Archiving Emails and Attachments to PDF from Thunderbird in Linux

I have a couple of businesses, plus my own personal transactions, and every year come January I have to make sure I have all of the appropriate financial documentation for them, including copies of invoices and receipts. Fortunately, most of my invoices and receipts are now in email form, though I still get some paper ones (which go straight into the ScanSnap). Unfortunately, emails and attachments can’t go nicely in a reference folder in my Dropbox.

Thunderbird to the rescue!

I use Mozilla Thunderbird for my email for mostly the same reason I still use FireFox to browse the web: there’s a plugin for almost anything I want to do. Also, in Linux it’s easy to use a CUPS-PDF virtual printer to print to PDF. Combining this with the attachment extractor Thunderbird plugin allows me to dump all of the attachments and emails to files on my hard drive in just a few clicks.

I have ‘Invoices’ and ‘Receipts’ email folders that need to be dumped, so I just go into each folder, select all messages, print them using CUPS-PDF, and then right-click and tell AttachmentExtractor to dump any attachments as well. Done, in about 5 minutes. Trying to do this manually would take countless hours, meaning in reality that I would just never do it, and if my taxes were audited, it would be a total nightmare.

Hopefully if you have this same problem google + this post will help you out. Enjoy!