As much as I hate, hate, hate all the ridiculously misguided and downright inappropriate junk that lands in my inbox every few minutes, I still prefer plain old email as my primary communication tool.

That’s not to say I don’t text or sms – I do! But for that type of “talk”, I use Apple’s often confusing, yet still reasonably useful app, Messages.

But lets get back to email – and more precisely, the default client on OS X, Mail.

See, I love Mail. Far beyond its intended use, even. Way, way, beyond, actually. Fact is, I’m writing this very post in Mail. And most of everything I’ve ever written these last five or so years were typed in an ordinary email window.

So, why is Mail my go-to app for hammering out more or less cohesive ramblings? There’s at least a dozen professional programs out there with tons and tons of super-duper features and amazing editing and formatting capabilities.

Three reasons. Three.


The general interface of Mail is pretty clean – and if I close the app’s main window with all its busy mailboxes, columns, rows and icons, my writing environment instantly becomes spectacularly minimalistic.


Mac OS X has a phenomenal dictionary and thesaurus that can be accessed in just about any app and in Mail, all you have to do is highlight a word and…presto! You get a gorgeous selection of apt definitions, synonyms and antonyms.

Need a word from Wikipedia, Brittanica or the Urban Dictionary? No problem! Highlight a word, right click and boom! You’re browser immediately opens a page with Google’s slew of alternatives – waiting for you to copy and paste.


Ok, so this isn’t really a benefit of Mail’s…but the simple answer is, I just don’t like Pages, Word or any other word processor that I’ve come across (or, been forced to use). I’m sure they work just fine for most people. But I get so darn easily distracted when I’m writing and if the interface is in itself a distractor, well, the writing is inescapably going to suffer.

One day, when I get around to writing that book I’ve been thinking about since way back when, I probably won’t write it in Mail.

Or, if only to prove a point, maybe I’ll do just that!