Yojimbo & Mail

Demo-ing Yojimbo, and since there are trustworthy Yojimbo users on L&L, thought I’d ask here:

Is there a simple way to save individual emails from Mail.app to Yojimbo? Thanks in advance for any help you may offer.

EagleFiler (and DevonThink? Haven’t used it, really) are the only apps of this type that I know of that handle emails.

If you drop an email on Yojimbo’s drop dock under 10.5, you get a direct link to the email, which isn’t really ideal but could be useful.

Thanks much, Mr. The Flea. I’ve been meaning to check out EagleFiler.

Yeah, the link to the email thing doesn’t do me much good, as I was looking for a way to quickly tag/store/delete emails per job.

I keep hoping for something that will allow me to store everything and dynamically update stuff as I work. (It could be argued that I already own this solution, called a “computer”, but whatever.)

Since you are already using Mail, what about its Smart Folders function? You can use them to store mail by sender, recipient, or subject line, even while moving e-mail (via contextual menu) to storage folders. I just converted to Mail from Entourage and am amazed with the improvement in speed and flexibility of searching and organizing. DevonNote or DevonThink are also great ways to store copies of e-mail, organized by projects. Plus web sites, text files, etc.

Sean, a lot depends on how you need to work with those emails.

I try to keep 99 % of my emails in Mail. For me, that’s a good strategy because there are topics I know I can purge at certain intervals.

I rarely archive emails outside of Mail, and when I do, it’s because they have substantive text that I will need to reference as I develop a project. For those few emails, it’s easy to just do a Select All and then either use Services to funnel the text to Yojimbo or Scrivenir, or do a simple cut-and-paste.

At the same time, I have a retro-sort of need for Mail folders. This just reflects the project-based nature of most of my work, and that fact that I just feel better when I know that I can quickly find the email I want to review with a quick scan of that project’s folder.

It’s just a way of working that’s better for me, especially as a visual person.

Now, to get the emails into their folders, I just use the old “Rules” technology of Mail. It doesn’t take me long to set up a rule with useful conditions that will then filter 90% of my mail into a project folder. And I just keep refining the rule to make sure it’s capturing what I want it to capture. Rules takes them out of my Inbox immediately. Hooray!

The rest of my emails I can skim quickly and reply or delete as appropriate.

The reason I don’t like Smart Folders is that while the Smart folder–smartly–groups emails it doesn’t get them out of my Inbox, and for me, Inbox Zero is an absolute necessity. I can quickly scan my list of mailboxes to see if there are new emails I should read. (So, I immediately look at a new email in “Project XYZ” but I defer “Coupons” until I’m thinking of purchasing something.)

I’m a huge fan of Yojimbo but I use it for “things I know I’ll want to recall someday” (like serial numbers) or for “things I just might want to read, think about, or look at someday” and for my “someday” lists (books, music, things I see that I wish I could buy). I don’t use Yojimbo for email, because most of my email falls into the category of “I have to keep this for a while but then I can trash it” category. I like keeping my email confined (like a noxious weed) to Mail.

Liz I

Definitely give EagleFiler a try. I’ve been using it as an archive for my work email for a while because Mail’s searching isn’t very powerful (if you want to search for more than one thing at a time), and I hate gumming up my sidebar with smart folders I’ll access only occasionally. Right now I use EagleFiler to track emails and so forth that I have to deal with doing web design. I haven’t started tossing files in it for each client yet, though, because it will take so darn much work to migrate from my folder hierarchy in the Finder.

My workflow is to tag everything that comes into Mail using rules and by hand if necessary, then every so often import my mailbox contents into EagleFiler. When I do, I move the emails into a single archive folder (so that they’ll still be available to Mail searches and smart folders, since there are a couple clients active enough to need them). Thanks to the tags, everything is already presorted in EagleFiler.

The MailTags integration in EagleFiler was what started me storing emails in it, and it can handle just about every type of file, too. Yojimbo has specialized items (passwords, serial numbers), but a much more limited scope of files that it allows.

Good luck finding a solution that works for you!