I’ve found Alpine’s modal behavior to be quite useful. Like Vim, Alpine wraps a lot of functionality in single keystrokes. I can type a few keys to achive more than in the browser. This is a compilation of my favorite Alpine spells.

# move emails to trash:
# permanently delete emails:
      D X
# set up filters:
      S R F
# select multiple messages:
# delete all messages containing 'pattern' in subject:
      ; T S pattern A D
# delete all messages containing 'pattern' in subject,
# sent before sep/1/2019, and smaller than 1000 bytes
      ; T S pattern ; N D ^W 1-sep-2019 ; N Z ^W 1k A D
# toggle between selected and all messages:
# Mark all messages as read
      ; S N A * ! N

This is a side by side comparison of my inbox as rendered by Alpine vs the browser:

alpine screenshot

Some nice features of Alpine:

  1. Powerful: get a lot done with few keystroks
  2. User-friendly: help menu is display at the bottom
  3. Simple: makes it easy to read and write emails