My personal messages are piling up, and that is both, physical letters and digital emails. I would love to keep them (i.e. scans of the physical documents) in one place on my computer where I can organize them, add metatags, remarks, references, attachments, etc.

I am therefore searching for a software that does just that.

I could see a Mozilla-based solution that would be a blend of Thunderbird and maybe Zotero, but I could not yet find a proper solution - am I missing a software?

I would the software like to

  • run in Linux. It would ideally be platform independent
  • be free or inexpensive since I am an individual
  • use an open database standard.
  • run locally.

So far I stumbled upon the following candidates, but as far as I could tell I did not find any of them suitable:

  • Lamprecht Korrespondenz (seems to aim primarily at the composition of letters; requires Windows)

  • ELO Office (requires Windows and will not run in Wine)

  • Coreman (seems far from what I want)

  • Owl Inranet Engine (seems far from what I want)

  • Open KM Knowledge Management (seems far from what I want)

  • Could you please detail for each of the candidates above, why it is not suitable? That would help us understand what "suitable" means for you. Thanks!
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Commented May 25, 2015 at 2:20

1 Answer 1


I have used Alfresco for similar situations.

What you will be able to do:

  • Add documents just by scanning them, no further action needed
  • Add emails by forwarding them to a particular email address
  • Classify with categories and tags (categories are a hierarchy, tags are not hierarchical)
  • Enrich with metadata like author, description, or even custom metadata that you define your self (for instance you might want "Price" for bills, "Expiration date" for contracts, etc)
  • Full-text search on email attachments and scanned documents
  • Browse from anywhere using the web interface
  • Have the files available offline on other computers via Dropbox-like sync
  • Set bookmarks on documents
  • Add timestamped comments
  • Collaborate with others easily if needed

All open source, Windows/Mac/Linux.

Set up

Set up is not that easy, but definitely doable with some time.

1) Install Alfresco.

2) Set up Alfresco to ingest from email attachments. Or use this extension to ingest email bodies as well.

3) Set up a synchronized folder between Alfresco and a local folder on your computer with CmisSync.

4) Configure your scanner to put scanned files to this synchronized folder.

5) Install Tesseract and configure Alfresco to use it.

6) Optionally, set up an Alfresco rule to move incoming scanned files to another folder (let's call it "Letters"), so that the folder does not get crowded.

7) Optionally, sync "Letters" to your other computers

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