I’ve had a few clients who recently requested their file. I’m paperless, so I simply create a zip file of their folder, upload it to Adobe SendNow, and send it to the client. The hard part is that I don’t keep emails in the client’s folder. All of my emails are in Google Apps, and I needed to copy them into the client’s folder. Printing them out as PDFs individually would take forever, so I wanted to find an automated solution.
My first instinct was to ask for help on the Macs in Law Office (MILO Group) message board. No one had an immediate solution, but a few attorneys suggested using Apple Script. I’ve used Apple Script before, but I don’t feel savvy enough to take a few hundred emails and turn them into PDFs. Scripting something like that probably would have taken me a few days. So I went snooping around the Apple Store.
There’s where I found Email Archiver. This app claimed to do exactly what I wanted, and for $20, seemed much easier than coding a custom solution. After testing, the app works fantastic, and fortunately, just as advertised. After a quick setup and extraction process, my client’s emails were sorted by year, month, and date into a beautifully organized system.
Here’s how I set it up. For this to work, you need to be on a Mac, have your Google Apps account connected to Mail.app with IMAP, and install Email Archiver.
Label the Emails
First, you’ll need to label all the emails you want archived. Google has instructions on that process here.
Check your GMail Settings
Second, make sure you have the right settings in Gmail. Open up Settings by clicking the gear in the top right, and on the Labels tab, make sure that the box for the “Show in IMAP” option is checked next to the label you intend to archive. On the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab, scroll down to Folder Size Limits and make sure that Do not limit the number of messages in an IMAP folder (default) is selected.
Open Mail.App on your Mac and synchronize all your accounts. If your settings are correct, your label should appear in the menu bar on the left, and all the emails with that label should download to that folder. Make sure that the sync completes before moving on.
Set up Email Archiver
Install and launch Email Archiver. Open the Settings page and click the plus button under “Source Folders:” On my Mac, the labels are in ~/Library/Mail/V2/[your email address]. All your Labels will have individual mbox files. Find your Label and add that as your source. Finally, select your output folder.
Close Settings and click start. The App works quick, and after a short wait, you will have a sorted, organized PDF file of every client email. It takes a few minutes to get the process down the first time, but once you understand what you’re doing, exporting emails becomes super easy thanks to Email Archiver.