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A friend and I write together, via email, back and forth a little at a time. we have already once taken a few hundred thousand word story and painstakingly copied and pasted it into a Google document.

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First off: STOP! Ha—don't take it the wrong way, but it has to be asked; why are you eschewing direct use of what you know will be your eventual destination, Google Docs? Docs works basically everywhere now. So suggestion 1 is; give the idea of collaborating, or taking turns, right in a Google Docs file serious consideration.

If sticking with email, I recommend you install a full-fledged email application on a computer (so; Windows, macOS, or Linux), connect it to your email account, and then export the relevant emails from there into a format Docs can import, like plain text or PDF. After import, it would need some grooming, but I suppose you're accustomed to that already.

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    Welcome, Whitney! This is not a typical question [see help: how to ask a good question]. So my answer is also a bit odd. My recommendation is almost off-topic, because it is not a web app. Sorry! All the best with your project, and happy writing! – Joel Reid Mar 21 at 18:32
  • More off-topic app advice: specifically, I've had great success with Thunderbird and the ImportExportTools plugin for similar efforts. On that note though; if you decide to try an app, but hit technical problems you want to ask about here, please do so in a new question (and probably not in Web Apps, but another SE Site). – Joel Reid Mar 21 at 18:34
  • ha xD you're not wrong. Part of it is simply self-regulation: if we're going back and forth in emails, we can't get caught up doing a lot of going back and editing while we're working, and it forces us to just power through the first draft without getting distracted. I think maybe switching to a dedicated email app is probably the right idea, I've just used gmail for soooo long. But it struggles with the long chains we end up writing anyway. Thanks for your advice! – Whitney Hinrichsen Mar 22 at 19:37
  • Do what works and keep writing—life requirements first, tech requirements second. One note; if you're happy with gmail, by all means keep using it. The idea for an email app (in this case) is they remotely access and show you the same emails you see in the Gmail web interface, but can offer "computery" features, like exporting to a file. I envisioned you firing it up only for your occational gmail→email app→text file→Google Docs transfers. – Joel Reid Mar 22 at 20:13
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  • you can use this extension and export it into Google Sheets / Excel / CSV
  • free version is limited to exporting 50 emails per month
  • paid version costs from €24.99 ($28.37)
  • quick tutorial on how to export it: https://youtu.be/hqgXcxIuJRA

  • you can use this extension and export it into Google Drive as PDF / TXT / HTML / EML
  • free version is limited to exporting 100 emails per month
  • paid version costs from €9.99 ($11.34)
  • quick tutorial on how to export it: https://youtu.be/Vvd28tHhCj4

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