Advice on strategies for dealing with emails and attachments

Hi All

I need some sane advice on dealing with email in DT.

I read in the manual that

“Imported email messages have their contents indexed (excluding the contents of attachments). ”

For me, I would like to be able to search the attachments primarily (along with the rest of the database), and the content of the email secondarily.

I can see a couple of ways to go about it.

(1) Leave all of the emails in the email client and deal with whatever search functions it has. I don’t like this because every search needs to be run twice, and I don’t get the benefit of DT index.

(2) Import the attachments separately into DT, and leave the emails (attachments and all) in the email client. This is slightly better than (1) because I can search the attachments along with the database, but the emails need a separate search in the email client. Also, it means having duplicates of all attachments living both in the DT and in the email client.

(3) Import the email attachments into DT, and then import the emails themselves into DT. This is slightly better than (2) because everything lives in DT; however the file attachments are duplicated. I hate duplication because I will eventually forget where everything is.

I am wondering if others have faced/solved this problem and come up with better ideas.

Also, I would be curious how you keep on top of getting new emails into DT without forgetting what’s been imported and what hasn’t.

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This is my solution, with the addition of creating a group (Data > Group Items) to contain the email and attachment items

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Have you tried the Applescripts provided by DEVONthink? They’re located in the menubar when Apple Mail is open.

With Apple Mail open and the email selected, click on Add message(s) to DEVONthink or Add message(s) & attachments to DEVONthink. In the case of a message with an attachment, a group containing the message and attachment will be created in your Inbox.


Fantastic! Are the scripts documented by any chance? It’s not always clear from the title what they do.

This screenshot is from page 717 of DEVONthink Documentation…



What do you know, there’s a Manual for that!

Thanks for pointing it out.

Re Importing Mail to DT.

If you use the script to import email, it will go into the Main Inbox.

I use several databases, and keep the Sorter open at all times with each database Inbox in the Favorites list. I drag an email (as with any file), into one of those Favorites, and it brings any attachment with it. That way it goes directly into the correct database, and it’s much easier to move any file to its final location from a particular database inbox, than from the main inbox.

Works for me.

Very nice! Thanks for sharing your experience :slight_smile:

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