I get a lot of email. I currently have 9 different email accounts spread across work and personal stuff, the important email all is IMAP (on my own server) with list mail being spread across gmail accounts and some POP accounts on my server.
Not only do I get a lot of email every day, I have a lot of email going back many years. I have an IMAP folder for each client of edgeofmyseat.com and some of those folders have now got so big the only mail client that seems able to cope with them is KMail on KDE, Mail.app on OS X gave up some time ago. This is a problem as I need to be able to get into that mail, but I don’t want to download it all from IMAP as I like to be able to get at it from numerous locations.
My other problem with archiving my mail is that I have a curious memory for where things are. My email structure is a bit like my bookcase. If I’m writing something and need a quote from a book I will know exactly where on the bookcase the book is, and where in the book the line of text I need is. This works just fine until someone moves a book and I start to wonder if I’m going insane! Email is the same. If a client phones up and asks me about some project that happened 2 years ago, I know where in my folder structure and how many messages into the mailbox that email will be … I can see it. I’m afraid that moving the messages could throw my peculiar mental systems into disarray.
However I need to do something about the situation, as it has got to the point where I can’t open some of these mailboxes. Knowing the location of individual messages within them isn’t helpful if I can’t view the things. Also I would like to be able to give Drew access to the back history of edgeofmyseat.com clients prior to his joining the company last year, and much of that is tied up in my mail.
I can’t be the only person who has found themselves with this problem, so I ask the lazyweb – what should I do with all this email? My requirements are:
- To be able to create an archive of the email in a format that still resembles the email structure so I can find things as I do now
- The archive needs to be stored centrally on a server so I can get to it wherever I happen to be working
- I would like Drew to be able to read and search this archive without needing to download it all
- I don’t want a single platform solution, I work on a Mac at home and Linux in the office