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Old 24 Jan 2022, 03:46 AM   #1
prog
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Join Date: Jan 2022
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Is there a unique id to find an email message

Hello,

I would like to store ids or links to specific messages for future reference.

1) I tried storing the url after opening a message. But one problem I see is that it also contains the folder name so if the message is moved that won't work anymore.

2) I tried storing the last part (string id) assuming it's unique to this message. But when I tried doing a search with it and it's not able to find the message.

The title of a message is often not specific or unique enough for my purpose.

Do you know or have another idea?

Thank you!
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Old 24 Jan 2022, 04:57 AM   #2
BritTim
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The message headers contain a header called Message ID. which uniquely identifies the message. You can find this with Actions->Display raw message followed by finding 'Message-ID: <' (without the quotes).

You can later use search to look for msgid:<saved-id> to locate the message in the future.

If you only do this infrequently, the approach above should be sufficient. However, it would become pretty tedious to do often. I suggest in that case you add the Message-ID to the details displayed. You do this through Settings->Preferences->Advanced preferences

Last edited by BritTim : 24 Jan 2022 at 05:08 AM.
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Old 24 Jan 2022, 05:43 AM   #3
hadaso
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BritTim beat me to it...
I got the same search results also using Header:Message-ID:string instead of msgid:string.

It seems that saving the URL produced by this search and reentering it in a separate browser tab works and brings up the single message, so it may be a convenient way to save pointers to important past messages.
FastMail also allows saving searches and then they appear at the bottom of the folders list. I would have used this if saved searches could be collected inside folders. But as it is that they must all be listed in the top level of the folder tree they are of limited use.
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Old 24 Jan 2022, 06:32 AM   #4
prog
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I did both steps, the locating and then searching of message-ID and also the permanent display of it in the details and got it to work.

Thank you BritTim!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BritTim View Post
The message headers contain a header called Message ID. which uniquely identifies the message. You can find this with Actions->Display raw message followed by finding 'Message-ID: <' (without the quotes).

You can later use search to look for msgid:<saved-id> to locate the message in the future.

If you only do this infrequently, the approach above should be sufficient. However, it would become pretty tedious to do often. I suggest in that case you add the Message-ID to the details displayed. You do this through Settings->Preferences->Advanced preferences

Last edited by prog : 24 Jan 2022 at 06:48 AM.
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Old 24 Jan 2022, 06:40 AM   #5
prog
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I tried this search variation and it works too.

Plus I saved it as a search just to see.

I also agree with you for the saved search, I created just a few because it's unfortunate that they all show up at the top level without a way to create sub-folders.

Thanks hadaso!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hadaso View Post
BritTim beat me to it...
I got the same search results also using Header:Message-ID:string instead of msgid:string.

It seems that saving the URL produced by this search and reentering it in a separate browser tab works and brings up the single message, so it may be a convenient way to save pointers to important past messages.
FastMail also allows saving searches and then they appear at the bottom of the folders list. I would have used this if saved searches could be collected inside folders. But as it is that they must all be listed in the top level of the folder tree they are of limited use.
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Old 24 Jan 2022, 03:46 PM   #6
misc
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Join Date: Jul 2013
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Hi prog!


Quote:
Originally Posted by prog View Post
1) I tried storing the url after opening a message. But one problem I see is that it also contains the folder name so if the message is moved that won't work anymore.

Have you tried doing so? For me the URL still works even if you move the message to another folder. I tested this right now having labels enabled instead of folders. But I’m quite sure that it used to work with folders as well. Maybe you wanna give it a try?


Cheers,
Michael

Last edited by misc : 24 Jan 2022 at 03:46 PM. Reason: Fixed a typo
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Old 24 Jan 2022, 04:09 PM   #7
hadaso
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It would have been useful if there was an option to manually add a custom header to a message. It could be used to add keywords to stored messages that would be searchable. I get lots of messages that have very little searchable content: most of the important information is implicit (the sender assumes I know what's it about, for instance because it was sent on a certain day that is close to some deadline, so there's no need to be explicit about what it is about that "an extra week is needed". Then when I want to look back and find what has been postponed and by how much, and who was permitted to be late I have nothing to search by). I have many subfolders just for the purpose of making it feasible to relocate these messages, which would be unneeded if I could just add some keywords.
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Old 24 Jan 2022, 07:26 PM   #8
BritTim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hadaso View Post
It would have been useful if there was an option to manually add a custom header to a message. It could be used to add keywords to stored messages that would be searchable. I get lots of messages that have very little searchable content: most of the important information is implicit (the sender assumes I know what's it about, for instance because it was sent on a certain day that is close to some deadline, so there's no need to be explicit about what it is about that "an extra week is needed". Then when I want to look back and find what has been postponed and by how much, and who was permitted to be late I have nothing to search by). I have many subfolders just for the purpose of making it feasible to relocate these messages, which would be unneeded if I could just add some keywords.
If those keywords can be automatically derived at the time of message receipt, then Fastmail's sieve support does allow you to add your own header to the received message. This could be something like a header called X-hadsao-Keywords. A combination of bcc and creative sieve code can allow you to categorise outgoing mail in some use cases. Think
Quote:
bcc:hadsao+keybords(abc-def-ghi)@hadsao-alias.fm
An ugly, but practical, approach if using conversations is a reply to self (which you keep as a draft) that simply adds a keyword line in the subject or body of the message.

Of course, Labels are intended to handle many of the situations where such keywords/categories are wanted.
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Old 24 Jan 2022, 08:24 PM   #9
hadaso
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BritTim View Post
If those keywords can be automatically derived at the time of message receipt, then Fastmail's sieve support does allow you to add your own header to the received message.
Of course, but if I had criteria to automate this then I wouldn't need it as I could use the same criteria for searching mail.
Quote:
An ugly, but practical, ....
Some times I use ugly but practical methods, but I tend to do it rarely, as they are ... ugly ...
Quote:
Of course, Labels are intended to handle many of the situations where such keywords/categories are wanted.
There are (at least) to problems with using labels for this: one is that using labels requires giving up folders. Labels have no structure. They are all equal. And unlike keywords each one has to be created in advance and then kept forever. So the list of labels in this use scenario would grow in time to a huge unstructured collection of labels, that allow unlimited combinations, most of which are useless. Before FastMail had labels I hoped they would implement labels in addition to folders. But they just copied Google's method (except for allowing us to keep our structured folder tree if we do not switch to labels). The only reason I didn't switch to labels is that I want the multi-level tree structure of folders and the way it allows to completely separate things that do not belong to each other (like keeping all personal mail in a completely separate tree of folders from work mail).
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Old 25 Jan 2022, 02:49 AM   #10
BritTim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hadaso View Post
Of course, but if I had criteria to automate this then I wouldn't need it as I could use the same criteria for searching mail.
Some times I use ugly but practical methods, but I tend to do it rarely, as they are ... ugly ...
There are (at least) to problems with using labels for this: one is that using labels requires giving up folders. Labels have no structure. They are all equal. And unlike keywords each one has to be created in advance and then kept forever. So the list of labels in this use scenario would grow in time to a huge unstructured collection of labels, that allow unlimited combinations, most of which are useless. Before FastMail had labels I hoped they would implement labels in addition to folders. But they just copied Google's method (except for allowing us to keep our structured folder tree if we do not switch to labels). The only reason I didn't switch to labels is that I want the multi-level tree structure of folders and the way it allows to completely separate things that do not belong to each other (like keeping all personal mail in a completely separate tree of folders from work mail).
All your points are reasonable. What it comes down to is that we sometimes need to choose from imperfect options in life, based on our circumstances and preferences. Sadly, there is no ideal solution to this particular desire you have.

You could contact support and register your proposal for an X-UserTags header in messages that could be edited through the UI.
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