Sport & Auto
- About Future
- Digital Future
- Cookies Policy
- Terms & Conditions
- Investor Relations
- Contact Future
Launch Automator and start a new Custom workflow. Automator has three main panes: the Library on the left, a list of Actions in the middle, and the Workflow on the right. In the Library, click Mail, then in the list of Actions, find Get New Mail. Drag it over to the Workflow area. In the dropdown menu labeled For, choose your Gmail account.
Every day at 9:49 a.m., iCal will launch our Automator script MrSparkle, fetching our new mail.
Still in Automator, choose File > Save As Plug-in. Name the plug-in something awesome (ours is MrSparkle), and in the Plug-in For dropdown menu, choose iCal Alarm. When you click Save, iCal will launch. A new event will be created for just about now. And instead of an alarm, it will run your Automator script. Click Edit and set the event to repeat as often as you like. I picked once a day.
Your Gmail backup is accessible and easily searched right there in Mail. But if you want to back it up yet again, open up Mail, select your Inbox, and choose Mailbox > Archive Mailbox from the menubar. Save the mailbox archive (an MBOX file) anywhere you like. We could automate this with an AppleScript (not with Automator), but that’s another how-to.
If you’re already using Mail to manage your email, you might want a separate client just for this Gmail-backup jig. Download Thunderbird for free from www.mozilla.com, and you can do nearly the same steps.
To set up Thunderbird for your Gmail account: Use pop.gmail.com for incoming server, and smtp.gmail.com for outgoing, although we won’t be sending anything. Unfortunately, we can’t use Automator to schedule Thunderbird, so Mail is the best choice if you can use it.
Wondering what the difference is? POP (Post Office Protocol) will download a copy of all your email from Gmail’s servers to a client on your Mac and leave it there. The local copy stays put even if the message is later delivered from the server, so it’s better for backing up.
On the other hand, IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) syncs your email between the server and the client, so whatever changes you make on the server (meaning the Web version of Gmail) are reflected in the local client (Mail on your Mac). IMAP is better when you’re trying to keep your accounts, messages, and mailboxes synced across two devices, like your Mac and your iPhone.