Re: Getting read out of inbox

Subject: Re: Getting read out of inbox

Date: Tue, 28 Nov 2023 13:54:12 -0800

To: Caleb Herbert,


From: Carl Worth

On Mon, Nov 27 2023, Caleb Herbert wrote:
> Hi,

Hi Caleb,

> I have a stupid newbie question.

No problem at all.

> I just started using Notmuch, opened my email in Emacs, and was
> bombarded by a bunch of old mail.  My email was perfectly sorted in
> Icedove (Thunderbird) before I made the switch.  Everything was in the
> Archive/20xx folders.

When notmuch encounters mail for the first time it adds (by default
anyway) an "inbox" tag to each item.

In your case, where most of what you've just imported is not new, all
you need to do is remove that inbox tag from the mail that you've
already read.

Fortunately, notmuch makes that pretty easy since you can search for and
tag (or untag) messages matching search criteria of interest.

I'd suggest starting at the command line and doing some notmuch based
searches to see how things work and then switch from searching to
instead do the tag removal when you're happy with what things look like.

For example , you might start by just counting all messages:

    notmuch count '*'

and then count messages matching some search criteria, such as, perhaps:

    notmuch count folder:Archive/2022

If the counts look like what you are expecting, then you can untag
messages with "notmuch tag -inbox" and again, providing the same search
criteria such as:

    notmuch tag -inbox folder:Archive/2022

Of course, your search criteria doesn't have to be based on maildir
directories like the above. You could also search for all messages prior
to some specific date with something like:

    notmuch count date:..2023-06-01

and, of course, again:

    notmuch tag -inbox date:..2023-06-01

See "man notmuch-search-terms" for many more examples of ways you can
search for messages.

I hope that gives you a good place to start. And I hope that notmuch
gives you a better experience once you're past this first hurdle.

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