Mail Relocating from Apple Mail to DTP for Processing

Both the documentation and ebook have left me in the dark on email. What I want to do is copy whole mailboxes to DTP 3, then delete the messages from Apple mail and manage them in DTP, adding new messages as they come into that now empty mailbox.

Once in DTP, I expect to group some, delete others and analyse. These are may years of technical discussion on various topics. Would this use ‘archive’? What’s the difference between archive and copy?


Ruke of thumb: import for selected messages or groups of messages; archive for entire mailboxes.

Archive is what you’re looking for - it handles whole mailboxes well. After you’ve done the first archive, subsequent ones will bring across only new emails. DT does a good job of retain the mailbox/message structure if you need that as well as the DT tools for organisation and analysis.

A point to be aware of is that DT will not import the same message into a database more than once, whichever method you use. If you bring an individual message across and then later archive the mailbox it’s in, the archive action will ignore it because it already exists in the database. This has caused me issues in the past, where I want a specific message for some purpose and also want to archive mailboxes. My workaround was to create a separate database for mail archives. A good alternative is to do the archive first and then replicate the archived message wherever else you need it.

Many thanks. So, I can:

  1. Archive a Mailbox to DTP, deleting the messages in Mail but keeping the mailbox.

  2. Put new messages in the mailbox in Mail. Simultaneously modify and annotate the database in DTP, deleting many messages.

  3. re-archive that same mailbox from mail to Devonthink and new messages will carried over so I can again delete originals in Mail?

Yes - just like that

Many thanks. It is not easy helping folks. Appreciate it.

My pleasure - it’s nice to be able to help when you can.

So, I can archive a mailbox, then delete all the messages in that mailbox in mail. Then in six months, archive again, and all the new messages will be added to the older ones, now deleted from mail?

Yes, that would be the case.