email again

It has been a couple of weeks since the last drastic change to my email habits.

Instead of leaving everything on the IMAP servers, I have decided to pull all of my email down to my local home server running Ubuntu.

mutt, still the best email client

I am still using mutt and have published my muttrc for others to be able to use. One of the things that I have changed is that instead of using a global Sent folder, email for family/friends/clients gets saved in the same folder that I save all of thier incoming mails. This makes using a threading view of the mailbox make sense and also gives me one place to go to see if I have responded to thier email or taken whatever action needed to be done. Which should help me actually respond to emails in a timely manner.


To pull my mail off of the IMAP servers, I am using fetchmail. The only wish I have for this at the moment is that it would handle multipe IMAP accounts and the 'idle' command.


To pre-sort my email, I am using maildrop. In the past I have used procmail and a perl script using the Mail::Audit package. Maildrops syntax and ease of were big wins for me this time around.

One of the last things that happens before an email is dropped into an Inbox (not a mailing list folder), is that I run the message through lbdb to grab the email addresses, which I can then query using the 'Q' key inside mutt.

if ( $SIZE < 10000 )
    cc "|lbdb-fetchaddr"


I first ran across archivemail when I was looking for a solution for some of my clients that never emptied thier Spam or Trash folders, thus going over quota for email. Since then I have started to use it for archiving mailing lists and deleting old mail out of my own Spam and Trash folders.

I have 2 cronjobs that run every hour to automatically clean up Trash and Spam:

@hourly /usr/bin/archivemail -q -d 15 /home/mharlow/Maildir/.Spam
@hourly /usr/bin/archivemail -q -d 15 /home/mharlow/Maildir/.Trash

These delete anything older than 15 days from these two folders.

wrap up

All in all this seems to be working for me, mutt working against a local Maildir is MUCH faster than going over IMAP. Having my mail presorted again means that I can have mailing lists locally instead of using gmail for all of them. I have found that I do not check my gmail account except every couple of weeks, so while it may be great for archiving lists, it does not work so well for reading them. This also makes burning a CD backup of my mail easier, since everything is local.

So, how long until I make another drastic change to the way I handle my email? Who knows, but when I do, I will probably blog about it. :)