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Backpacking it out of EML hell

posted by DL Byron on May 03, 2005

I'm on a productivity roll this week, with Tiger, Mail, and Backpack.

EMLEntourage has a ton o' great features and all those whizbang features are really slow on Panther and incredibly (unusable) slow on Tiger. Entourage is also not indexed by Spotlight, which has already saved me once. MS has promised an update, but I'd been thinking about it for a while and finally decided to switch to Apple's Mail application. I imported 17K mails, spent a few hours cleaning up the import and now, instead of attempting to organize everything, I'm setting up Smart Folders that display the results of a search. For example, I set one to show the last 30 days of email and another to show me all mail with Clip-n-Seal in the title.

I don't care where my mail is, as long as an application finds it for me.

Resisting the urge to be tidy takes a while, but it's a reality when you have 17K emails. Mail imported amazingly well. I screwed it up by trying to get tricky with rules (set by if mail is older than and less than) and then had to figure out what was what. I started over and finally resulted to

  1. Export Entourage Folder
  2. Import a folder at a time into empty Entourage "Migration" Identity - created just for this purpose
  3. Import into Mail from Migration Identity
  4. Run Smart Folders and Rules on Imported Mails
  5. Curse Entourage's .eml and .mbox format

EML Hell

Note: Do not mistakenly drop a folder full of mails to your desktop instead of a folder, or you'll get "EML Hell" as demonstrated in the photo and curse eml files.

Backpacking it

Once I got my desktop cleaned up from eml hell, I tried the new PIM (personal information manager) app from 37 Signals. It promises easy collaboration to gather your ideas, to-dos, notes, photos and files online. Then share the ideas, set email and reminders. Now, I'd like to see a Backpack Widget, where I can bang out a brilliant new blog business plan in bullets, have it uploaded, shared, and added to a growing list of such amazing plans.

Comments (2)
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May 11  |  Andrew Ho said:

In case you’re interested, you may very well see a Backpack widget coming soon. Reading from the announcement of it’s release by Signal vs Noise it says they have a nice API planned, and hint at the possibility of either them or someone else making a backpack widget.

— Andy

May 11  |  -b- said:

I’m sure SVN is on it. They announced PDA access yesterday. And on that, Apple has opended up the iDisk API, which would be equally cool to sync iCal with Backpack et al.

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