Category: Personal productivity

Opera Mail: Fixing the bit that sucks

In a previous life, I was a programmer.  I still like to write a few lines of code from time to time – especially when I can solve a problem.

This week I decided to use Opera Mail as my primary email client, no longer relying on Gmail (except when travelling).  I love it – it’s simple, it works, and it happily imported all my Gmail inboxes – tens of thousands of messages.

But one bit of Opera Mail sucks – it cannot really important contacts.  There’s a website that claims you can do this through them, but it didn’t work for me – it crashed every time.

Now I have something like 5,000 contacts in Gmail and I wanted all of them to appear in my new Opera address book.

The solution was to write a tiny (32 line) program in Perl, which I uploaded to one of my webservers.  I then uploaded the comma delimited (CSV) file which Gmail can give you.  This generated correctly formatted lines in the Opera Mail file which ends with “.adr”.  I just copied and pasted these in,  making sure that Opera was not working at the time.  And it worked.

So, very proud of myself.

If anyone out there stumbles on this while Googling how to import one’s contacts into Opera Mail, I’ll be happy to share the code.

Emptying your inbox in Thunderbird – a one click solution

Like many of you, I get hundreds of email messages every week and have long been following discussions in books and on the web of how to keep an inbox under control. I like many of the ideas from David Allen‘s Getting Things Done (GTD) which does focus on emptying a physical or virtual inbox fairly quickly.
But I found that it was tricky to do this with the Thunderbird email client for Linux. There were two things I wanted to do and neither one worked. This morning, I found a one-click solution for both problems and have managed to bring my Inbox down to 0 in a fairly short period of time.

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