I do my best to tinker with all the local mail tools that I collect, even when some of them are well beyond my reach. notmuch is a mail indexer, that supposedly is extensible to a practical mail reader, with the help of some outside applications.
Here’s what it can do on its own:
If you keep a local mail folder but need something to search and sort, notmuch might work well for you. I did that little bit with the help of offlineimap and one Google Mail account, and it didn’t take much more effort to get notmuch working. On its first run, notmuch gave me an interactive configuration wizard, and in the space of a minute, I was picking through my .mail folder.
notmuch has only a few commands — like
show above — that return mail results, and from there you can manage them as you need to. I see that there are also apparently provisions for tagging messages, and dumping and restoring, a la an e-mail backup.
notmuch is another tool that, by itself, is not much.😀 It will require something to fetch the mail, and probably you’ll want to either incorporate it into another program as a mail reader — I see that both emacs and vim are possibilities, as well as the classic mutt — and there’s still the task of replying to mail before notmuch becomes a full e-mail suite.
That’s a little more than I have time for, and to be honest, if you’re the kind of person who manages their e-mail at the local level, it’s probably something you’re better at setting up than I am. No offense taken.
But keep notmuch in mind when the time comes to sort through 3000 e-mails looking for that one person who sent you a tip about an esoteric console program. …😉