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How can I approach this? Could you help me?

The format of the text file is not very important. An possible format would be:

Email 1;Involved contact(s);Subject and preview;Date or time 
Email 2;Involved contact(s);Subject and preview;Date or time 
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migrated from superuser.com Jul 2 '11 at 2:07

This question came from our site for computer enthusiasts and power users.

What operating system are you on? – BrianH Jul 6 '11 at 18:52
It looks like you haven't been around for a few days, so here are some suggestions since I don't know your OS: Windows - Try GetMail. For Linux, try Pine, Elm, or Mutt – BrianH Jul 6 '11 at 19:08
Many thanks and apologies for the slow response. I am on Windows. GetMail looks like a useful tool and I will certainly play with it when I find some time. – Frank Jul 15 '11 at 0:02
up vote 2 down vote accepted

GMail offers a RSS feed with the basic details of each mail.

I used this XSL file to transform that feed to a more readable format enter image description here

You can tweak the XSL to generate the feed information in a format that you like.

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+1 for using RSS and XSLT. Definitely a flexible solution! – Wivani Jul 7 '11 at 11:29
I believe the RSS feed only includes unread emails. Hopefully marking a message as unread will put it back on the feed. – Bruno Morency Jul 8 '11 at 3:42
Looks promising. Could you kindly provide some guidance as to how to edit the XSL code to work with the Gmail Atom Feed? (I am new to web technologies.) Would be much appreciated. – Frank Jul 14 '11 at 23:56

You could enable POP downloading and move/copy your inbox to a local client like Thunderbird. From there the messages will be stored in a flat file that you can access.

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Have a look at Context.IO, it will let you script that sort of things. If you have any questions or problems, let us know http://support.context.io, we'll be happy to help.

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Very interesting, thanks! – Frank Jul 15 '11 at 0:07

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