylpheed.

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