Maintaining the Mail storage tree when importing into DevonThink

Apple Mail stores my messages in iCloud in a multi-level folder tree, as an aid to retrieving them. Messages may be stored multiple - as many as 6! - levels down in the hierarchy, and may be placed there either automatically, by Mail Rules, or manually as a result of a conscious decision about the message’s proper placement. The location of a message thus of itself contains information - sometimes non-systematic information - about the message and its significance, and a message’s location is an important element in my message retrieval methods.

I recently installed the DevonThink add-ons for Mail, and tried to import my mailbase into DevonThink, with a view to using DevonThink as a more powerful message retrieval system than is offered by Apple Mail.

For my first attempt, I opened the importer, selected iCloud Mail, and used the “Import” button. This, as expected, imported all my messages without any folder structure - just a pool of messages!

Next, I deleted the imported messages and tried again, this time using the “Archive Mailbox” button, and the result did include some kind of storage structure - but much flattened, so my careful structure within Mail is effectively lost. Within DevonThink’s version of the iCloud folder there is only one level of hierarchy, so no folder nesting, and apparently no way of retrieving further information about Mail’s storage structure.

This corrupted version of my hierarchy is unhelpful to my purposes. Is this flattening effect the result of a limitation within DevonThink, or am I doing something wrong within my settings or how I set about performing the import?

Did you enable the plug-in for Apple Mail in Mail’s preferences?


Thank you for that - I had omitted that step! I deleted everything and started again, and this time the full folder structure has been imported into DevonThink - and as a bonus it took a fraction of the time it took previously.

Communities rock! :slight_smile:

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