Weekly Journal 33 - Email, imapfilter


I spent some time working on my new email setup, and my burnout continues.


I found a little time this week to spend on email configuration. I have been trying to replicate my Google Mail workflow with a combination of Mutt/Neomutt and some additional tools. The basic workflow is to automatically tag newsletter and mailing list emails automatically, and move them directly into the archive. This leaves truly important and unique email in my inbox and cuts down on the number of notifications I get on my phone. Unfortunately it does not look like replicating this workflow with a plain IMAP server and my CLI mail client is viable. Google’s tagging system is a proprietary extension on top of standard email and short of trying to build my own database-backed email system I have not seen anything that really comes close.

I have also been struggling with working with HTML emails. While many of the emails I get have both an HTML and plain text version included, links are not processed correctly which reduces or kills the usefulness of the message. If I am reading a message to activate an account or reset a password and I can’t click on the link, I am going to have a hard time accomplishing that task.

With those challenges in mind, I am switching back to using a graphical mail client for the time being. I will continue to experiment with a CLI client to see if I can get it to work, but in the meantime I need to be able to use my email effectively. I have used Thunderbird in the past, and it still looks like an overall good email client.


The closest thing I have been able to find to approximate my email workflow is to have a program sort my expected messages into IMAP folders. So far, imapfilter has been doing a terrific job of moving email into different folders as it arrives. The rules are all written in the Lua programming language, so you can create some really sophisticated filters. I plan on creating some auto-delete rules for the newsletters and other messages that I read through once and never look at again.

Burnout Update

I think I am starting to feel more motivated towards computing projects again. Some good things have happened at work, and I have been doing a better job of eating better, getting exercise, and getting proper sleep. Hopefully I will be back to 100% in a couple more weeks.

What’s Next?

Wrapping up the initial phase of my email project.