avoiding email duplicates from various Apple mail

Hi all

I am trying to build an email archive with two things in mind and would like to ask for advice before committing myself fully:

  • avoid duplication of emails stored on various computers (see below)
  • would like to do the categorization in Devonthink and not before importing

My previous approach to the subject was very unsystematic, over the years I had local mailboxes, POP3 accounts and now mostly IMAP accounts but some setup so they keep local copies for offline browsing.

I am having the problem that I have to swap computers fairly regularly so much of the stuff is distributed all over the place but I do have copies of the application support folder if not access to these computers themselves. But somebody will be working on this computer so I need to know what to do, there is not a whole lot of time for experiments.

  • What would be the best way to deal with possible duplicate mails? Can I leave that to Devonthink to sort out for me? This would depend on whether or not DTPO can do the sorting for me. If it can, I’d be happy to import the whole lot, ungroup everything (I tend to have very few email folders anyway) and unleash the AI.
    How do you guy handle this or am I really the only one to realize much too late that this problem was building up even though I did not dare to notice?


(I use Apple’s mail client)

Actually DEVONthink Pro Office should convert already imported emails either to replicants or skip them, depending on the preferences.

Just for clarification: if the message stores for a given email account on two machines are exactly the same (e.g., Mail is synced with MobileMe, same accounts on both machines, mail is retrieved on both machines); and a DT database is copied between machines (DT is open on only one machine at a time); and if email is imported on one machine, and then the other, that messages will either be replicated or not imported, depending on the setting of “previously imported [mail] will become replicants]”?

And this means that the integrity of threads is also preserved? (If “import complete conversations” and “group conversation thread” are selected).

I use a laptop as a working copy of my desktop when I’m at a client site, and have always avoided importing mail on the laptop, which is a problem during extended absences from my office. This is because I have a very large and complex store of messages in various databases that I don’t want to corrupt. Christian’s posting implies that importing on two machines is not a worry (of course, if the overall database integrity is preserved by having only one database instance open at a time).

It should work that way but I haven’t checked this scenario.

Threads should be preserved.