OK. If you’re anything like me, you get a lot of email and you also keep everything! Call it CYA (Cover Your Ass), but in this day and age, you need to right? Well.. Here’s the solution.
The key to this whole thing is to get it in a format that will very unlikely suffer from obsolescence and keep it easy to index (find what you need when you need it). So here’s my solution and it works quite well.
Thunderbird: Use the smartsave add-on and export your emails to a folder. Do this regularly (once a week or so).
Microsoft Outlook: I installed “MessageSave”, it has lots of nifty features, but my personal favorite is to set up an incoming and outgoing filter to automatically save copies into that folder as well.
Now to keep the mail easy to find / index. Just install Google Desktop. That’s it!
All your mail is on the file system and if you back up regularly (I use carbonite). I’ll never lose anything! Attachments and All…
Well.. Just a few words of wisdom from someone who knows what it’s like to have to look for that one email out of thousands. (I get over 300 emails a day).