Email Archives

Speaking of email, I’ve been working on an AppleScript to organize my
email boxes.

I use Mail.app under OS X, so searching is easy and quick. I can use
smart mailboxes as needed for subject-based organization, so I wanted to
move away from my existing subject-based organization scheme (a folder
for each person, job, client, etc.). But since I have about 7 years of
email on my machine, I still wanted to do better than one big mailbox.
Grouping the messages based on the date sent seemed to give me
manageable chunks, but I didn’t want to have to do that manually. So, I
came up with this script:

on archiveByDate(parentMailboxName)
tell application "Mail"
 set archiveMessages to the selection

 repeat with currentMessage in archiveMessages
  set receivedon to (date received of currentMessage)
  set archiveYear to (year of receivedon as string)
  if ((month of receivedon as number)

This automatically maintains a folder hierarchy like:

  • parentMailboxName
    • 2006
      • 01
      • 02

I use that script as a library, and have another script which I run
via a MailActOn action to file selected messages. The reason for
having a separate script is so I can separate personal messages from
work messages in the archive. For example,

set scriptDirectory to ((path to
 scripts folder as string) & "Mail Scripts")
set scriptPath to (scriptDirectory & ":MailArchiveByDate.scpt")
set theScript to (load script alias scriptPath)

tell theScript to archiveByDate("Personal")

saves my personal messages to a folder called “Personal”, while

set scriptDirectory to ((path to
 scripts folder as string) & "Mail Scripts")
set scriptPath to (scriptDirectory & ":MailArchiveByDate.scpt")
set theScript to (load script alias scriptPath)

tell theScript to archiveByDate("Work")

saves work messages to a separate set of folders.