C-Command Software Forum

Wishlist feature: "synchronizing" mailboxes

I’m a writer who’s been using DevonThink Pro for the past two years. Now, DTP is excellent but has become overly-complicated for my needs, and when I heard about Michael’s EagleFiler I jumped at downloading it. It’s off to a great start and I’ll likely spring for it soon, but there is one thing I really need. I use a separate mailbox for each ongoing project. What I’d like is a mail import option that only grabs messages dated after the last import (a sort of “sync” function). Unless I’m missing something, all I can do now is import the entire mailbox from time to time to keep the archive up to date.

Devon is working on a script to do precisely this, but hasn’t yet delivered. I’m hoping that EagleFiler’s structure might make this a relatively straightforward feature to implement (though I’m neither a programmer nor a competent scripter).

Anyone who’s worked in the Windows world has probably heard of or worked with Zoot, and its mailbox sync ability was one if its best-loved features.

Just a suggestion. Thanks for another great app, Michael.


PS- I’m also trying out MailSteward. If I use EagleFiler to archive my mail, does that make MS redundant? I’d be interested in any feedback on whether I’d even need MS (which appears to be a good product, too).

Why not simply delete the messages from Mail after you import them into EagleFiler? The synchronization problem goes away if stop keeping duplicate copies of the messages.

Well, one of the issues is: how does EagleFiler know which “last import date” you mean?

Yes, I don’t think you’d need MailSteward if you’re using EagleFiler.

I could do so, yes. But it adds another step to my workflow which is already confusing. It may sound trivial, but the thought of erroneously deleting the wrong emails-- a real possibility in my case<g>-- is scary. I’ll look at it, though.

Well, one of the issues is: how does EagleFiler know which “last import date” you mean?

MailSteward just asks you for a range of dates to save, and defaults “from:” to the date of the last import and “to:” to the current date. I assume it just keeps a record of the date of the last one, somewhere.

Yes, I don’t think you’d need MailSteward if you’re using EagleFiler.

Probably not. Here’s the thing-- I’ve got twelve years worth of emails floating around that I actually need to keep (some for business tax records and some pack-rat stuff that I may need for research in the future). That’s why I prefer to have a least two, independent backups. EF’s attractive in that it’s not only an archiver but I can actually work on emails in it as well. That’s something you can’t do in, say, MailSteward.

Anyway, thanks for the reply!


What I do is select the mailboxes in Mail, press F1, and when EagleFiler is done importing I delete the displayed messages. So it is another step, but there’s no way I would be deleting the wrong e-mails. Plus, one of the main reasons people use mail archivers is to clean the messages out of their mail program to speed it up.

Hmm. I might consider adding something like that, but I think it has a lot of potential for user error. For example, if you don’t import all your mailboxes at the same time, then you might not get all the messages the next time because the date will be wrong for some of them. So, really, there’s a separate date to keep track of for each mailbox, plus the problem of tracking mailboxes as they are renamed and moved, and what if you have multiple EagleFiler libraries? It gets confusing quickly. That’s why I prefer the simple model where you select what you want to import and then delete it when done.

What do you mean by independent? I think it makes a lot of sense to keep two or more current backups in different locations. But I’d rather make multiple backups of my EagleFiler libraries than keep parallel sets of data in EagleFiler and Mail. Plus, EagleFiler stores the mail in mbox format, so it’s more future-proof than backing up Mail’s non-standard data store.

Okay- your logic is unassailable. I’m in!


Oh, now I get it (d’oh!)
Michael- I just discovered the “merge mailboxes” command. That basically takes care of my syncing issue. I just periodically capture the relevant box, merge it with the previously captured version of the same box, then merge. Then I can delete the emails.

EF just gets better 'n better!


PS- how would the merge command perform if I tried to merge mboxes from say, Mail and Entourage? Does it do it by date/timestamp? Just wondering.

Great! That’s exactly what I do. :slight_smile:

Once the mailboxes are in mbox format (which they will be if you’ve imported them into EagleFiler), messages are messages–it doesn’t matter which program they came from. When creating the merged mailbox, EagleFiler copies the messages from the oldest mailbox file, then the next oldest, etc. However, the order of the messages in a mbox file doesn’t really matter, since EagleFiler will sort when displaying them anyway.