Filing emails from MS-Outlook

I would like to file my emails received in Outlook into Zotero. If I drag and drop an email from Outlook to Zotero, nothing happens. If I drag and drop an email from Oulook to my desktop a file is created. This file can then be transferred into Zotero, but the item created is a plain file item and not a email item (Courriel in the French version I use). I can create an E-mail item independently and attach the blablabla.msg file, but I have to manually enter the Object, Author, Date...
Is their a mean to fill up automatically information of E-mail items ?
  • Is their a mean to fill up automatically information of E-mail items ?
    As far as I know, no.
  • We could probably write an import translator that would make Zotero items out of emails. I haven't really thought much about it, but it shouldn't be that hard. Are these in an Outlook proprietary format? It wouldn't be that hard to make a translator that would parse messages from the clipboard, if you copied entire messages with their headers...

    Such a translator could probably be leveraged to work with selected webmail systems too, or mail archive websites...

    Is this a common requirement? If there's real demand, the basic email import translator could be done relatively easily.
  • I would like the ability to send an email with an attachment to a special Zotero email address that would store the email with attachment as an unfiled document. I could later go into Zotero and decide where to file it, assign the item type, and other details based on the item type I select. I often receive PDF attachments in email that I want to get stored in Zotero. I have not thought through the details of how this might work, but in general I think the ability to send an email with an attachment to Zotero would be valuable to many users.
  • I think amieharpe's suggestion is best - it would be a very useful feature. I am using Zotero for non-academic research, to organize URLs, notes, emails, and documents related to software projects I'm considering. A LOT of this information comes through MS Outlook with attachments. Being able to squirrel those away to Zotero would make a huge difference.
  • This, like many suggestions, would be great as a third-party service that used the server API to talk to Zotero proper. This is something that could be built with universal web glue like the startup-of-the-month, Ifttt ( -- if someone added Zotero support to it or to any other of the many glue solutions. But they tend to be curated and closed-source, so there's not much we can do to make them work with Zotero at the moment.
  • To add to the conversation. While Zotero's direction appears to be independent of the browser, and I haven't looked at 3.0 yet, a great deal of research and idea sharing consists of emails outside your immediate collaboration network.

    So I make a plea for tighter integration with email, and my choice would be Thunderbird. Shares the same framework as Firefox, so a Thunderbird connector.

    If I am in Thunderbird, an email icon that lets me do exactly what a journal article icon does in Firefox.
  • I'd like to second steve.bannister's suggestion! Currently my technique is to save the email in html format, open it into firefox, then create an item button. Doesn't do the attachments unless you attach another item.
  • I have just found Zotero, and am excited about it for my history writing. However, I have a huge amount of data received from others via MS Outlook. How can I add it to Zotero?
  • I add my name to the wish list for email integration with zotero.

    I feel the importance of bridging the gap between the two highly important research tools "email" and "reference management" (aka zotero) is being underestimated. The multitude of threads on this forum discussing email import and export to and from zotero seems like a clear indication on the usefulness of this functionality.

    Personally I disagree with supporting only one email client such as Thunderbird and lean towards the suggestion raised by amieharpe in the fourth post of this thread. A direct ripoff of the functionality in Evernote seems ideal from my standpoint; an email adress associated with zotero which for every received email creates a generic zotero item (or an email item) complete with attachments. It makes importing email and attachments to zotero as simple as hitting the "forward" button in your preferred email front end. If said email adress could also be used to send items, collections or reference lists from within zotero... well, that would not be icing on the cake but a whole yummy layer of cake on its own.
  • edited April 30, 2014
    A workaround for this I have done is to open the email in our campus webmail (every place I know of has a web version access to their outlook email). You can then save a snapshot of the email to zotero by right clicking in the reading pane "Save Zotero snapshot from current page". This is very kludgy and not sufficient though for a few reasons.
    NOTE1 - attachments are not saved in this method.
    Note2 - the Title in zotero is not useful. I was really just trying to save the text of email for search later, however even searching "everything" in zotero standalone did not delve into the snapshot.
  • Did this ever go anywhere? I'd like this as well. Would also be interested in some kind of gmail integration.
  • I am quite interested in this idea. Zotero has email as an item, but no way to automatically import emails into the database. This seems to underestimate the amount of bibliographic-related information passed by email. The source might be the email itself (as in an email item) or could be an attachment to the email (likely a PDF, but could also be an image file).

    I can see the utility of an add-in for Outlook since many campuses and businesses use Outlook for their organizational mail (especially via Office365) and Outlook has the option for add-ons. There could be challenges with implementation, however, if, at the organizational level, perms are set so that users cannot install add-ons. Alternately, gmail is also fairly common among researchers because of the cross functionality between devices and the integration with other Google tools. Perhaps the best suggestion is the idea of being able to forward an email to a user-specific Zotero address and have Zotero automatically parse it and add it to the users DB. If these items were automatically grouped into a specific "catch it here" subfolder so that a user could further develop the item (notes, tags, and re-filing) that could be ideal. I dislike the idea of standardizing it on any specific email system (e.g. Thunderbird) that is not widespread since that will limit the availability and usefulness.

    Did this go anywhere?
  • Does anyone know if there's been any progress on importing emails from Outlook to Zotero?
  • No new developments, no.
  • Saving attachments with some tag or link back to the original email would be of great use!
  • Interested and doing it by hand
  • VERY interested in having an "email to Zotero" address so that research information I receive via email can be forwarded to Zotero and stored in my library, and I can clean it up from there.
  • I am also very interested in this feature.
  • I am interested in an "email to Z" option.
  • There is a piece of code which pastes data from the Microsoft Outlook Data Model to the clipboard.

    Maybe it is possible to put the fields into a Zotero readable scheme?
  • @less
    > VERY interested in having an "email to Zotero" address so that research information I receive via email can be forwarded to Zotero and stored in my library, and I can clean it up from there.

    Yup, great idea – is the Zotero source code open enough for us to hack on this?

    Also, if you know the author's email address it'd be nice to be able to store that somewhere – heck, I don't know why Authors/Editors/Contributors/etc. are not first class entities with Zotero …
  • Adding my voice here: would love this feature! Something to efficiently bring emails into Zotero. Seems like you could quickly pull the metadata from the email (author, title, date received) and then store the .eml file.
  • I supposed it could be done via an import translator , if anyone feels inspired to write it.
  • I just came here looking for this. As others have said, a lot of research ingredients arrive as emails -- I'd love to permanently record and cite them using Zotero.
  • +1 for this feature.
    I get so much research data through email. I also tend to read it on mobile where browser extensions are not an option. email forwarding would go a long way to streamline my workflow with Zotero
  • I have figured out how to do this with Gmail, though the process is convoluted. It would be great to have it as a feature that works on the most commonly used email systems. Here's the Gmail process:
Sign In or Register to comment.