Mac Web/Tech

Needed: A Better IMAP Solution for Managing Old/Sent Email

I’m a big fan of what the Google folks are doing with the Labs feature in Gmail.

One of the features they added a few months back allows you to enable/disable various “folders” (or Labels in Gmail parlance) so that they’re not made available to IMAP clients. If you enable that feature, you can – for example – make Gmail’s All Mail or Sent Mail invisible to IMAP clients so that they won’t spin forever trying to keep a desktop version of those multi-gigabyte (!) mailboxes in sync with the Gmail server version. A major step forward! But, alas, not a complete solution to my needs.

On my desktop (Mac), I use a program called EagleFiler to manage huge archives of files that I think at some point I’ll want to go back and refer to again. EagleFiler makes searching my archive of saved “stuff” quick and easy. It’s really great at what it does!

What I’d love to do is to have my sent email, for example, added incrementally into my EagleFiler archive – so that I’ve got a local copy, easily searchable, right at hand. The problem is that there’s no way I’ve discovered to be able to do that.

With Gmail, it’s an all or nothing proposition. I either get a copy of ALL my sent mail – or nothing. I can’t get a incremental update feed for sucking into EagleFiler as I’m sending outgoing mail.

I haven’t completely described my problem here – just a glimmer of what I’m thinking the issues are. I’d welcome any suggestions to a better “ecology of mind” on how to better archive my sent mail in a way that makes sense!

One reply on “Needed: A Better IMAP Solution for Managing Old/Sent Email”

I use MailSteward – manually, although there is an automated batch update process. But it’s email-specific and less than optimal. It was the best I could find several years ago, though.
I also use DevonThink Pro (instead of EagleFiler) and I know the new 2.0 version has improved mail import capabilities. Am not sure if that includes Scrips/Automator ways of handling mail that might work. I’ll report back once I get more comfortable with it.

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