Email Archiving with Acrobat 8: They’re Packages!

Note: Acrobat 9 offers a new, more advanced capability via PDF Portfolios.

The International Data Corporation estimates that over 8 trillion email messages will be sent in North America in 2007. (1)

Legal Professionals are accelerating their use of email messaging due to the proliferation of mobile messaging. Almost 90% of large firms offer the Blackberry or similar device. In 2006, 18% of solos and 30% of small firms reported that these devices were available to them.(2)

Email has become a primary pathway that firms use to communicate with clients and the courts. Increasingly, email is growing as a source of discovery data.

Properly managing and archiving email is a critical skill for attorneys. Large firms may use specialized archiving products which can cost in the six figures. Smaller firms need to take a more cost effective and proactive approach.

Acrobat 8 introduces greatly enhanced email archiving capabilities. Read on for more information . . .

PDF and Email

The Portable Document File (PDF) format has become popular in the legal industry.

PDF’s ability to render many different document types—scanned images, Office and other electronic documents, web sites—in a standard, hardware and operating system agnostic manner allows legal professionals to more easily manage information.

Beginning in Acrobat 7, Adobe offered email archiving from Microsoft Outlook in the Standard and Professional versions of the application. Adobe enhanced the email archiving capabilities in Acrobat 8.

Email archiving in PDF presents some benefits to legal professionals:

Uses for Email Packages

Legal professionals have shared these anticipated uses for email packages:

Creating an Email Package

See a movie on Email Archiving

Watch Movie (Opens in a new window)

Acrobat 8 offers email archivel integration with Microsoft Outlook and Lotus Notes.

To create an email package, Open Outlook or Lotus Notes and select the folder you wish to archive.

Choose Adobe PDF—>Convert to Adobe PDF—>Selected Folder

A selection interface appears (see below) which allows the selection of multiple email folders.

Exploring an Email Package

Below is a screen shot of an email package with accompanying call-outs:

  1. The package “manifest” contains header fields which are sortable such as From, Subject, Date, etc.
  2. An Options menu offers the ability to add additional headers for sorting. In this example, a Source heading was added.
  3. The message is displayed below the manifest.
  4. The Attachments Panel lists each email attachment in the message.

Email Package Notes and Limitations

Keep in mind the following notes and limitations for email packaging:

Conclusions and Additional Information

PDF Packages offer an interesting option for archiving and working with email messages.

I recently heard from a legal services firm which received an PDF Package containing 13,000 messages processed from Lotus Notes.

EverMap has enhanced their Auto-Split plug-in for Acrobat so that it now allows you to efficiently burst PDF packages you may receive in discovery. For example, a single email package may be burst into individual emails, attachements extracted, and a CSV load file produced.

Sources and Notes

Worldwide Email Usage 2005–2009 Forecast: Email’s Future Depends on Keeping Its Value High and Its Cost Low
2006 American Bar Association Legal Technology Resource Center Survey Report
Boolean search allows the use of operators such as AND, OR and NOT.