Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Searchable mail archive on Snow Leopard

Update[Wednesday, July 27th, 2011]: Theres actually a profound way to do this check it out here. [Mail Scripts]. These scripts are awesome way to organize your emails inside mail application.

Synopsis: Mailbox at work is a laughable 112mb which gets filled up with the mere bulk of notification emails from production servers. Archiving mails is only choice.

Problem: Every once in a while something comes up that forces me to search my email archive, which is a pain. (unzipping grep-ing etc). Mail program saves archived mail in weird format rhymes with NON-STANDARD.

Solution: After a little research that I can't make my archived mail on Snow Leopard spotlight searchable. And after finding out the frustrating truth that Apple's .mbox is NOT really the standard mbox format, which means mairix is out of the window.
I did the following and I am a little happy now. Its just 3 simple steps actually.
  1. Save the overloaded inbox to a local directory (Snow Leopard will call it .mbox
  2. Then Delete all the excess mail you don't want.
  3. Then in Mail program choose File> Import Mailboxes and select Files in mbox format and select the file saved in step 1.
That creates a neat new mailbox in "ON MY MAC" section called "import" which has all your archived email. Voila which is spotlight searchable and well .. Mail program searchable.

Phew what a relief.