Push Email On Palm Treo Via Chatter and Fastmail.fm

May 27, 2007

(Update 10/23/2007: Gmail now allows direct IMAP connection via Chatter! See link for instructions on how to configure Chatter to work directly with Gmail.)

(Update 10/30/2007: Problems with how emails look after going through Gmail’s IMAP has forced me to go back to Fastmail.)


Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.

Want push email on your Treo 650 / 680 / 700p / 755p? Don’t have Microsoft Enterprise server installed at home? Your workplace doesn’t have an IT department? Don’t want to give up your main email address?

No problem. Well, sorta. “Push” email (that is, having email be automatically pushed to your Treo, instead of your Treo or you having to check for new emails every several minutes) doesn’t come with your Treo out of the box, like it is with a Blackberry or Sidekick. It’s a three-part (or so!) process with lots of steps:

  1. Setting up an account with Fastmail.fm, an email service provider;
  2. Installing Chatter Email program onto your Treo; and
  3. Setting up your current email service so that it forwards all emails to your new Fastmail.fm service.

NOTE: Chatter Email costs an one-time fee of $39.95 — but you can try it out for up to one month. Fastmail.fm can be free, but higher service levels (including no advertisements in your emails) cost a relatively low fee every month, every 6 months, or every year.

ALSO NOTE: This method would entail stopping using your main email service (i.e., gmail), since all emails will now be forwarded to fastmail.fm so that they can be pushed onto your Treo. That is, you will still keep your main email address, but since all emails will be forwarded to fastmail.fm, the main email service’s inbox will now always be blank. If you’re really, really attached to your email service (like how so many people swear by Gmail), well, you can set up fastmail.fm as a separate email account just for your pager (ignoring Part Three below).

ALSO NOTE: I recommended fastmail.fm because it uses IMAP — a type of email service which makes it easy to sync emails. Yahoo, Hotmail / Microsoft Live, and Gmail all don’t use IMAP. AOL does use IMAP, though. If you’re lucky enough to already use an email service that uses IMAP, then you can continue to use your IMAP email service instead of Fastmail.fm — and set Chatter up to use that IMAP service instead of fastmail.fm.


  1. Go to fastmail.fm and set up a new email account. Pick the free (lowest) service for now, until (if) you feel comfy enough with it to pay for a higher level of service. It will ask you if you want to use a different domain name instead of fastmail.fm — pick any that you like, but it won’t make a difference except when trying to remember what to
    type when logging in.
  2. Take this step only if you want your current main email address to be used for push email: once you’ve got your fastmail.fm email account set up, click on the “Options” tab at the top of the Fastmail.fm screen. Then select “Personalities.” Create a new personality, and set it for your current main email account (i.e., johndoepager@yahoo.com or janesmith@gmail.com. Be sure to include a descriptive name (i.e., “Yahoo”) under “Display Name”, your full name under, well, “Full Name” and the Yahoo/Gmail/whatever email address under “Email Address.” Anything else can be blank, and then click “Make default.” Then click “Save Personality.” Done!
  3. Write a few test emails via Fastmail.fm to make sure they look like they’re indeed coming from your current main email address (i.e., looking like it comes from “johndoepager@yahoo.com” instead of “johndoe@fastmail.fm”). KEEP IN MIND that you haven’t set up forwarding from Yahoo or your main email account yet — do that in Part Three below.


  1. Using your Treo’s Blazer or web browser, you can download and install Chatter Email directly onto your Treo. Go to get.chatteremail.com and follow the instructions (you may be asked to install a program installer first — do that first).
    1. If you’re unable to install directly onto your Treo, then download the latest version of Chatter onto your computer and sync the following files onto your Treo:
  2. Once you’ve installed Chatter, go to your Treo’s launcher (where you see a list of programs like Camera, Contacts,
    Calendar, etc) and look for “Chatter”
  3. Open it, and follow the instructions for setting it up for first use. When it asks for an email service, select “Fastmail.fm (IMAP)” and fill in your info there. Fill in your name, then Fastmail login name (the full Fastmail email address) — i.e., johndoe@fastmail.fm, then the Fastmail account password. Make sure “always online” is checked, and all others are unchecked. click OK.
  4. When viewing the inbox / mailbox view for your new fastmail.fm account on Chatter, press the pull-down menu keyboard icon and select E (for “Edit Mailbox”). Most of the info has already been pre-filled in. But if you’re planning on keeping another (non-Fastmail.fm) email address as your main email address, then click on the “SMTP” tab and then type the main email address in the “Ret’n Addr” field. That makes your out-going emails look like they’re being sent from your main email account, even though it’s actually being received and sent through fastmail.fm. Tricky, eh?
  5. Chatter is extremely customizable, via two separate sets of preferences. One set of preferences is for the overall “feel” of the program, and is via the top-menu-bar / “Prefs” / “Preferences.” Another set of preferences is for each email account — go to that email account’s inbox view, then top-menu-bar / Box / Edit Mailboxes.
    Suggest you read the Chatter Email help document to really understand these options.
    But, for now, several important ones via Top-menu-bar / Prefs / Preferences:
    — System: Check everything except “Alert Killer”, “Default to SD Card Mailboxes”. Under “If LED is not notifying,” suggest checking “Keep LED off”
    — Connections: uncheck everything except “Trust SSL certificates”
    — Message View: up to you
    — Composing view: up to you
    — Mailbox view: up to you
    — Notifications: I only have “Vib” and “LED” selected for all three lines in the chart, and “Pop” checked only for “Using other App.” “Tone” is unchecked. Everything else below the chart is unchecked. Up to you if you want reminders or sound or whatever.
    — Button keys: I have “Hard Button 3” set to “QuickSync All” and all other buttons set to “Default.” Also, have “Use One Key Commands” checked.
    — Performance: The Treo 680’s battery isn’t as good as my (Treo 650) battery, so settings here are important. Uncheck the first two, check “Deeper Sleep”, set Latency to “More”, set “Updates to Server” to “Delayed”, set “Signal Req’d for data” to “Good signal.”
    — Security: up to you
    — Updates: uncheck everything — doesn’t work very well as of yet.
  6. Check to make sure your Treo is indeed working well with your fastmail.fm account. Write a few emails to your fastmail.fm account and see if they’re being pushed to your Treo within moments.


  1. If all is well, it’s time to configure your main email service (i.e., Yahoo or Gmail) to forward your emails to your
    fastmail.fm account.
  2. For Yahoo: go to Yahoo’s options menu, and set POP / Forwarding option so that all emails are being forwarded to your fastmail.fm address. Don’t use Yahoo anymore. (Note that using the Forwarding option requires that you pay for a higher level of Yahoo Mail service.)
  3. For Gmail: go to “Settings,” then “Forwarding and POP,” and turn Forwarding on to the new fastmail.fm address. Up to you if you want to set this to delete the copy from your Gmail in-box or not — I recommend deleting.
  4. For other email accounts: go to the preferences or settings menu, and set forwarding so that all new emails are forwarded to your fastmail.fm account and deleted from your account.
  5. I should note that with Fastmail, you can also create folders, and save emails into these folders. And on the Treo, you can even transfer emails to folders, and have them be transferred to folders on Fastmail too. You reply to emails on Chatter, and you’ll see a “reply icon” show up on Fastmail. Etc etc. Totally awesome. I just wish my contact info would sync back n fro too.

And now you have push email on your Treo! At least, I hope so … If the steps doesn’t work, if I phrased a step incorrectly, or if something needs more sub-steps, let me know in the comments.


28 Responses to “Push Email On Palm Treo Via Chatter and Fastmail.fm”

  1. Karen Turley Says:

    Hello–Interesting about Fastmail, which I hadn’t been aware of. I’ve been using Chatter on my Treo for about a year, though I wanted a separate pager address anyway so I used Everyone.net, an inexpensive “push” service where your address is username@emailtreo.com.

    Then I do the opposite of what you do–I didn’t like having to go to Everyone.net to check my Treo archives, so I set up Chatter to BCC all my pager email to Gmail, where I have a rule for archiving it.

    Then I use the Treo’s Versamail to pull my work email if necessary, and Blazer to check my personal Gmail if necessary. This keeps hip-buzzing limited to people who really need me during the day (I’m a classroom teacher).

    Thanks for all the tech info!

  2. Proud Geek Says:

    Thanks, Karen! Great info! You can also set Chatter up to pull emails from your work emails whenever you want. Via that new account’s “Edit Mailbox” option, turn off checking for new emails every xx minutes, and set it to quicksync. Then whenever you want to check for new emails, just press the “email” button on your Treo’s keyboard a second time, and it’d quicksync all the other email accounts. I do that for the junk folder of my main email account at fastmail.fm, since sometimes non-junk emails are swept into there.

  3. Mo Says:


  4. E Says:

    Unfortunately the free fastmail account no longer allows smtp for sending emails so now you can’t send/reply to emails if you’re using the method above. One would have to upgrade to a memeber level or higher. At least member is just a one time fee, but still its not free.

  5. proudgeek Says:

    E – very good comment, I’d forgotten about that. But you can set your SMTP settings to send using your free gmail account settings (yet using your preferred email address in the “reply to” setting).

  6. Frank Says:

    How do you get fastmail to deposit your e-mail into specific folders, and how do you set chattermail for these folders? Specifically:
    1. Forward all e-mails from Yahoo to fastmail – Done!
    2. Set up a filter to send all emails containing my attorneys name to inbox – done!
    3. filter to send to inbox all e-mails containing the word bill to inbox.
    4. everything else to a folder called Yahoo – How do I do this? I’ve tried:
    header :contains [“X-LinkName”] “Yahoo”
    but everything still comes to my inbox

    Also, how do I set up the same inbox and yahoo folders on chattermail?

  7. proudgeek Says:

    Frank – forgive me for not getting back to you sooner. Was out of town. Let’s see, try this (although it sounds like you already tried this) …

    1. Go to your Fastmail mailbox
    2. Click on “Options”
    3. Click on “Define Rules”
    4. Click on “File in folders”
    5. If you haven’t already, set up new rules to send all emails containing your attorney’s name into inbox, another rule to send all “bill” to inbox.
    6. Set the “Order” of these new rules as 1 and 2
    7. Click on “Update”
    8. Do a third rule and set it thus, “To / CC / BCC” “Contains” (type “Yahoo” under “The Text”) and then folder “Yahoo”. Under “Order,” type “3” (or whichever number follows your other rules — you could even type 99 here), and then click on “Update”.

    The key here is to make sure that the new “To / CC / BCC” “Yahoo” rule is set to follow the other rules in Order. So that’d mean Fastmail would first look at all emails and put those with “Bill” and your attorney’s names into the inbox, and THEN everything else into a different folder.

    Hope this helps!

  8. Robert Sisson Says:

    I installed Chatteremail on my 755p today (8/22/07) per your excellent 5/27/07 instructions. I’m able to receive push email from my gmail acct, but can’t send email from the 755p. I haven’t upgraded to a pay version of fastmail.fm because I’m still trying out chattteremail, but fastmail.fm wants a paid subscription before allowing me smtp access.

    As a temporary work-around, per your 7/11/07 comment, I set chatteremail/box/edit mailbox/smtp/return address to my gmail address.
    However I get Chatteremail error, sending error 535 5.7.0 error, authentication failed.

    Then on the smtp tab in chatteremail, I changed
    server to : smtp.gmail.com
    login name to: my gmail email address
    password to: my gmail password

    and got:
    Sending error 530 5.7.0 must issue STARTTLS command first v32sm 1056032wah

    Do you have any suggestions on how to modify my SMTP settings in chatteremail or other settings so I can send email and stop the error messages?

    Many thanks for your helpful and lucid comments.

  9. proudgeek Says:

    Robert — when you put in your login name, make sure you put in your FULL email address (e.g., “robertsisson@gmail.com” — not just “robertsisson”).

    In the SMTP tab, make sure “TLS” is checked, and everything else is unchecked.

    All the other settings you listed for sending / SMTP mail in Gmail looks right.

    Hope this helps! I know it feels sooo frustrating not being able to send mail!

  10. Robert Sisson Says:


    Checking TLS did the trick, and Chatteremail sends perfectly.

    Email from Chatteremail appears in gmail webmail but not in Outlook 2003 under XP. How can Outlook and gmail be set so items sent from Chatteremail will sync all the way to Outlook?

  11. proudgeek Says:

    Robert – glad TLS did the trick! Outlook — I’m not too sure what’s happening, since I don’t use Gmail with Outlook. I do know that sent emails appear in the inbox, and then “come back” to the Treo’s Chatter’s inbox on my next sync (if I’m sync’ing via POP with Gmail in addition to IMAP with Fastmail) – kinda annoying. Could the fact that these emails are “sent” make a difference to Outlook? Can’t be that. Wish I could be of more help.

  12. map2 Says:

    comment – map2

  13. Blingo Dorian Says:

    Why would I pay nearly $40.00 plus to do this when my Treo 700p comes with VersaMail free. Versamail lets me check my work email, Exchange Server mail account, free and I check my mail on my computer or Treo. I am happy to see tech/geek stuff for Palm OS though. Thanks for the article.

  14. Jack Short Says:

    Thank you so much Mr. Proud Geek. This was the best help I have ever found on the topic. I am running my Gmail, work, and university accounts and they’re all push!!! Now I have all the good elements of the Blackberry onto my beloved Treo. I wish I would have discovered this last year. Cheers mate!

  15. proudgeek Says:

    Jack – glad you found this so useful!!
    Blingo – some people (like me!) require push email. VersaMail uses “pull” email, not push email, and that’s just simply not acceptable for folks like me. But for the majority of folks outta there, “pull” email is fine.

  16. Ahmed A. Says:

    Blingo $40 is worth it to get email on your treo when it appears at your mail server. that’s how email is supposed to work.

    scheduling or pushing a button on your treo isn’t the most effective way of getting email.

    technology-use it to its fullest ability!!!

  17. […] and sending emails via Chatter (see my blog post about setting up push email using […]

  18. […] Versamail email program does not use push technology — so just download Chatter Email and follow my instructions to get push […]

  19. Sean Says:

    Hi..this looks awesome. Had a Blackberry 8830 and it would not work with entourage on Mac so took it back and got a 755p. I loved the 8830’s push mail so this is awesome. Is there a way to either link the chattermail to versamail so its at the touch of a button or change the treo’s email button to open chattermail? Sorry, I am a comlete idiot with this stuff. Will follow your instructions tonight with plenty of coffee.


  20. proudgeek Says:

    Hi Sean – good luck, and don’t get too caff’ed on coffee, grin. I don’t think there’s a way to link Chatter to Versamail, but you can set Chattermail to be the default email client (and thus open when the email button is pushed). Hope you get through the instructions just fine!

  21. Sean Says:


    Having some problems….too much or not enoguh caffeine obviously!
    I thought I had followed the instructions to the letter and set up a trial Fastmail account, downloaded chatter….followed instructions above trying to get it to work with my paid hotmail account but kep getting the message” A connection could not be made to the server specified in “Edit Mailbox”. Chattermail will try again in 5 minutes.

    The imap server it gave me for fastmail was mail.messagingengine.com
    I entered my login name and password correctly as I have double checked these twice?

    Any thoughts?

  22. proudgeek Says:

    Sean —

    Two possibilities may be happening. See Robert Sisson’s comment above, and my response to it. Is that what’s happening to you? Alternatively, maybe you’re able to receive emails, but you’re not able to send emails. In that case, it’s because “free” Fastmail does not allow you to send email through it (via SMTP). In that case, you may need to use your gmail’s SMTP (if you have gmail) — see E’s comment above and my response to it. Hope this helps!!

  23. Sean Says:

    Thanks! Got up this morning and is if by magic Fastmail and chatter are working perfect so its time to try forwarding from Hotmail which could be an experience. Thanks for all your help! This really is awesome because the Treo is a much better phone than the 8830.

  24. Jarrod D Says:

    Thanks for all the great info.

    In a prior post: “I do know that sent emails appear in the inbox, and then “come back” to the Treo’s Chatter’s inbox on my next sync (if I’m sync’ing via POP with Gmail in addition to IMAP with Fastmail”

    Can you expand on this and explain how to accomplish this?

  25. jake Says:

    Thanks for the great info. I own the 700p treo. My work Outlook account (small firm) is a POP account. I used your instructions to download chatteremail and use fastmail.com to push my emails instantly to my treo. It works great.

    One problem that I have encountered.

    1) The emails that come over have the forwarded message contained in them. Can this be resolved?

    2) When I go to try to reply to the message, instead of replying to the person that actually sent the message, it sends it back to my Outlook account (POP) since that is the forwarded message?

    Please help ASAP.

  26. proudgeek Says:

    Hi Jake! Sounds like you’re forwarding your emails from your Outlook account to your fastmail.com account. But when you “forward,” the emails end up looking like they’re from your work account (with “fwd:” in the subject) than from your friends and colleagues. I suggest setting up a “Redirect” function or rule in Outlook instead of “Forward.” When you “Redirect” an email address, it still looks like it’s from your friend even though it was originally sent to your work email. That may work much better for you. Also FYI, Gmail now offers IMAP (see link below), although Fastmail is much better at making it seem as if email is coming from your work email address instead of some other email address.


  27. Mark Says:

    I can’t find the “Chatter” Icon so I can log into my account to send an email

  28. Rob Says:

    21 July 2012 I have been a Fastmail customer for some years. I have a Sprint Palm Treo 755p which I need to upgrade from soon. Over the years the Fastmail tech support has been excellent. They usually email a response within 12 hours or so and almost always the advice works. As late as July 20 I got excellent help from tech support in a series of about 4 emails. Thanks, Fastmail!!

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